ICED COFFEE

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.

Stay cool!

I never dreamed in a jillion years I'd someday be photographing a bag of coffee ice, let alone BLOGGING about it...

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12 Comments

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12 responses to “ICED COFFEE

  1. Jeri

    And what a great way to use up the left over coffee. I know it can be used in gravies, etc, but I never make gravy. Now Iced Coffees, that I will make.

  2. Tammy

    oooooooohYeah! The best refreshment as far today is Prime Roast iced coffee! I am enjoying some right now. I thank you for the tips and hope the prep for the Big Fair is going well.

  3. Have you tried cold-brewed coffee? Much less work than making coffee ice cubes (I will try that too).
    I found in a web search, the method for making cold brewed coffee in my french press. I prepare the french press like always and pop the whole thing into the refrigerator. From 2 or 3 hours to over nite and you have perfectly brewed and much less acid, no matter how strong you make it.
    I also found a recipe for making my own chocolate syrup (to reduce the amount of plastic I bring into my house).
    Making it this way allows you to have chilled coffee that requires no additional processing. I transfer the coffee I don’t drink immediately to a bottle and make another batch. That way I don’t have to always think ahead to have coffee on hand.
    When I want a hot cup, I just pop it into the microwave to heat it up. It takes a little longer to heat it from cold than it does from room temperature, but…it doesn’t get more acidic from the heating up.

    • You know, the cold press really is a great idea. But I also suspect it’s one more gadget that’s going to end up in the mudroom along with the waffle maker, the Belgian waffle maker, the DOUBLE Belgian waffle maker, and the bread machine.
      I think it’s time to call Freecycle….!!!! :^D

  4. LOVE IT! I have become addicted to iced coffee using our local roaster Emy J’s brand. (Costa Rican is my favorite). I will try the ice cube trick, have thought of that before. I am the only one who drinks coffee in my house, so I make a full pot, drink a cup or two, wait for it to cool, then keep it in a plastic container in the fridge. I like it sweet and creamy too, and have found that the cinnamon vanilla creamer is perfect. IF it is too sweet, then I dilute with a splash of milk first. Yum! Enjoy the day!
    Erin

  5. Nancy

    OK, this is the best news/idea I’ve heard today!

    My biggest beverage dilemma this evening was how to keep my white wine chilled in my glass while sitting on my porch in 95 degree heat.

    I opted for a G&T with lots of ice instead.

    Thank God we have our priorities straight, Girl Friend!

    Love ya,
    N

    • Sweetie, the best way to keep white wine cold in 95 degree heat is to DRINK IT FASTER!!!

      Duh!!!

      Hugs,
      Luann (who chugged a giant can of cold light beer tonight right after TKD.) (urp)

  6. We’re big fans of iced coffee in my home, too.
    I mostly use raw sugar for sweetening my hot coffee. I just sweeten some strong coffee with it, chill, and have it on hand for iced. But sometimes I use agave nectar; it should work well for sweetening cold coffee.
    But I love the coffee ice cubes. I’m going to do that! And don’t they look beautiful?
    Now I’m thinking coffee popsicles… hmmm…!

  7. Thank you so much for these great iced coffee tips! common sense.
    I have to admit, I enjoy the sugary lump at the bottom of the watered down hours old coffee. :)

  8. Well, actually, Paula, I do, too. But I can’t admit that on a public forum.

    Oh, wait, I just did!!!

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