How to: Iced Coffee

By Stuart Grant

Fact: the cafes get busier over summer. Who drinks coffee in hot weather, I hear you ask? Well, caffeine addicts the world over have found many wonderful ways to enjoy cold/iced coffee - this is our guide to the best of them!

Espresso + Ice Cubes:

Probably the simplest method here. All you need to do is to pull a normal double espresso (say, 50mL) directly on top of a couple of ice cubes. Espresso is full of aromatics which disappear soon after brewing (which is why you want to drink it quickly), but cooling the shot straight away stops many of these delicious volatiles from escaping. You can then use this cooled, slightly diluted espresso any way you fancy: add a bit more iced water for a cool long black; add some cold milk for a chilled latte; add Kahlua and vodka for an espresso martini... the possibilities are delicious.

Affogato (Espresso + Icecream):

Put a scoop of quality vanilla icecream in a cup and pull a double espresso (around 50mL) directly onto it. Icecream is just as effective as ice at trapping all the delicious volatiles in the drink, but of course the result is rich and sweet and creamy. I'd normally run a mile from any recipe that adds sugar to coffee, but happily make an exception for the affogato!

Cold-brewed Coffee:

Brewing coffee with cold water is simple as! I use a plunger (French press) and add coarsely ground coffee at a rate of 100 grams per litre of cold water - almost double the usual amount of coffee. You could alternatively use an Aeropress (upside-down method) or any other full-immersion brewing method. Then let the coffee brew in the fridge for at least 8 hours - anything up to 24 hours will work (there's virtually no risk of over-extraction because the water is cold). The result is not what you expect. The flavour is grainy-sweet with a whole range of subtle coffee nuances which develop in the long, long aftertaste. I think it tastes like the aroma of ground coffee. Delicious! You can drink it straight, or with a dash (or more) of milk, or use it as a base for any kind of iced coffee or cocktail. One of my favourite coffee experiences was cold-brew coffee served through a beer tap - carbonated. Strange but delicious. Some cafes offer cold-drip coffee which is a similar product, brewed using a sometimes very elaborate apparatus of glass tubes. In this method, cold water is slowly dripped onto a bed of coffee; the extract drips through and into a vessel. It is similar to pour-over in that sense, except the brew takes 8-16 hours instead of 3-4 minutes.
That's it. Iced coffee can be very simple, and doesn't need to be sweet and creamy and milky to be delicious on a hot day!