Summer's is here, so that means it's iced coffee time.
But even though it’s the unofficial drink of summer, it’s easy to get tired of the same old iced coffee. By now you’ve perfected the cold-brew (or are simply content with pouring your hot coffee over ice, but we beg you, please don’t do that). But there’s plenty more to do with your iced coffee than a simple pour over ice.
Coffee shops around the country have perfected the art of the iced coffee, with unusual brewing methods and simple fixes to turn your ordinary to-go coffee into something extraordinary. And while you may not have the time or patience for a cold brew to drip for 12 hours, there are plenty of easy fixes you can whip up in no time. (Coffee ice cubes, anyone?)
So don’t get bored with your iced coffee just yet. We’ve found tips from all over the web to help you turn your iced coffee into a tasty treat. We promise, 2013 will be the summer of iced coffee.
1. Japanese Iced Coffee
If you want an iced coffee as good as your favorite coffee shop makes it, try brewing it the Japanese way. Most coffee pros, like Aaron Ultimo of Ultimo Coffee or the folks behind Counter Culture Coffee, swear that the Japanese iced coffee method is the only true brewing method for the freshest-tasting iced coffee. The Japanese method of making iced coffee replaces the amount of water you use to brew with ice instead. Fill your carafe with just the right amount of ice, 8 ounces, and brew your normal pour-over coffee. That way, the coffee isn’t diluted with tons of water and keeps all of its great aromatics and taste. We love Counter Coffee Culture’s tutorial on iced coffee.
2. Thai Iced Coffee
It’s no secret that we love Thai coffee for its coffee roasts. But our newly discovered love for Thai iced coffee may just send us over the edge. If you have condensed milk and cardamom on hand, you’ve got all the fixings for a spicy version of your everyday iced coffee. If you’re looking to turn your iced coffee into a real treat, try adding whipped cream, cinnamon, or heavy cream to make it more of a dessert.
3. Vietnamese Iced Coffee
A Vietnamese iced coffee is another sweet variation on the traditional iced coffee. It’s an awful lot like a Thai iced coffee, except that it’s not made with cardamom. Many believe that Vietnamese iced coffee is made with chicory (much like the famous New Orleans iced coffee, made by Blue Bottle Coffee), but true coffee connoisseurs insist that the secret to Vietnamese iced coffee is not chicory — it’s the coffee. Instead of using lighter-bodied Arabica roasts, Vietnamese iced coffee makes uses of darker Robusta roasts. Many people dislike Robusta roasts for how dark it is, but when balanced with a bit of condensed milk, your mind just might be changed. Coffee Geek has a great recipe for Vietnamese iced coffee; and if you’re looking for something bit sweeter and more New Orleans-style, Blue Bottle has an iced coffee recipe that’s more dessert than drink.
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