4 DIY cold coffee tips and tricks for summer from an expert
Coffee has entered a new era in recent years. While coffee producers, roasters and baristas are using technology to up their game, creativity combined with new innovative ideas are helping take coffee to the next level. We mean, who would have ever thought 20 years ago we’d be mixing coffee with tonic?
One side effect of this is that iced coffee has gone from something that is considered an occasional treat or dessert with towers of cream on top, to many people’s go-to morning brew. Cold brew coffee is a regular order all year round at many cafes around the world nowadays.
We love how people are exploring different horizons with coffee, so we asked our in-house coffee expert, Junior Vargas, to offer up a few tips and tricks on how you can DIY your own cold coffee creations.
With his background as a bartender, he knows his way around mixing things up and putting together original drink creations.
Here are a few recipes that Junior has put together himself, and below are 4 tips that will help you get to work on making your own.
Before we jump into the tips and tricks, here’s an overview of the coffee brewing methods you’ll need to use to produce your iced coffee creations:
The Cold brew (full immersion) method: this is one of the most popular ways of producing a cold brew, and this probably has something to do with how simple it is. You can check out how to make the perfect cold brew n the tips and tricks further down in this post.
Cold drip (drop by drop): the cold drip method is like the fast forward version of the cold brew method. This is the brewing technique that requires equipment looking like it belongs in a science lab aka. a cold brew coffee dripper. The continuous clean flow of drops that are absorbed by the coffee grounds in this method delivers a sweet and full-bodied coffee.
Espresso or Moka pot method: this is one of the classic ways of making a gorgeous brew. It involves forcing hot water through finely ground coffee under extremely high pressure.
The filter method: While all kinds of brewing techniques involve filtering, this method is also described as ‘low-pressure brewing,’ which makes it the polar opposite to the espresso method. This also means that the coffee it produces has a much more mellow, less-concentrated intensity.
Which of these brewing methods you use when creating your cold coffee depends on your own tastes and preferences.
4 tips from a coffee expert that will inspire you to make cold coffee creations that you’ll want to drink every day
1. Whatever method you’re using to brew your cold coffee – brew with high quality coffee
We cannot emphasise enough how important it is to go with a high quality coffee when brewing the base for your cold coffee. It’s essential that the brew brings to the drink all the things that make coffee glorious – the balance of sweet, acidic and bitter flavours. You’ll want to make sure that these characteristics of coffee are hitting your taste buds in your final drink.
Plus, don’t forget that coffee is your main ingredient and anything you add to it should complement, and add a twist to the coffee flavours.
2. Before making any cold coffee creation, answer these two questions to work out where to begin
There are two questions that you should always begin with when putting together your cold coffee masterpiece – a.) With milk (we highly recommend you consider plant-based milk –you won’t only lower your carbon footprint, but you’ll also add a pleasant nutty taste to your drink), or without? b.) With ice, or without?
Once you’ve got these two major questions covered, you can go ahead and start experimenting with additional ingredients.
However, keep in mind – the basic espresso is bitter and acidic (depending on the roasting level), so go for ingredients that have a sweet edge to them to balance out the drink.
3. Experiment with herbal, floral & citrus flavours
If you’re using the cold brew, or cold drip method, experiment with using ingredients that will lend a floral, herbal, or citrus flavour to the drink. Also consider adding a little sugar or syrup to balance things out.
4. The four simple and crowd-pleasing iced coffee creations that are easy to whip up
There are four simple cold coffee recipes that you can quickly whip up using the espresso, or cold brew techniques. These make for a perfect crowd-pleaser when you have friends over. Plus, you’ll probably always have the ingredients for these recipes lying around in your kitchen.
Espresso tonic: firstly, go with a quality coffee blend and a premium tonic. Brew your coffee using the espresso, or moka method and put it to the side. Fill a tall glass with ice cubes and add a slice of citrus fruit to enhance the acidic flavours of the coffee. Pour in the tonic, leaving a gap of two fingers at the top of the glass. Then, pour the shot of espresso in slowly, and finally garnish with some herbs, like thyme or rosemary.
Ice Latte: mix together a shot of espresso, iced cubes, and milk in a tall glass, and if you’re really feeling like treating yourself, go ahead and add a scoop of ice cream. Go on! You deserve it!
Cold brew: throw some coarsely ground coffee into some water (with a ratio of 1:10), and place it in the fridge for 8-12 hours. Strain the coffee (you can use any kind of filter, from paper or metal) until you’re left with only the delicious brewed coffee. If you’re really looking to wow your guests, serve it up with ginger beer.
Fun coffee fact: every gram of coffee absorbs 2 ml of water. This means, if you use 100g of coffee and 1000 ml of water, you’ll make 800 ml of cold brew.
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