Summer is right around the corner, and that means one thing for us coffee-drinkers: Iced coffee season. While I do enjoy cuddling up with a hot mug of coffee in the winter, nothing is as refreshing or satisfying to me on a warm day than a good cup of iced coffee. In fact, I love it so much that I actually drink it all year long. The cost of a simple iced coffee is pretty inexpensive, but when added up over a longer period of time, starts to take a toll on my wallet. So last summer, I sought out to find a cheaper way to enjoy my iced coffee and not feel guilty about it.
As many people may quickly notice, making iced coffee at home is not an easy one-step process. Add ice cubes to hot coffee and you’ll have yourself a cup of lukewarm, watery coffee… gross. After looking around the internet a bit, I’ve discovered three methods of making a really good cup of iced coffee at home. They require more time, but are simple enough that anybody can do them and the results are pretty damn satisfying.
Method 1: Refrigerated extra-strength coffee
This is the method my roommates and I would often use. To prevent your coffee from getting watery, follow this two step process:
- What you’ll need: A coffee maker, ground coffee, water, and a refrigerator.
1. Instead of brewing coffee the way you normally do, brew it about 1 and a half times stronger. I first tried brewing the coffee double-strength, but I found that to be too strong. I made this little table to make the conversions quick and easy:
How many cups of coffee you want How many tablespoons of ground coffee to use
And so on and so forth.
2. After your coffee has brewed and cooled down a bit, pour it into a spill-proof container and stick it in the fridge for a few hours or overnight. Having coffee that’s already cold will prevent ice cubes from watering it down. Add ice cubes and fix as you normally would.
Method 2: Cold Brewed Coffee
Adapted from NY Times. This method involves soaking ground coffee in water overnight and filtering it the next day.
- What you’ll need: 2 large containers or jars that hold at least 4 cups (1 quart mason jars are perfect for this), 3 cups of water, 2/3 cup ground coffee, a funnel, a fine mesh sieve or cheesecloth. *A removable or disposable coffee filter would work as well.
1. Into your jar/large container, pour water and ground coffee. Stir well and cover.
2. Let the coffee sit out overnight or for about 12 hours, shaking or stirring a couple of times if possible.
3. To filter, first pour the coffee through the fine mesh sieve into second jar to get rid of the large grinds. To get rid of smaller grinds, line a small funnel with a cheesecloth (or paper towel if cheesecloth is not available) and pour coffee through back into a first jar. *Make sure to do this step over a sink, as it can get messy if you’re not careful
4. Serve in a glass with ice cubes and fix as you like it.