Ice cool customer: how to make the perfect iced coffee

As temperatures climb (well, we can dream!) then owners of coffee businesses may find themselves thinking about adding iced coffee to their normal menus. A perfect choice for a hot day, it cools and energises in one go.

There are several ways of preparing iced coffee, and the one you choose depends on personal taste as well as preparation time.

Iced coffee preparation methods

  1. Cold brew coffee. This is an easy method, which involves steeping coffee grounds in cold water for 12 to 24 hours. It’s not labour intensive, and some argue that because the coffee is actually brewed cold it retains a fresher flavour. Others, though, say that the long brewing period causes oxidation and actually harms the flavour, making it taste bitter. Very much a matter of personal taste!
  2. Hot brewed coffee. This method requires that you brew your coffee via conventional methods, then cool it as fast as possible by standing it in cold water then refrigerating it. This method works well, but does require some organisation so you have the finished result available when you need it!
  3. The gradual method. Make a batch of very concentrated espresso coffee, then drop ice cubes into the hot liquid until it’s both diluted and cold. This method is the one used by iced coffee aficionados, but it needs a lot of time – and a lot of ice cubes! Fans say it gives a good flavour, and is the best way of making sure the coffee’s not over-chilled which can make it lose its complexity.
  4. If you want more of a coffee smoothie, you can combine cold espresso coffee and crushed ice in a blender. The coffee will have to be stronger than usual to allow for the extra dilution – try adding an extra shot of espresso to your normal quantities.

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