Tuesday, April 15, 2014

Homemade Iced Coffee

With the warm weather returning, I am looking forward to once again enjoying frosty blender drinks. Cold-brewed coffee syrup is easy to make, and far superior to using normal brewed coffee, which can taste quite bitter when chilled. Once you have coffee syrup in your fridge, making fancy iced and blender coffees at home is easy. Bring on the brain freeze!

filtered water
your favorite coffee, ideally coarse grind

pitcher or bottle (choose one that pours well, and is wide enough to easily clean out used coffee grounds)
large funnel
several paper coffee filters
bottle with cap or stopper (or two smaller bottles) to store coffee syrup; clean wine or pop bottles work well

If you have a kitchen scale, measure the water and coffee using an approximate ratio of 10 parts water to one part coffee. Some of the water will be soaked up by the coffee, so use more water than will fill your storage bottle. Here are some rough guidelines:

Bottle size
24 ounce
wine bottle
(750 mL)
1 quart
pop bottle
(1 liter)
2 quart pop
or juice bottle
(1.89 liter)
3¾ cups
(900 mL)
5 cups
(1250 mL)
9 ½ cups
(2400 mL)
Coffee weight
3 ounces
(90 grams)
¼ pound
(125 grams)
½ pound
(250 grams)
Approximate coffee volume
1 cup
1¼ cups
2½ cups

Combine coffee and water in your pitcher; stir well to ensure all the coffee is soaked. Set aside for 8 – 12 hours. Don’t let it go more than 12 hours! The flavor won’t suffer, but filtering the coffee becomes progressively slower the longer the coffee has been left to soak up water. Likewise, if you use a fine grind instead of coarse, filter the coffee sooner rather than later.

Warning: this next step takes a bit of time.
Set a large funnel over a clean bottle and insert a coffee filter. Gently pour coffee syrup through filter to strain grounds. Most of the coffee will have settled to the bottom of your pitcher; take care to not disturb the grounds while pouring off the syrup, in order to keep the filter from clogging too quickly. Filters will get clogged to the point that the coffee syrup just doesn’t run through; replace filters as the flow of coffee slows down.

Once the syrup is completely filtered, cap the bottle and chill for several hours. Syrup will last for a month or more in the refrigerator.

To make an iced cappuccino

¾ cup coffee syrup
1/3 cup half & half (10%) cream, or ½ cup milk
½ cup ice cubes
2 teaspoons sugar (or equivalent sweetener), or more to taste

Combine all ingredients in a mini blender and pulse until ice is completely crushed. Pour into your favorite glass, add a straw and enjoy! 

Mocha variation

Add 1 tablespoon cocoa powder with the rest of the ingredients.

Happy Hour variation

Add a shot of your favourite liqueur: Irish cream, Kahlúa,  amaretto, crème de cacao, or Frangelico.