Goodness knows I can’t function without a jolt of caffeine in the morning (My husband and coworkers can all attest to that). But now it’s summertime and despite what the song says, living is certainly not that easy. Living is just as busy as it was in the winter and spring, so caffeine is still required, but now I have to contend with heat, humidity, and a fairly old townhome that doesn’t muster up air conditioning as well as it used to.
Oh, I know what you’re going to say – why don’t I just make do with an ice-cold tea or soda instead?
No, no, no, that will not do. I need coffee, and I need it now, temperatures not withstanding. That means that it’s time for some refreshing iced coffee.
At first glance, it might seem like the only thing you need for making iced coffee is sticking it in the fridge and then plopping some ice cubes in it. But that would be wrong – there’s a technique to making the perfect iced coffee, and it starts the night before you need it.
First, double the amount of coffee grounds you usually use. When you add the ice cubes to the coffee, it will water it down. Therefore, to get the same amount of caffeine as you’re used to, it needs to be twice the strength. Just don’t taste it when it’s hot; it won’t taste good. However, there’s another option – make twice the amount of coffee at normal strength. Pour half of it into the pitcher to chill and half into ice cube trays to freeze. Then just use the coffee ice cubes in the cold coffee, and you’ve got coffee at normal strength!
Next, if you’re the type that likes sugar in your coffee, add it right after you brew it. If you try to add sugar to your drink after it’s already cold, the sugar will sink right to the bottom. Alternatively, you could make simple syrup, cool it and store it in the fridge to add to the coffee after chilled. This would be the best option for someone sharing the pitcher of cold java with another person.
Finally, you need some cream or milk. I tend to add a little extra milk to my iced coffee (skim for me, please!) because I think it tastes better slightly creamier. You can add this when you’re getting ready for work in the morning once the coffee has chilled overnight. Of course, you could just stop at the local Dunkin’ Donuts or local coffee shop to pick up a glass of iced coffee. Unless you’re a fan of super-creamy, super-sugary iced coffee, I suggest staying away from McDonald’s, which doesn’t offer iced coffee any other way (however, I have to give them props for their regular hot coffee, which is actually pretty tasty and super budget-friendly).
But as long as you can handle starting your coffee routine the night before, I recommend making your own. It’s cheaper and so easy to customize, making your mornings (as unbearably hot as they may be) much better overall.