How to Make Iced Coffee at Home

How to make iced coffee at home? Nothing says “summer” like a delicious iced coffee in your hand! Let us show you how to make awesome iced coffee at home. It’s amazing how versatile the magic beans are, hot or cold, they always provide lots of enjoyment.

Most people are used to drinking the beverage in its hot form, but did you know that it’s been proven scientifically that iced coffee is better than hot coffee? This is because the acid levels are lower. It makes it healthier for your stomach as well as your teeth. According to the Toddy system testing, the acid levels in iced coffee is about a third of the levels found in hot coffee. The lower acid levels also make most coffees taste better, giving the natural flavors a chance to shine.

The alkaline levels of iced coffee is much better for your bodily functions. The lower alkaline level also helps your digestive system, definitely something to consider if you get an upset stomach from too much hot coffee.

Plus iced coffee has zero carbs and is fat free. On that note, it has been proven that drinking coffee before you start a workout will help to stimulate lean-muscle growth and it can also assist with fat loss.

Fun fact: Starbucks’ plain iced coffee apparently only contains about five calories per 16 ounces.

Rather drinking iced coffee than normal hot coffee can also improve your breath. This is because it prevents the growth of bacteria that causes an unpleasant odor. (we all know that nasty smell of someone that had one too many cups of coffee in a row…)

Another bonus of iced coffee is that you never have to worry about burning your tongue from drinking it too quickly. It will just delightfully tingle your taste buds from the very first sip.

When was the first iced coffee sipped?

The exact origins are a bit fussy, but it is suspected that the first experimentation with iced coffee methods dates back to 17th century Vienna. A departing Turkish army had left behind a huge surplus of coffee beans.

Another speculation, is that it developed from a French beverage known as Mazagran. This drink consisted of espresso, lemon, and ice and was considered very “risqué”. Who knows why!

Fun fact: Starbucks and Pepsi attempted to create a carbonated bottled version of Mazagran in the mid-90s. But it was an epic fail, although it did give Howard Schultz, Starbucks CEO, the idea for the bottled Frappuccino.

Does iced coffee really taste that much different?

The main difference between the two, is how bitter hot coffee tastes compared to iced coffee. This is because the acids and oils react differently to hot temperatures and it creates a sour taste.

Basically this happens because the oils found in coffee can oxidize more quickly at higher temperatures, which makes the coffee taste sour. Together with this the acids also degrade, the most prominent one being chlorogenic acid. The heat cause it to turn into quinic and caffeic acid, also causing a bitter taste. Iced coffee tends to be sweeter.

How popular is iced coffee?

Only 20% of Americans drink iced coffee, while 83% consume hot coffee. It seems to be more popular in Asian countries, they consume 86% of the world’s iced coffee. This is probably because they have a more extensive tradition of chilling coffee.

But recently it has become more popular in America. In 2009, it accounted for 19% of coffee-based menu items. By the beginning of 2013, it had risen to 24%. Could be that it is associated with being a hip and happening drink. Young people between the ages of 18 and 24 prefer it, making up 38% of iced coffee drinkers.

Iced coffee enjoyed around the world

In Europe, and a few places in the Middle East, an iced coffee is more similar to a Frappuccino. A sugary, almost milkshake treat, complete with whipped cream, chocolate syrup, crushed ice, and some coffee thrown in to top it all off.

The “Japanese method,” involves brewing hot coffee and straightaway pouring it over ice. This instantly cools the coffee, preserving the brew’s acidity, and it helps to accentuate the coffee’s fruity, floral flavors. It’s the easiest method, and produces a lighter, sweeter taste. If you’re a big fan of a French roast with an acid taste, you’ll enjoy this.

But why is it usually so pricey?

Firstly, making iced coffee requires more ingredients than for instance a straight up cappuccino. Some other little things to keep in mind, take away iced coffee is served in plastic cups, not paper cups. Plus the condensation caused by the ice usually makes customers use more napkins. And don’t forget about the straw.

Generally an ice machine is used as well, quite a costly investment. If the hot brew method is used to make the iced coffee, more coffee grounds are needed to make sure that it is strong enough.

How to make iced coffee at home

If you enjoy drinking iced coffee, but hate paying so much for it at your local Starbucks, don’t worry, it’s actually quite simple to make. It’s easier to make iced coffee because you don’t need a fancy coffee machine. You can use a basic French Press or filter coffee machine.

If you want to be really fancy, you can make iced coffee using the cold-brew method. Put your coffee grounds in a jar or bowl with water and leave overnight. The next morning, strain the mixture through a filter or cheesecloth and add some ice. Or you can put it in your French press together with water and leave the plunger up overnight. This method will guarantee a sweet iced coffee with up to 67% less acidity.

Make it from Hot Brewed Coffee

Remember to make it stronger than usual because the ice you add afterwards will dilute it. To determine the strength, plan how many ice cubes you want to use. If you like sweet coffee, add sugar or honey while the coffee is still hot to dissolve it easier.

Let your coffee cool to room temperature, which should take about an hour or so. Afterwards place it in the refrigerator for another two hours to become properly chilled. Drink it with a few ice cubes and milk or cream, if you like milky drinks.

Coffee Frappé

For this one, you will need a blender or smoothie maker. Pour a cup of freshly brewed coffee into the blender. Add crushed ice and about a quarter of a cup of milk.

Blend for approximately ten seconds, or until the ice is coarse like a snowball. If you have a sweet tooth, add a few tablespoons of sugar, honey or special flavoring like French vanilla. Continue blending until its smooth.

Instant Jamaica Shaker

For this one, you can use plain instant coffee and sugar. Dissolve the mixture in water. Add eight ounces or 200ml of chilled milk and crushed ice. If you made it in a bottle, shake it up. If you made it in a mug or cup, stir like crazy!

If you want to spice things up

A few ideas if you want to add some extra oomph to your iced coffee:

Add interesting aromatics. Be adventurous, try orange peel or orange juice. Or add a flavored ice cream instead of just plain milk or cream.

Fruity flavors, such as raspberry ice cream or fresh raspberries is always delicious. Add these to the cooled coffee.

And if you’re feeling a bit Irish try this combination. Two parts chilled coffee, two parts Irish cream, two parts vodka, plus a dash of vanilla. It should be 5 o’clock somewhere by now, right?

Next time we’ll chat about using the correct coffee grind size for the various different types of coffee you can make, from lattes and cappuccinos, to expressos and macchiatos.