Today it’s too hot to write. Even with my little air conditioner going full blast, it’s all ready in the high 80′s in here. (Obviously, it’s TOO little….)
So I am obsessed today with staying cool. And one of my favorite coolers is….iced coffee.
I LOVE iced coffee. But there are two problems I have with it.
First, I drink hot coffee with cream, no sugar. But iced coffee, I have to have it creamy and sweet. And granulated sugar does not dissolve well in cold drinks. I end up adding too much to get the sweet, which only gets way, way too sweet near the end (where all the undissolved sugar sits at the bottom of the glass.)
Second, the ice cubes in the drink eventually melt, diluting the coffee. Even if you start with very strong coffee, it just means it’s too strong at first and still diluted at the end.
So I’m giving you two little tips for making great iced coffee that stays great from start to finish. I learned these tips from two local stores this week.
The first is from Prime Roast, our favorite local coffee shop. It’s our favorite especially because Judy the Roaster is also our friend, and one of our favorite-est people in the whole world. I’ve learned a lot about retail from Judy–when you are served by Judy, you feel like she was just waiting for you to walk in the door, and now her life is delightfully complete.
Anyway, Prime Roast offers simple syrup to sweeten their iced coffee drinks. This sugar syrup lets you add sweetness more easily to cold drinks because the sugar is already dissolved–no glob of sugar crystals at the bottom of the glass. Bar sugar works the same way, but simple syrup is cheaper and foolproof.)
The second tip came from Kristin’s Bistro and Bakery, one of my favorite places to have lunch in downtown Keene.
They make their iced coffee with…..
(wait for it)
Ice cubes made from coffee!
No melting ice cube dilution effect!!
They even use hazelnut coffee ice cubes if you order hazelnut coffee. How cool is that?! (Pun intended.)
So now when I make iced coffee with coffee ice cubes and simple syrup, I have the perfect version.
And the last time I was in both stores, I shared the other store’s great tip. Kristin’s was baffled, but I think Prime Roast got it.
Last tiny tip: A few months ago, I acquired an extra carafe for my coffee maker, because I’m always breaking them and then can’t find one. (Yes, I purchased a carafe proactively.) And I just realized I can make a whole pot of coffee, let it cool, and stick the entire carafe in the fridge. I don’t know why, but this is easier than trying to keep a pitcher of coffee in there….
And one more tip–gadzooks, I’m full of them today! Store your coffee cubes in a bag in the freezer. Frees up your ice cube trays for other things–like, ice.