How to Keep Your Iced Coffee Strong to the Last Sip
The arrival of warmer weather marks the reappearance of various things, with my personal favorite being iced coffee season. It’s a revitalizing method to kick off the day and a refreshing afternoon energizer when hot coffee doesn’t seem appealing.
If you, like I, are a leisurely coffee sipper, you’re likely acquainted with how fast melted ice can transform an otherwise delightful iced coffee into a disappointment. If you’re not familiar with this predicament, consider yourself fortunate, since nothing is more unpleasant than anticipating a large gulp only to realize that your formerly chilled beverage is now a distant memory, replaced with a diluted coffee-flavored liquid. Argh! Even when I brew an extra strong batch of iced coffee, I still dislike how conventional ice cubes dilute my drink.
Fortunately, we have a solution — coffee ice cubes. These ice cubes made with coffee preserve the rich, robust flavor of your beverage until the last drop by avoiding dilution as they melt.
— Ice cube tray: You’ll need an old-style, regular ice cube tray, available at any dollar store, or online, if you can’t find one stashed in the back of a cabinet. Plan to mark it for coffee cubes only, as coffee can permeate itself into plastic, which could make clear coffee cubes have a lingering coffee flavor.
— Coffee. Leftover morning coffee is your most likely resource if you ever have that (I never do). Your other option is to brew a fresh pot.
— Freeze. Fill your ice cube tray(s) with coffee and freeze for 3 to 4 hours, or until hard. You can store the coffee ice cubes in a sizable freezer bag or leave them in the tray for convenience.
HOW TO MAKE COLD BREW ICED COFFEE
First, you must make a big batch of very strong “cold brew” coffee concentrate. This is the secret. You’ll need a large container, ground coffee and water. And time — at least eight hours (exact printable recipe and instructions are waiting for you at EverydayCheapskate.com/coldbrew).
Cold brew coffee is not just coffee served cold. The thing that makes it cold brew coffee is that the brewing process itself happens without heat. Instead of steeping the grounds in hot water, you steep them in cold water for a lot longer.
And while you can make as little as 1 cup of cold brew concentrate at a time, why would you do that? I’d rather make 2 gallons at a time because it’s excellent for up to six weeks in the refrigerator.
Now you’re ready. Once you have that beautiful concentrate locked and loaded, it’s time to make a tall, beautiful, lovely iced coffee! You’ll need ice, coffee concentrate and your choice of milk, cream and/or sugar. Or just drink it black. It will be nonacidic and not the least bit bitter.
And there you have it: Icy cold, undiluted, perfect iced coffee!
Start small. Not ready to commit to nearly 2 gallons of coffee concentrate? No problem. Scale down the proportions: 2 tablespoons of ground coffee for each cup of cold water.