Iced coffee can be defined as a coffee-type beverage that is served chilled, but the truth is, it is so much more than that. Iced coffee reminds us of different things, occasions, and feelings. Iced coffee means sitting on a beach with 30+ Celsius weather next to the sea with the light breeze cooling us. It means a perfect way to cool yourself after a long workday or just hanging at a coffee shop with your closest friends.
Our philosophy is that every beverage can and should tell a story, and this fantastic chilled treat certainly tells one.
The Beginning of the Story
The beginning of the story of iced coffee begins in Algeria, in the first half of the nineteenth century, more precisely, in 1840, when the locals started serving Mazagran. Mazagran was a sweetened, cold coffee beverage that became extremely popular among Algerians because they used it as a way to escape the hot Algerian climate.
Unlike modern-day iced coffee, Mazagran was with cold water and coffee syrup. That combination appealed to everyone, and according to Algerians, that is where iced coffee started.
Our story continues in Italy, where a famous dessert called granita was a must-have dessert after any restaurant lunch. Granita was a partly frozen dessert made from sugar, you must use various flavours and water. Restaurants in the romantic city of Messina started serving granita with coffee, and it quickly became a town known for that dessert. That is how iced coffee found its way to Italy, the land known for its excellent cuisine.
This delicious cold beverage made its way to the USA, where it got popularized by the Joint Coffee Trade Publicity Committee after their iced coffee marketing campaigns in the 1920s. Since they are excellent at promoting their ideas, American marketers quickly started promoting iced coffee as a treat for the whole family by painting ideal pictures in diners.
Although there are great coffee shops where you can order all sorts of coffee marvels, the modern-day leaders in selling iced coffee are giants like Burger King, Dunkin Donuts, McDonald’s, and the game-changer – Starbucks.
Preparing and Serving the Ideal Iced Coffee
If there is one thing most of us enjoy, it would be the ideal cup of coffee. Preparing such a perfect, steaming, hot cup of coffee is nothing short of a science experiment or an art form. Preparing it iced has an additional step and can be just as complicated.
There are easier, and there are harder ways to prepare iced coffee, and if you are like us and love a good cup of coffee, you can learn how to make an excellent iced coffee right at your home. Not to mention how impressed all of your guests will be when you serve them their glass.
There are two basic ways to make refreshing coffee beverages, and those are cold brewing and mixing hot coffee with ice.
You can check the full explanation and difference in this article.
Preparing a Cold Brew
Cold brewing coffee will take longer, and you will have to prepare everything about 24 hours before you serve it. It is not that complicated; the only thing you need to do is
- Take your favourite beans or grounds
- Immerse it in a jug of cold water
- Leave it in the fridge for 6, 12, or 24 hours, depending on your taste and strength preferences
Cold brewing will result in a less acidic, mellower taste that can be extremely good for people with digestive problems and acid intolerance.
There is even a more comfortable way of preparing it; get a cold brew coffee maker, and here are our top picks.
Preparing a “Traditional” Iced Coffee
Although there is nothing traditional about iced coffee, there is a way most of us can prepare it with ease. The basics are relatively easy; you prepare espresso, pour it over ice, and add milk if that is what you prefer. However, basics are not going to impress anyone but those that are new to the iced coffee world.
Iced coffee has many layers and allows discovering tastes you cannot discover by drinking hot coffee. It is essential to take your time and not be hasty while preparing your favourite version of iced coffee.
One of our favourite ways to make a perfect iced coffee is this:
- Make 200ml of black coffee
- Allow it to cool off completely
- Add milk to your preference
- Add sugar if you prefer a sweeter taste
- Add it to a blender
- Add two small cups of ice
- Add maple syrup
- Blend until smooth and creamy
The ideal way to serve this particular iced coffee is in a tall, chilled glass with a straw. You can choose between adding sugar and maple syrup or just maple syrup with your iced coffee; it is entirely up to you and your coffee preferences and tastes. This will, however, add an exciting twist to the usual way you take your coffee.
For those of us who love simplicity, there are pre-packaged iced coffee products you can buy in supermarkets, but we prefer making our own.
Water Is Everything
Water is a massive part of every good coffee, so it is imperative you use at least filtered water for your iced coffee preparations. Don’t just pour water straight from the tap. If you have a water filter, use it before you start brewing coffee. In an ideal scenario, it would be best to use high-quality bottled water that hasn’t got any substances in it that might impact the taste.
Different Standards for Iced Coffee
Because iced coffee is served with ice, the finished product will get diluted. Ice is water, and water will dilute the coffee’s taste, so make sure you compensate for the changes happening in your refreshing drink.
The ideal standard for making coffee is about 15:1, and that would mean that to make 1 litre of coffee, you will need 67 grams of ground coffee. That ratio should be different if you want to make coffee with the same taste and potency. We believe that the perfect ratio for iced coffee is 12:1 – 10:1, depending on your taste preference. This means that for a litre of coffee, you might want to use nearly 100 grams of ground coffee for a 1 litre of brew.
Serving Iced Coffee
When it comes to serving, iced coffee should be served fresh and should never be stored for longer than seven days. Many cold brew coffee makers can produce large amounts of coffee, but the brew quality falls significantly after that period.
If you think that your iced coffee can tell a story, this just might be a fun way to start one.
The traditional way to serve iced coffee is in a tall cocktail glass with a straw, but if you are feeling creative, you might want to try different approaches.
- Freeze it in an ice tray – Freezing the coffee after it settled down will make a fun serving. You can add it to a glass of milk or just take a few frozen coffee cubes and add wait for them to melt. It will be a fun way of getting refreshed and enjoying the taste of the brew.
- Coffee ice cream – Mix heavy cream with sugar, add a tiny bit to the ice cream mould and let it freeze. Mix iced coffee with a bit of sugar and leftover cream. Divide it equally among the moulds and wait until it freezes. You will serve a version of iced coffee with a few easy steps that will tell a funny and delicious story.
- Tonic iced coffee – To add a special dose of freshness to your iced coffee, make your favourite brew, and mix it with Tonic and ice. We can guarantee you will surprise many taste buds, and this coffee beverage is delicious.
- Serve it with sea salt – Sea salted iced coffee is gaining popularity and is rapidly growing on menus across the world. It is a delicious drink that will complement the traditional coffee taste. The best way to serve it is by adding sea-salted cream to the chilled, sweetened iced coffee. You will be surprised by how well the flavours balance themselves.
- Upside down serving – Since iced coffee is a cold drink made from a traditionally hot brew, why not mixing serving as well? Add whipped cream to the glass and freeze it for 20 minutes. Add iced coffee on top of the cream for fun serving twist.
The world of iced coffee is a fun and exciting one that opened up different possibilities in serving and consuming the good old cup of joe. From its start in Algeria and Italy to your kitchen table, iced coffee can tell an exciting story. Hopefully, if you use one of our preparation or serving techniques, we helped you start an exciting story of your own.