I go through two phases with coffee: I can take it or leave it, or I'm obsessed. Right now, I'm in the obsessed phase, and I cannot get enough! Now that it's Summer, the idea of drinking hot coffee is really unappealing, but, I still want my caffeine fix, so iced coffee is obviously the next best thing. Or, it is the best thing, depending on how you see it. It's perfect for these long, hot months ahead, and the best part is, it's really easy to make!I know there are a lot of people out there who think that making iced coffee is essentially adding lots of ice cubes to hot coffee, or waiting until their hot coffee goes cold, and using the leftovers to make iced coffee. That's not exactly wrong, but, using cold brewed coffee makes all the difference here! It's a very rich, and smooth flavor (no bitterness whatsoever), that makes this drink irresistible. To make my own concentrate, I used a recipe by the Brown Eyed Baker, hers makes four quarts (12 servings), which is the perfect amount for storing in my tiny refrigerator. If you want to make a larger quantity at once, check out this recipe by The Pioneer Woman.
8 ounces ground coffee 4 quarts cold water Sweeteners as desired (sweetened condensed milk, half-and-half, syrups, etc.)
1. Place the coffee grounds in a large food-safe container and add the cold water. Mix with a large spoon, then cover and allow to sit overnight at room temperature.
2. Strain the mixture into a clean container through a fine-mesh sieve that has been lined with two layers of cheesecloth or coffee filters. Discard the coffee grounds. Chill mixture until ready to use.
3. To make the iced coffee, fill a glass with ice and fill it two-thirds full of the chilled coffee concentrate. Sweeten as desired. (I made mine with 2 tablespoons sweetened condensed milk and an additional splash of half-and-half.)
I bought two glass bottles with stoppers from IKEA, which hold all but about a cup's worth of the coffee concentrate. I then take that leftover coffee, and I pour into an ice cube tray, and make coffee ice cubes! I highly recommend doing this, because, A) you aren't wasting delicious coffee, and B) it stops your iced coffee from getting that watered down flavor as it begins to melt; with coffee ice cubes, you will only have more coffee melting into your drink, which makes for a much more enjoyable experience!
I'm a huge fan of adding mocha flavored creamers to mine, but if I want to keep it basic, I also really enjoy adding in vanilla syrup and light cream. You can add any combination of syrups and creamers that you'd like. I've been meaning to try this Fresh Mint Iced Coffee, because it sounds wonderful.
I really hate that it took me this long to start making my own iced coffee at home, it's so super simple, tastes better than anything Starbucks offers, and I'm saving tons of money! There's no cons to making your own iced coffee, whatsoever. Eh, except for all that cream I'm consuming... but, whatever.