How To Make iced Coffee
With a little research, you’ll find out that a lot of coffee shops – both corporate and independent – depend upon using a base mix to create iced blended beverages. Ingredients used in one corporate company’s mix includes a whole list of ingredients such as: high fructose corn syrup, sugar, milk powder, corn syrup solids, xanthan gum or algin (thickener), sodium caseinate (milk protein), combined with a mixture of concentrated coffee and water.
That’s just the base. Oh wait, there’s more.
This is not all that can go into your particular drink. Further additions may be added, depending on the order. Baristas load blending pitchers with a proportion of the mystery mix, as well as optional flavored syrup, and ice. After blending, this icey beverage is served up dressed with whipped topping (or cream) and finished off with another syrup if you like.
Before you know it, with the base mix, flavored syrup and optional addition of toppings, you could be consuming a drink packed not only with coffee and ice, but a very long list of ingredients.
To each their own, right?
How To Make iced Coffee At Home? it is actually very simple.
Over a year ago, I began working on my own recipe for making iced coffee drinks at home. I wanted freedom and control over the ingredients. Saving money was a welcome bonus. There’s a reason it took a year. Experimenting took time with lots of testing, tasting and tweaking. I knew what I wanted – coffee, dairy, sweetener. I knew what I didn’t want – ice cream, drink or pudding mix, or instant coffee or espresso powder.
Well, I finally did it iced Coffee! I’ve created an iced coffee beverage recipe of my very own and I am thrilled to share it with you. First, I need to share some tips. Bear with me.
Equipment. I’ve blended a lot of drinks. I’ve owned and broken more than one blender. I now own a Vitamix, specifically the Professional 500. It is awesome. I became familiar with Vitamix while working as a barista, and no other machine even comes close in my humble opinion. It is the blender used by many food service retailers and restaurants, including Jamba Juice, Starbucks and Dairy Queen. I’m not telling you to buy one. You’ll want a high powered blender for this recipe for best results.
Measurements. For accuracy, I have written the recipe in grams. I do this for several reasons:
1) Using cup measurments will yield inaccurate results since I’ve written the recipe in steps – making the coffee, creating the coffee base, freezing ice, and making the drink itself.
2) Using ingredients by weight will enable you to reproduce the same results consistently, especially when it comes to measuring ice. Since ice cube trays vary, the size of the cubes themselves will also depend on the tray you’re using.
3) Knowing the weights of the ingredients will allow some flexibility. For instance, if you’d like your drink thicker, then drop the amount of coffee base you’re using, and make a note. If you like a thinner consistency, that’s easy to do. Increase the amount of coffee base.
If you don’t have a scale, that’s alright. I’ve included approximate cup measurements for you below in parentheses.
Simply put, knowing what the ingredients weigh, will allow you more control.
I should mention that I prefer to use fresh roasted espresso coffee beans for this recipe. The espresso roast I used gave the ice cubes a rich, dark hue mixed with golden shades of caramel. Lovely. I know that coffee preferences vary for each individual so feel free to experiement. Use whatever coffee you wish – light, medium, french roast or espresso beans. And, substitute decaf beans if you’re looking to lower the caffeine content, or even try a mix of regular and decaf beans. It’s up to you.
Ready? Let’s get started.
Prepare the Coffee:
Preparing coffee is a really simple thing, let's prepare it in 4 steps.
- 140 GRAMS (2 cups) coffee beans
- 1,384 grams (5 1/2 cups) cold filtered water
You will also need:
- a scale
- a 51 ounce (12 cup capacity) french press or sterile glass jar and lid.
- a Vitamix or high powered blender
Grind the coffee beans coarsely for french press. Add the coffee to the french press. If you don’t have a french press, you can use a large glass jar.
Add the ground coffee to the french Pour the remaining water into the french press. There will be some room for the plunger later. Cover with a lid.
Refrigerate for 12 hours.
Take the french press out of the fridge. Remove the lid. With the plunger in the UP position, put the french press plunger in place, and press the plunger down slowly until it stops. If you used a jar, simply filter the grounds from the coffee. This can be accomplished by using a filter (cloth filters work well) placed inside a mesh basket over another clean container. Proceed to preparing the coffee base.(see below)
Prepare the Coffee Base:
Coffee Base is one of the most important elements, let's prepare carefully.
- 174 GRAMS french press coffee (3/4 cup)
- 189 GRAMS half and half or use one of the substitutes below. (3/4 cup)
You’ll also need:
- A sterile container
- ice cube trays
In a clean, sterile container, combine the coffee and half and half (or one of the substitutes listed below). Refrigerate the coffee base.
Pour the remaining coffee into ice cube trays and freeze for several hours or overnight and then proceed to making the iced coffee blended beverage.(see below)
Make the Iced Blended Coffee Beverage.
Place the following into a blender (Vitamix blender preferred, using a 32 oz. Vitamix container) in the order listed:
• 189 grams (3/4 cup) coffee base, or use 117 grams (1/2 cup) coffee base for a thicker drink
• 34 grams (2 tablespoons) organic cane sugar (or to taste), or one of the substitutes.(see below)
• 1 dash xanthan gum, optional.
• 179 grams coffee ice cubes (1 1/4-ish cups)
1. In a blender pitcher, add the ingredients in the order listed.
2. Blend on HIGH – or according to the recommended setting of your blender’s manufacturer – for 45-60 seconds, or until desired consistency is reached.
Makes one brimming 379 gram-ish (16 ounce glass) drink – approximate, depending on the amount of coffee base and ice used.
Note: Xanthan gum is used in drinks, sauces and dressings as a binder to prevent separation. I have a dash measurement spoon that I use:
Feel free to substitute one of the following, to taste. I say to taste due to the fact that the ‘sweetness level’ of any given sweetener is purely subjective and opinion varies. So, what’s considered “too sweet” to one individual may not be “sweet enough” to another. Adjust the level of sweetener as desired:
• maple syrup
• flavored coffee syrup
…and the list goes on.
Half and half Substitutes:
Once again, feel free to substitute one of the following as a dairy free alternative. Just like the above, one may be preferrable over another for any individual, so this is subjective as well. So, use what you’re comfortable with or have on hand. Using one of the substitutes below may yield a different consistency.
• almond milk or other nut milk
• hemp milk
• rice milk
• oat milk
• coconut milk
• soy milk
• nondairy creamer
• or substitute the half and half with: whole milk, skim milk, whipping cream, etc.
….and the list goes on.
I hope you enjoy my recipe.
Please do not forget to comment.