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Quick Iced Coffee

Learn to make your own iced coffee and you'll never have to drink this again. How's that for incentive?
Buying iced coffee -- whether you're getting your fix at Starbucks or just a bottle of pre-brewed, pre-sweetened supermarket swill -- is convenient, but the cost adds up quickly. Making your own is much cheaper, but you typically have to wait for the coffee to chill, or pour it over ice. One's too time consuming, and the other leaves you with diluted, watery coffee. There's a better way to make iced coffee if you're short on time.

This iced coffee recipe comes from Jennifer Pallian at the blog Foodess. I've made a couple of small modifications along the way.

You'll need coffee, ice, sea salt, whatever you're adding to your coffee (milk, sugar, syrup), your favorite mug, and a metal bowl. If you have a large metal pitcher (especially a frothing pitcher), it helps to have that handy, too.

First, put the mug or glass in the freezer (along with the metal pitcher, if you've got one). While your water's coming to a boil, put the ice, salt and water in the bowl. Prepare your coffee according to your method of choice. Just bear in mind that this method won't completely chill your coffee (it will finish chilling in the glass), so it helps to make your coffee a bit stronger than usual. Put the plastic bag/metal pitcher in the bowl with the ice, and pour the coffee into that. If you're using sugar or syrup, this is a good time to add it since the heat helps everything dissolve. Stir repeatedly. Once the coffee's cooled down, take your mug/glass out of the freezer, add ice, and pour.

Our Empire State Roast tastes great hot or over ice.
I suggest a metal pitcher for two reasons. First of all, while freezer bags are food safe for their intended use, you might be a bit wary of pouring nearly-boiling liquid into them. Second, the metal will transfer heat quickly, speeding the cooling process. You could do the same with a metal mixing bowl inside the ice bath, but getting the coffee from the bowl into glasses without spilling half of it can be a bit of a challenge unless it has a pouring lip.

While this is an acceptably quick way to make an iced coffee, I'd emphasize that it's something you'd likely want to to do only in a pinch. Good iced coffee, like its hot counterpart, takes a bit more time. With a bit of foresight, you can make very good iced coffee without taking too much time. We'll explore that in this space in the coming week.