When you think of iced coffee, what’s the first thing that comes to mind? For many it would be a can of something cold and sickly sweet, picked up in a hurry from a petrol station to fuel your journey home on a hot day. But it can be so much more than that - brewing iced coffee drinks at home is much easier than you’d think, and provides a delicious, cooling, and sugar-free alternative to a can of pop or bottle of fruit juice.
Cold brew is perhaps the lesser-known cousin of traditional iced coffee, but is becoming more widely available in cans thanks to passionate companies such as our friends at Minor Figures. With its natural sweetness and refreshing vibrancy, the lengthy extraction process required is definitely a labour of love for cold brew enthusiasts.
The principal difference between iced coffee and cold brew is the temperature of the water. For an iced coffee the beverage is prepared in the traditional fashion and then rapidly cooled using ice, leaving the door open for any brew method. At the roastery we love an espresso on the rocks, but great results can be achieved using any filter method too!
For cold brew, coffee grounds are immersed in cold water for a very long time - anything up to 24hrs depending on the desired results. The process extracts fewer acids and caffeine from the beans, resulting in a delicately flavoured drink that is easy on your stomach.
Which coffee should I use?
The answer to this question is, as always with coffee, it depends! Adding ice and milk to a strong espresso has a significant mellowing effect, meaning that some lighter roasts can lose their unique flavour. For this reason we love our Peru Classic or Brazil Signature Espressos for our iced espresso recipes.
For iced filter coffees and cold brews, we like to use a filter roasted single origin such as our El Salvador El Cipres or Ethiopia Nano Challa. Fruity and floral notes are emphasised with these recipes, so a coffee that bursts with these high notes will work wonderfully.
Iced coffee at home recipe
Here are our favourite iced espresso recipes for espresso and stovetop. Ingredients:
40ml cold milk (optional)
20g Fine Grind
Extraction time: 30s
14g (7g in a single cup stovetop)
60ml water (just off the boil)
Ice, milk, espresso - in that order
Cold brew at home recipe
Pop one part coarse ground coffee with ten parts water into a sealed glass bottle or cafetiere (don’t plunge yet!)
Leave covered in a fridge for 18 hours.
Press the plunger slowly to filter most of the grounds, if you used a cafetiere. If there are still a few left floating (or if you used a glass bottle), pour the cold brew through a V60 to filter out the rest.
Store the cold brew in the fridge in a sealed container and serve chilled.
We hope you enjoy experimenting with these recipes, and as always they are just a guide! If you’re after further iced coffee inspiration, you can check out our other article about our chilled coffee favourites.
We always love to hear how our customers are enjoying their coffees, so why not drop us a line or tag us on social media with your favourite method 😎