I want iced coffee and I want it now.
May 30, 2012 7:26 AM   Subscribe

How can I speed up making fresh brewed iced coffee?

My Mr. Coffee drip coffee machine can produce a nice hot pot in a few minutes. But how to cool it? Ice cubes will dilute it, putting it in the freezer will melt everything else in there. Something along the lines of the asavage Coke can cooling method?
posted by gwint to Food & Drink (25 answers total) 17 users marked this as a favorite
I either use my Aeropress to make a concentrated shot that needs dilution anyway, or I cold brew coffee and store it in the fridge.
posted by elsietheeel at 7:28 AM on May 30, 2012 [3 favorites]

You can freeze coffee to make flavored ice cubes. Or you can make cold brewed iced coffee instead.
posted by bcwinters at 7:30 AM on May 30, 2012 [6 favorites]

When I worked at a coffee shop, we'd just grind up coffee on the french press setting and put it in a bucket with some room-temperature water overnight, then strain it the next day. It keeps for several days, and in my opinion it tastes better than cooled-off drip brew coffee. Less harsh, more delicate.

If you want fresh iced coffee every day, you could actually just put some coffee and room-temp water in a french press at like 8pm, set it on the counter overnight, and press it in the morning. It would take about ten seconds!
posted by showbiz_liz at 7:32 AM on May 30, 2012 [5 favorites]

You could keep some whiskey stones or other dense heat conductors in the freezer, and pop them into your coffee to cool it without dilution. You could amplify this effect by freezing a thick glass or ceramic mug.

Do you put milk or cream into your iced coffee? Can you try making ice cubes out of that? If you take it sweet, maybe scoop vanilla ice cream into it instead.
posted by gauche at 7:32 AM on May 30, 2012

1) Make ice cubes out of cooled coffee, thus minimising dilution.
2) Double the coffee strength so you're essentially making a concentrate and balancing it with ice.
3) Smitten Kitchen's cold-brewed iced coffee
posted by nickrussell at 7:32 AM on May 30, 2012 [1 favorite]

I should note that you will want to pour hot liquid into a frozen glass quite slowly to prevent it shattering.
posted by gauche at 7:33 AM on May 30, 2012

Cold brewed coffee is the way to go. You'll use more coffee grounds per cup, but there is a huge taste improvement.
posted by kellyblah at 7:33 AM on May 30, 2012 [1 favorite]

This is potentially messy, depending on your bowls.

Put ice and water into a big bowl (glass if you have it), take smaller bowl (metal is recommended) and put it into the icewater bath you just made. Pour coffee inside and stir the coffee.

The icewater should suck the heat out of the coffee pretty quickly. (you might also consider putting salt in the icewater bath)
posted by royalsong at 7:41 AM on May 30, 2012

Cold brew is totally the way to go. A single Toddy batch lasts me about a week. I even use it for hot coffee now. & since it's concentrated, you can control how diluted it gets.
posted by activitystory at 7:50 AM on May 30, 2012 [2 favorites]

If you like a fresh cup every day, I would do the concentrate and then pour it over a lot of ice (if you like it black) or ice and cold milk (but put sugar in the hot coffee first if you use sugar.) Stir, enjoy!
posted by Yellow at 7:56 AM on May 30, 2012

Cold brew coffee is awesome, and is how I enjoy iced coffee all summer long. It is doubtless the best way.

But sometimes (rarely) I want it sugar-sweetened, and I never manage to keep simple syrup around. So I'll do a 6-cup moka pot, pour it into a large cup with sugar, add ice to dilute, then pour over ice.
posted by uncleozzy at 8:00 AM on May 30, 2012

Seconding the Toddy (and cold brewing in general) you end up with a coffee concentrate you can store in your fridge (I make it and bring a nalgene of it to work) straight over ice is a great iced coffee, add some water and throw it in the micro for an instant hot.

posted by bitdamaged at 8:08 AM on May 30, 2012 [1 favorite]

Lifehacker Australia outlined how to make Japanese Iced Coffee. I have a friend who loves iced coffee and he prefers this method over the Toddy.
posted by bCat at 8:10 AM on May 30, 2012 [1 favorite]

Iced coffee made with a cocktail mixer
posted by ceiba at 8:36 AM on May 30, 2012 [1 favorite]

Nthing cold-brew. But if not one place I waited tables didn't have iced coffee but customers would often order it and another waitress taught me this trick to serve ice coffee using hot coffee. It's a little hard to explain and the internet isnt turning up any obvious examples but you take a metal table knife, hold the handle from the very top with the blade pointing down into a glass. Very slowly pour the coffee such that it hits the handle and the dribbles down the blade into the glass. It takes a little practice but between the handle absorbing heat and the increased air exposure it works pretty well. We'd always do this into a glass with ice though, as it doesn't get it cold-cold, but it won't melt the ice and dilute as much as if you were pouring it in hot.
posted by radiomayonnaise at 8:57 AM on May 30, 2012

Nthing cold brew. The acidity is much lower and I can now drink as much strong coffee as I like and not annoy my poor stomach.
posted by effluvia at 9:16 AM on May 30, 2012

Cold brew all the way.

Toddy makers are really, really cheap, even compared to a nice french press. This is a classic case of using the right tool for the job. If you're planning on making a bunch of cold brew, there's no reason not to get one. I'm a fairly kitchen-gadget (and coffee-gadget) averse person, but making cold brew with other methods just doesn't taste as good, and is a total hassle.

Toddy, and Filtron cold brew makers use bonded paper or wool filters that are much, much better at producing an even, low-acid, round flavored cup than the "grind-n-strain" method mentioned above, and you don't have any sediment left over.
posted by furnace.heart at 9:24 AM on May 30, 2012

I like cold-brew too, but have found the Japanese method (using a Melitta one-cup or 8-cup pour-through) to be perfectly acceptable.

Vietnamese style is going to give you a stronger brew than a pour-through. I keep meaning to pick up a phin and see how that tastes at home (without the condensed milk).
posted by Lyn Never at 9:27 AM on May 30, 2012 [1 favorite]

When I want iced coffee at work, I can't do fancy brewing methods, though I've at least got the "espresso" setting on the pod machine.

The slower option: since one of my mugs is a tall skinny handleless shape and the other is fatter and more bowl-like, I can put a layer of ice into the fatter mug and nest the thinner mug into it. Whole mug including coffee sits in the ice bath for 15-20 minutes, then pour the lukewarm coffee over ice in a fresh glass.

The faster option:
1. Shot of hot espresso into mug A. Pour into mug B.
2. Get glass of ice from cafeteria. Fill mug A with ice, pause until the walls feel cool.
3. Dump ice back into cold glass, coffee B --> A. Ice from cup --> B. pause.
4. Repeat cycle 2-3 times, using ice water to chill the empty ceramic mug, transferring the coffee in and cool the warm mug down. This gets it to a lukewarm temperature
6. Add sugar (not earlier, it's easier to clean up unsweetened drips). Get fresh ice in the glass, and pour the well-travelled coffee in.
posted by aimedwander at 12:04 PM on May 30, 2012

i've moved entirely to cold brew coffee. i hear people rave about things like the Toddy makers, but i guess i don't understand why that's preferable to just soaking the beans in a pitcher and then straining them with paper towels/cheese cloth and a a sieve. but, what ever works for people is fine by me.

i usually do 4/3 of a cup of grounds in a two liter pitcher and then fill it with water, wait 10-16 hours, strain, pour over ice. since i'm the only one drinking it, i can make the coffee exactly the stretngh i want it, compensating for melting cubes. i found a lot of recipes made the concentrate stronger than i liked, so i dialed it back just a little.

personally, i prefer super dark roasts for iced coffee. i asked a question about that here and the consensus seemed to be that it's just a taste preference, so try a few things out. cold brew will taste different than hot brewed, so you might want different beans for it.
posted by nadawi at 12:04 PM on May 30, 2012 [1 favorite]

I like an iced Americano. I fix up a batch of coffee in my Moka pot and pour it over a cup packed full of ice.
posted by advicepig at 1:57 PM on May 30, 2012

Vietnamese way is to brew strong with or without condensed milk in the receptable and then pour over ice. The assumption is the brewed stuff is potent and needs to be diluted with those ice cubes. Very similar in approach to the Japanese method.
posted by jadepearl at 2:05 PM on May 30, 2012

I do both my coffee and tea at night, put them in the fridge, and pour them over ice in the morning.
posted by mudpuppie at 2:47 PM on May 30, 2012

When I worked at Starbucks, we brewed batches of coffee with half the usual amount of water, and then dumped it over ice. I do the same thing at home with my cheap drip coffemaker: 8-10 cups of water and as much ground coffee as I can fit in the filter dumped over a few trays of ice in a plastic pitcher. The coffee is so dark that I can handle a lot of milk without losing its punch, and as long as I don't get grounds in the pitcher, it can usually sit in the fridge for a few days without the flavor deteriorating too much.
posted by catalytics at 6:34 AM on May 31, 2012

« Older Somerset Maugham'a screenplay of "The Razor's...   |   I got blisters on my fingers Newer »
This thread is closed to new comments.