Iced coffee isn't rocket science, admittedly. But it's easier than you probably realized to step up your iced coffee game and take your iced coffee from competent to great. Here's our top five iced coffee hacks:
The Hamilton Beach Tempest blender is a mainstay of many coffee shops.
5. Use Your Blender: If you're a fan of frappes -- and in hot weather, who isn't? -- piling ice into the blender, adding coffee, and blending 'til the coffee's chilled and the ice turns to slush is quick, easy, and cheaper than Starbucks. Just make sure the lid's on tight, since nobody wants to start their day cleaning coffee off the walls and ceiling. 4. Skip The Syrups: If you like the flavor of coffee syrups but not the expense (or the sugar), stock up on flavor extracts (vanilla, almond, hazelnut) and add a dash with sugar (or none) to taste.
3. Coffee Cubes: Pour black coffee into ice cube trays and freeze it. If you're in the habit of making your iced coffee from hot coffee, this is a good way to cool the coffee quickly without diluting it; it also prevents dilution if you had the foresight to cold brew a batch of concentrate. As an added bonus, you don't have to worry about over-extraction since your coffee can be brewed at standard strength. 2. Make Ice Cubes of Your Favorite Add-Ins: If you add milk, cream, sugar or syrup, this is another way to cool your coffee without diluting it. The dairy can be frozen by itself. Syrups and sugars can be pre-dissolved in hot coffee (an immersion blender helps to both speed the blending process and ensure that everything mixes evenly). Pour into ice cube trays and freeze, adding to your hot coffee when you're ready to cool it off. We've saved our personal favorite for last:
The Oxo SoftWorks Cocktail Shaker
1. Buy a Cocktail Shaker: If you already have a cocktail shaker, you're in luck; it's a great way to quickly chill iced coffee without watering it down quite as much. The Boston shaker (a pint glass/metal cup/strainer combination) isn't a great option here. Our personal favorite is the classic cocktail shaker, especially if it's double-walled. That's a must, since single-walled metal shakers transfer heat quickly, which is something you don't want if you're working with hot liquids (our personal favorite is the OXO SoftWorks insulated cocktail shaker
). If you're using simple syrup or another kind of flavoring, pour that in first. Add crushed or cubed ice, shake thoroughly, and serve over ice. Clean promptly, so it's ready for your mixed drink of choice later (try an espresso Martini
). Those are our favorites. What are yours? Drop us a line at firstname.lastname@example.org and share!