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The Iced Coffee Economy
March 23, 2012 8:12 PM   Subscribe

Why iced coffee costs so much more than the hot stuff.
posted by reenum (82 comments total) 29 users marked this as a favorite

 
Meh. Iced coffee doesn't need all that prep, honestly. An iced americano can survive icing.
posted by clvrmnky at 8:15 PM on March 23, 2012 [4 favorites]


I don't think my Starbucks charges more for iced. Not that I've noticed.
posted by Chaussette and the Pussy Cats at 8:20 PM on March 23, 2012


"Need" is subjective. Cold-brewed iced coffee is smoother and less acidic, and, many people say, far better. I agree. Whether something can "survive" icing has nothing to do with whether it's good after being iced. Good recipe here.
posted by liketitanic at 8:20 PM on March 23, 2012 [17 favorites]


The only Starbucks purchase I'll make is in the gas station when I buy those bottled Frappuccino thingies, because there's just a lack of non-soda non-energy-drink caffeine sources. I once tried to make my own with a bottle of Yoohoo and 16 oz of brewed coffee, but it neither saved me money nor improved the taste.
posted by RobotVoodooPower at 8:40 PM on March 23, 2012 [3 favorites]


I don't know if it's a coffee sin, but we usually order a regular coffee and ask for a cup of ice. It works just fine, just make sure you mix in the sugar before pouring it in the ice cup.
posted by Tarumba at 8:41 PM on March 23, 2012 [2 favorites]


Slap some ice in a blender with some very vanilla soymilk, a dash of sugar, and a couple of shots of espresso and you have yourself a damn nice iced coffee.
posted by Malice at 8:42 PM on March 23, 2012 [3 favorites]


i mostly make only iced coffee at home. i figure it actually saves me money because i never throw out the end of a pot at night. also, it's really quite nice to only have to prepare coffee twice a week. i find the best way to strain it is cheesecloth or paper towels in a fine mesh strainer.

my "recipe" is to take about a cup to a cup and half of medium ground coffee, and 2 liters of cold water. stick it in the fridge for 12-18 hours. strain it, pour it into a glass of ice and add a teaspoon of cream.

icing hot coffee works just fine, but i find the tastes to be totally different.
posted by nadawi at 8:43 PM on March 23, 2012 [1 favorite]


I was going to say something snarky about the extravagance of paying $3 for coffee, but liketitanic's recipe stopped me dead in my tracks. There's no reason I can't do that, and it would be great in the summer. I'm sold. But I'm still not paying any $3 for a cup of coffee.
posted by craichead at 8:45 PM on March 23, 2012


if you like sugar in your iced coffee (i don't, but i understand the allure) you might want to make a batch of simple syrup once a month and store it in the fridge. then you don't have to worry about dissolving the sugar.
posted by nadawi at 8:47 PM on March 23, 2012 [3 favorites]


there's just a lack of non-soda non-energy-drink caffeine sources
Dunno if it counts as an energy drink but this Spark stuff was my caffeine of choice for high school finals. I drank 2 servings once on an empty stomach and kept shaking for an hour.
posted by nicebookrack at 8:51 PM on March 23, 2012 [2 favorites]


Whether something can "survive" icing has nothing to do with whether it's good after being iced.

So are bros good after being iced, or are they just surviving it?
posted by asterix at 8:51 PM on March 23, 2012 [2 favorites]


Is this something I'd have to live in a place that has significant changes in temperature from season to season to understand?
posted by MattMangels at 8:52 PM on March 23, 2012


In Japan, where iced coffee is a big thing, coffee shops hand out little tubes of simple syrup instead of sugar packets. It's kind of genius.

I don't like my coffee sweetened, but even so I keep simple syrup on hand in the summer. It's great in lemonade and limeade and various sweet summer cocktails. Ginger simple syrup is delicious in almost anything.
posted by craichead at 8:53 PM on March 23, 2012 [5 favorites]


omg, ginger simple syrup. i think this thread just changed my life. or at least my summer cocktails.
posted by nadawi at 8:54 PM on March 23, 2012 [9 favorites]


Cold brewing does sound slick and too easy to ignore and I'll be trying it soon. I typically just make extra drip coffee (I always drink hot coffee in the morning, regardless of weather) and let it cool down on its own before refrigerating it. I would guess that unnecessarily bringing the temperature up and then down probably imparts more bitterness and acidity into the final product, but it's good enough for me, unless my objective is specifically to make just iced coffee. I'm big on half and half and Splenda / Stevia though I do want to taste the underlying coffee too :)
posted by aydeejones at 8:56 PM on March 23, 2012


Oh and I'm down with the Iced Americanos too. I never buy "Iced Coffee proper" because I never want it watered down that much, but Iced Americanos guarantee you a better bang for your buck.

I typically want 4-6 shots in a large cup and use the aforementioned cream and sweetener to get the bitterness down to a level where it still tastes rich and complex and bitter, but creamy and sweet too.

Often "Iced Coffee" seems to imply an abundance of dairy and sweetener (think McDonald's iced coffees) and I'd be curious to experiment with cold brewing to see how much I can dial back on condiments and enjoy the coffee itself with less "undesirables" extracted into the product.
posted by aydeejones at 9:01 PM on March 23, 2012


And on a slightly different topic, Thai Tea and Thai Boba Tea rock too. Back on topic, Vietnamese Iced Coffee is the bee's knees, and way too rich for regular consumption.
posted by aydeejones at 9:04 PM on March 23, 2012 [6 favorites]


For cold-brewing, I have and recommend the Bodum Bean. Makes quite a bit at once. I haven't tried the Toddy but I'm guessing it's the same deal (gigantic French press made for sitting in the fridge overnight?)
posted by Foosnark at 9:08 PM on March 23, 2012


I had Thai and Vietnamese coffees before, I found the Thai coffee to be a little bit grainy and bitter, but not as grainy as Turkish coffee. Still, very good.
posted by Malice at 9:19 PM on March 23, 2012


aydeejones - living in Hanoi, i can attest to the richness of vn coffee. It packs a punch too, being slow drip and mostly robusta. Doesn't ever seem to stop Hanoians enjoying it by the bucketload every day though...
posted by loominpapa at 9:21 PM on March 23, 2012


Vietnamese iced coffee is my indulgence of choice. Rarely do I need that much caffeine or sugar in one sitting, but when I do? Heave on earth. NOMS.
posted by stoneweaver at 9:23 PM on March 23, 2012 [1 favorite]


Those of you doing this at home: Freeze leftover coffee into ice cubes. Use that to chill your coffee without diluting it.
posted by Casuistry at 9:23 PM on March 23, 2012 [14 favorites]


related http://www.metafilter.com/73299/Espresso-on-Ice-is-Not-Okay

NOT OKAY
posted by mulligan at 9:25 PM on March 23, 2012 [3 favorites]


Ahh, I didn't know that vn coffee (I like that abbreviation) was predominantly robusta. That explains a lot. I'm pretty sure the stuff I typically drink is authentic, as we've got a lot of Vietnamese restaurants and markets around the Denver area that pride themselves on the real deal.

I certainly could imagine drinking it daily if I weren't mostly sitting at a desk all day :) I didn't understand the awesomeness of sweetened condensed milk until I tried it in this context, and within a week or too bought the gear, got all jazzed up about it, and moved on to the next temporary obsession after a month or two. Whenever I get pho it's a toss-up between Thai tea or vn coffee.
posted by aydeejones at 9:28 PM on March 23, 2012


Those of you doing this at home: Freeze leftover coffee into ice cubes. Use that to chill your coffee without diluting it.

You, my friend, are a FUCKING GENIUS and you have made my world a better place.
posted by BitterOldPunk at 9:37 PM on March 23, 2012 [6 favorites]


Cold brewed is the way and the light, but the majority of places I've been don't do it. Starbucks doesn't, but it's still not bad. When places just pour coffee over ice I wonder why they don't just spit in it too.
posted by bongo_x at 9:37 PM on March 23, 2012 [1 favorite]


Before I shut up after hogging the thread I feel obligated to talk about the economics of iced coffee as discussed in TFA.

I wonder if it'd be possible to build a contraption that rapidly produces cold brew by blasting pressurized cold water through grounds and recirculating it through a chilled heat sink reverse-radiator thingie (too lazy to look up exactly what I mean right now) to keep it from getting too hot under pressure. Maybe it's already been done and is just too expensive; did I mention I'm too lazy to look things up at the moment?

I don't go to very many indie coffee shops though I've got a couple decent ones near work...I didn't really know that cold brewing was a big "thing" and if I were to run a coffee shop I'd make a premium cold brew and sell something cheaper and easier to make on demand (like Americanos but with cheaper coffee) alongside to entice more of the folks who would otherwise go to McDonald's or wherever. McDonald's iced coffee is a fake sickly sweet guilty pleasure for me on rare occasion though it seems there's maybe 4oz of coffee in a 24oz serving.
posted by aydeejones at 9:39 PM on March 23, 2012


Just switch to tequila in summer. Problem solved.
posted by mannequito at 9:49 PM on March 23, 2012 [5 favorites]


bongo_x: "When places just pour coffee over ice I wonder why they don't just spit in it too."

Because pouring coffee over ice cools it, while spitting in it does not appreciably change its temperature, is unhygienic and disgusting, and would probably displease the customers?
posted by Joakim Ziegler at 9:53 PM on March 23, 2012 [10 favorites]


Why isn't there a centrifugal coffee maker?

That would be perfect for making cold coffee without waiting around too long, I'd think.

I've been thinking of making my own with an old Acme juicer I've got, and my 7 amp variac to make it go slow when loading the coffee. Then you could speed it up to really extract everything and pass the liquid through as many times as you wanted.

But I think you'd have to use half a pound of ground coffee at a time.
posted by jamjam at 9:57 PM on March 23, 2012


i love hot coffee on a hot day. i could never get into the iced stuff.
posted by fuzzypantalones at 10:02 PM on March 23, 2012 [2 favorites]


I just received my first French press for christmas - the biggie version and man.. I've never once used it to make hot coffee. It's always 1 cup fresh ground, 2-3 cups water - steep over night, press and pour over ice with a little water.

No milk, no sugar, no nothing except sweet wonderful coffee with a heart pounding kick. (On tough days I've been known to pour the concentrate straight over ice, wait 5 minutes and call that enough dilution)

Being a homebrewer as well, I can testify - cold brewed coffee makes a much better addition to beer than hot brewed.
posted by drewbage1847 at 10:04 PM on March 23, 2012 [3 favorites]


then charge around $2 for a product with pretty reliable sales.

I LOL'ed.
posted by ShutterBun at 10:05 PM on March 23, 2012


I was introduced to iced coffee by drinking regular coffee on ice. I like that bitter taste.

I still tend to prefer hot coffee, even in the summer.
posted by jb at 10:05 PM on March 23, 2012


I studied analytic chemistry under the guy who had set the standards for the Mexican coffee industry.

For a semester i had access to coffee cold brewed in a cold water jacketed flask on a magnetic stirrer and then filtered with a sinteted glass filter in a vacuum flask.

His name was Salvador, the most appropriate name ever. He would start brewing at the start of the lecture, and by the time we started an 8 hour process we had 3 liters of the best possible coffee to keep us awake while staring at a thermometer.

Now i have a home built magnetic stirrer, made from a computer fan and hard drive magnets. I don't have a jacketed flask, but I add ice to my 2 litter Erlenmeyer. I can't afford a vaccum pump, so I have to filter using an aeropress. I have enough CO2 to prevent premature oxidation, and I am saving for a nitrogen setup.

My cold brewed coffee is like an 8 out of 10, but still, to make it worth my time and effort, I would have to charge you $5 a cup.

That and my home brewed beer, like my single malt single hops caramalized first wort 15% scotch ale makes it completely worth it to be my friend and deal with my occasional assholery.

I just wish I could make a living out of it.
posted by Ayn Rand and God at 11:04 PM on March 23, 2012 [29 favorites]


i've never used a specialized machine or contraption for it - just grounds, a pitcher, and some time. i agitate it a little at first just to make sure it all gets wet.

as for "diluting it" - just make it stronger so the ice adds the water you'd want. freezing coffee cubes is good, but honestly, i find them more of a pain than they're worth.
posted by nadawi at 11:24 PM on March 23, 2012


Those of you doing this at home: Freeze leftover coffee into ice cubes. Use that to chill your coffee without diluting it.

The best Iced Coffee in Williamsburg is in a tiny little Italian place on Grand Avenue, which makes a sweetened cafe americano and then freezes it, and then crushes the ice into the cup. No dilution, cold as hell, and delicious.
posted by Navelgazer at 11:29 PM on March 23, 2012


You can also use those coffee ice cubes in a glass of Baileys. Mmm.
posted by ODiV at 11:37 PM on March 23, 2012 [3 favorites]


This thread is making me wish that morning would hurry up and get here so I can get jacked up on a few cups of coffee.
posted by girl Mark at 12:11 AM on March 24, 2012 [1 favorite]


Ahh, I didn't know that vn coffee (I like that abbreviation) was predominantly robusta.

It's not just that there's robusta as well as arabica - it's that there are other varieties most people have never heard of, let alone tasted. For example, I have a bag of Trung Nguyen Gourmet Blend here that's made with arabica, robusta, excelsa and catimor.
posted by obiwanwasabi at 12:42 AM on March 24, 2012 [2 favorites]


(the following is linked from LiveStrong; who knows if it's accurate, you can get studies to show anything I think. In any case, I am paying attention to this.)
Unfiltered vs. Filtered Coffee
Drinking unfiltered, boiled coffee caused total cholesterol levels to increase by 23 mg per dL and LDL cholesterol levels to increase by 14 mg per dL, according to an analysis of 14 clinical studies. The same 14 studies showed that filtered coffee caused total cholesterol to rise by only 3 mg per dL, and had no effect on LDL cholesterol, reports "Coffee," a 2008 article from the Linus Pauling Institute. The institute reported that filtering coffee removes most of the two cholesterol-causing compounds called cafestol and kahweol.


More caffeine in coffee that's cold-brewed, and it's less acidic for sure. And I love it.

But I brew mine hot then ice it down, because all those tasty oils get caught in the paper filter, oil that would otherwise get caught in the arteries of my heart.

I guess I could find a way to filter it after cold-brewing it; I have to admit that some of it is the convenience of just chunking a filter in there, a scoop of coffee and turning the thing on.

Coldbrewed really is so much less acidic, brewed overnight in the fridge, tasty indeed.
posted by dancestoblue at 12:44 AM on March 24, 2012


I think I prefer the old school European habit of ordering an espresso or machiatto or cortardo with a glass of cold water on the side; fizzy water if you're feeling flash. Most iced coffees I encounter remind me of desert in a cup.
posted by rhymer at 1:03 AM on March 24, 2012


Iced tea, however, is nice. Without sugar.
posted by rhymer at 1:06 AM on March 24, 2012


I remember being surprised when I ordered iced coffee at a hotel in Japan and got what was basically a cold black coffee in a glass instead of the rich milky version I'm used to (apparently I come from one of the few places in the world where, according to wikipedia anyway, the local iced coffee is more popular than Coca Cola). But it sounds like this might not just be a Japanese thing, hey.
posted by A Thousand Baited Hooks at 2:34 AM on March 24, 2012 [1 favorite]


The only Starbucks purchase I'll make is in the gas station when I buy those bottled Frappuccino thingies, because there's just a lack of non-soda non-energy-drink caffeine sources. I once tried to make my own with a bottle of Yoohoo and 16 oz of brewed coffee, but it neither saved me money nor improved the taste.

Blend some really cold whole milk with some instant espresso powder (like Medaglia D'Oro which you can get online from Java Cabana if your local supermarket doesn't carry it) and some sugar. Way cheaper than those spendy little bottles and tastes just as good. Has to be whole milk though, maybe 2% in a pinch, but definitely not skim. Which is why you shouldn't really have this too often.

(On the linked page, the instant espresso powder is the third item down. You want the instant powder in the little jars, not the regular ground coffee in the can, 'cause that would taste really horrible.)
posted by marsha56 at 2:37 AM on March 24, 2012 [1 favorite]


rhymer: "Most iced coffees I encounter remind me of desert in a cup."

In this case, I think they might have forgotten to add water to their instant coffee.
posted by Joakim Ziegler at 3:28 AM on March 24, 2012 [5 favorites]


I don't know how widespread this is amongst the larger roasters, but I know for a fact that Stumptown Coffee uses 10-20 day old coffee in their cold brew. Once upon a time they ran a bunch of trials on cold brew and coffee of different roast dates. They found that the best cold brew was actually made from older coffee.

They use coffee that's left over from fufiling wholesale orders...so, that's actually a waste control for them. As far as other coffee shops that don't roast their own, yeah, i get the article's point, but if you're roasting your own, chances are you're not losing that much coin doing cold brew....

Oh yeah, and making toddy at home is super easy. And as with all home-brew methods, waaaaaay cheaper.
posted by furnace.heart at 4:05 AM on March 24, 2012


> It's not just that there's robusta as well as arabica ...

Most of the bite in Vietnamese coffee comes from the chicory, though. I drink it as an advanced condensed milk delivery system.
posted by scruss at 4:47 AM on March 24, 2012


Steeplechase Coffee, the local place in this Brooklyn neighborhood, does great cold-brewed coffee, as well as french presses, pourovers, and espresso drinks. When I go in I just pick something at random, but next time I think I'll make a point of trying the cold brewed and seeing if it's significantly less acidic.
posted by the young rope-rider at 5:18 AM on March 24, 2012


Once upon a time they ran a bunch of trials on cold brew and coffee of different roast dates. They found that the best cold brew was actually made from older coffee.

This also holds true for the following:

1. Day old pizza eaten for breakfast.
2. Half-open can of Dr. Pepper left in fridge.
3. Chilli

Some things are just better with age.
posted by Fizz at 5:24 AM on March 24, 2012 [3 favorites]


I was horrified when I ordered an iced coffee in America and got what seemed to be normal (but cold) coffee with ice cubes and milk in it.

Where I come from (New Zealand and Australia), an iced coffee is a dessert more than a drink. (It's even often on the dessert menu instead of being listed with the drinks.) It almost always contains vanilla ice cream and/or whipped cream, and flaked chocolate and cinnamon, and sometimes a candy bar shoved into the cream, or chopped on top. It's kind of like a coffee thick shake.
posted by lollusc at 5:41 AM on March 24, 2012


Did anyone else think of the Simpson's episode where Maggie lost her teddy bear and it ended up in the arctic, where workers were there collecting the ice?

That's what I thought this was going to be.
posted by shortyJBot at 5:45 AM on March 24, 2012


I was horrified when I ordered an iced coffee in America and got what seemed to be normal (but cold) coffee with ice cubes and milk in it.

Yeah, I’d be kind of mad if they put milk in it.
posted by bongo_x at 6:07 AM on March 24, 2012 [1 favorite]


And then there's the Dunkin' Donuts method: dump the ass end of every pot of coffee into a vat for a week, put it in the fridge overnight, dump six tablespoons of sugar and half a cup of cream in a cup three-quarters full of ice, add a splash of the rancid leftover coffee, and sell it for twice as much as hot coffee! PROFIT!
posted by briank at 6:35 AM on March 24, 2012 [3 favorites]


"In my opinion, it's all about the Quinic acid level."
posted by Fuzzy Monster at 7:01 AM on March 24, 2012 [1 favorite]


Every year I think I am going to have to try this cold-brewing of iced coffee, and then I forget. I should buy some coarsely ground coffee for my french press and just let it sit in the fridge. I love iced coffee, but if I try to buy some they always ruin it with sugar. I used to just brew coffee and let it sit in the fridge, but I only have an espresso machine now, and that seems wrong.

I like the coffee milkshakes, too, though.
posted by jeather at 7:14 AM on March 24, 2012


Vietnamese Ca phê Sữa Đá (Coffee Milk Ice) in the South, or Nâu Đá (Brown Ice) in Hanoi are both extreme caffeination experiences. The Hanoi drink is smaller. Tiny, even. Just the tarry drips from a tin filter onto ice with condensed milk (Ông Thọ) that dilute with the hot air that wafts through any open-air cafe in Hanoi. In the South the Ca phê sữa đá is a kick for a fun lifestyle; a sweet tonic before you head out again on your Honda Wave with your male friends; or it's a tall drink with a stirrer that you sip while courting a girl in fashionable jeans who's fondling a mango shake.
posted by grubby at 7:20 AM on March 24, 2012 [1 favorite]




Ahh, I didn't know that vn coffee (I like that abbreviation) was predominantly robusta.

It's not just that there's robusta as well as arabica - it's that there are other varieties most people have never heard of, let alone tasted. For example, I have a bag of Trung Nguyen Gourmet Blend here that's made with arabica, robusta, excelsa and catimor.
posted by obiwanwasabi


and

Most of the bite in a particular style Vietnamese coffee comes from the chicory, though. I drink it as an advanced condensed milk delivery system.
posted by scruss at


Lalochezias exegesis on Cafe Sua Da (Vietnamese Iced Coffee) now follows


Grubby's comment is excellent. I am un-knowledgable about Ca phê Sữa Đá (Coffee Milk Ice) vs Nâu Đá - but by independent experimentation I have come to the following conclusions. (Note that CSD is what I call this stuff)


It's not just that there's robusta as well as arabica or chicory...there are two predominant styles of CSD that can be made here in the USA.

Coffee

The trung nguyen (native) style is not too bitter, but is complex and aromatically satisfying, hints of chocolate and spice. If you get the premium blend, it has a 'butter roasted' flavor.

The chickory (french) style is different. It is less complex than the trung nguyen represented style, but makes an excellent CSD because of the bitterness that is imparted to the drink from the chicory that contrasts so well with the sweetness of the condensed milk. You can buy Cafe Du Monde or the Trader Joe's knockoff - either are good.

Condensed milk.

i) Never used FILLED condensed milk (vegetable oil+ milk solids)
ii) Acceptable, and easy to pour is La Lechera from (boo, hiss) Nestle
iii) The best, althouhg you'll need some kind of container to store it in after you open the can, use, is Longevity Brand

Note: that supplier has MANY types of sweetened, condensed milk: I haven't tried them all, there may be an even more delicious one

Preparation

The phin filters that people use are good, but are time consuming: if you need your hot extract NOW, use an Aeropress


How to make different styles


If you really want your CSD to be viscous and sticky and bittersweet rocket fuel: use French style coffee, overextract with an aeropress (30% more water per shot), add some condensed milk (1 tbsp per shot), stir to dissolve the condensed milk, then chill the resultant coffee in the freezer for 30-60 minutes.. This is crucial: if you want it to be tongue coatingly good, then if you add ice before the coffee is cool, you will water it down and change the mouthefeel. After 30-60 mins in the freezer, toss in a couple of ice cubes, stir and boom: bittersweet viscous rocketfuel.

If you want your CSD to be refreshing, sippable, and complex, then do a standard extraction of a couple of expresso shots of Native coffee, add some condensed milk (1/2 tbsp per shot), stir to dissolve the condensed milk, then add some ice. Voila: a gentle interesting refereshing CSD.


Cold extraction on this stuff is a waste : I've tried it, and you can use the coffee for either kind of CSD, but it doesn't have the punch or depth respectively. Enjoy!
posted by lalochezia at 7:44 AM on March 24, 2012 [10 favorites]


lalochezia - favorited your comment hard, but you might be overthinking it. CSD is like the Cola of the South. In Hanoi it's a seasonal treatment of the same coffee you drink in a short glass swimming in hot water the rest of the year.
posted by grubby at 8:02 AM on March 24, 2012


ugh, not to say you shouldn't try to make your own excellent version, but go to Vietnam anyway.
posted by grubby at 8:03 AM on March 24, 2012


Overthinkin' a Plate of beans Chilled coffee beverage. Why I'm on MeFi!

The reason why I put so much effort into the above is recreating that trancendant feeling of sipping that viscous, supperbitter yet sweet stuff, for $2 (!) from some hole in the wall deli in Southern California on a hot day. The recipe above still doesn't perfect it! The delis that got it right were pilgrimages* for me, and the ones that didn't, well, they were existential dissapointments.

I'd love to go to Vietnam! Alas, until then I nibbles my Gỏi Cuốn, eats my Bahn Mi and drinks my CSD......

* Alas, this one is under new ownership.
posted by lalochezia at 8:15 AM on March 24, 2012 [1 favorite]


And then there's the Dunkin' Donuts method

Eh? Mine just pours hot fresh coffee in a cup with ice and swished it around a bit. Sometimes not that iced, but a lot better than the place you go to.
posted by smackfu at 8:18 AM on March 24, 2012


I was horrified when I ordered an iced coffee in America and got what seemed to be normal (but cold) coffee with ice cubes and milk in it.
I had the same experience but the opposite response. In India, which now has a burgeoning cafe culture, iced coffee is usually a dessert-like drink -- with ice cream and sugar and or crushed ice and cream and sugar and so on. Despite the heat, I usually drank just lattes or cappuccinos to avoid the extra sugar. There was also no concept of "brewed coffee" really. I wasn't really a fan of American style brewed coffee when I got here, though I later found that there were good versions of it to be found. But iced coffee! So wonderful! A cold refreshing drink that's not a dessert and that I can have just as often as regular coffee!
posted by peacheater at 8:26 AM on March 24, 2012


...ust as good. Has to be whole milk though, maybe 2% in a pinch, but definitely not skim. Which is why you shouldn't really have this too often.

I've never understood people's fear of whole milk. An entire industry has talked us into believing it is somehow pure evil. 2% milk has not had 98% of the fat removed from it. Whole milk is already 96% fat free.
posted by los pantalones del muerte at 8:37 AM on March 24, 2012 [7 favorites]


I tend not to like hot drinks, and even in the winter, favor undiluted black cold-brewed coffee at fridge temperature. As far as filtering, I just use a metal sieve, which gets out the largest particles of coffee beans. The smaller ones all settle to the bottom over the course of a few hours, making a solid silty mass; you can then pour off the liquid into a second jar, leaving that mass behind.
posted by Greg Nog at 9:32 AM on March 24, 2012


I am a coffee atheist.
posted by Twang at 9:56 AM on March 24, 2012


I grew up in the far Northwest, and had never heard of this "iced coffee" stuff until I moved to NYC. One morning, a hot June, I was on my way to my (first!) job, and was torn: I wanted/needed my morning cup of coffee, but Christ, it was so hot. I walked into a bodega, where I saw a sign offering "iced coffee"? I went to the counter and asked, dubiously, "Hey, do you really sell 'iced' coffee?" The counterman admitted that they did, and I asked him for some, not least to see how you would make such a thing. He pulled a cup of ice out, poured hot coffee into it, added a little milk, and gave it to me, and I gawped like a South-Sea Islander confronted with an iPad. "New York City," I thought, "Is there anything it doesn't have?!?"
posted by ThatFuzzyBastard at 12:26 PM on March 24, 2012 [1 favorite]


Metafilter: like a South-Sea Islander confronted with an iPad.
posted by lalochezia at 12:32 PM on March 24, 2012


Meh. Iced coffee doesn't need all that prep, honestly

I worked in a coffee shop and yes, it does need all that prep unless you want it to taste like crap. Cold-brewed coffee is very different from iced hot coffee. Try it yourself. This post follows the standard protocol that a coffee shop would use - though we never salted ours and I'm pretty sure you can skip that step just fine. As you can see, this is MUCH more involved than making hot coffee. For comparison: make a cup of hot coffee and dump ice into it. Get back to me on which is better.

I'm serious about this - before snarking that iced coffee doesn't need the prep, try an actual cup of cold brewed coffee if you haven't before and notice that it's a very different beast than just making hot coffee turn cold.

We'd very often run out of iced coffee in the summer as it took 24hrs to brew and oh holy G-d did that ever suck. We'd offer iced Americanos at the same price - and since espresso uses more beans per cup than coffee, that's pretty much eating any profit right there. Also: customers really tended to dislike the iced Americanos if they were used to drinking coffee. So, yeah, I feel this article's pain. Iced coffee season is a mess.

I don't know if it's a coffee sin, but we usually order a regular coffee and ask for a cup of ice. It works just fine, just make sure you mix in the sugar before pouring it in the ice cup.

That's not just a sin, that's coffee blasphemy.

For the record: I'm personally TEAM SUN BREWED TEA 4EVA.
posted by sonika at 1:41 PM on March 24, 2012


hi i'm on metafilter and i could overthink a cup of beans.
posted by beandip at 4:47 PM on March 24, 2012


(sorry, had to)
posted by beandip at 4:47 PM on March 24, 2012


This link tried to install a Trojan onto my computer.
posted by Runcible Spoon at 5:23 PM on March 24, 2012


Chemex coffeemakers, in addition to making superlative hot coffee, are perfect for filtering cold-brewed coffee too; throw some medium-ground beans and cold water in any old vessel, leave in the fridge 10-12 hours, pour through a Chemex filter.
posted by usonian at 8:42 PM on March 24, 2012


This is making me want a Starbucks chai so bad.
posted by shipsthatburn at 9:01 PM on March 24, 2012


Eh I worked at a coffee shop and we didn't do this 2:1 ratio thing. Just had the regular brew from the previous day in a pitcher in the fringe. Some people wanted it straight off the tap into ice, which we would do. This seems like a sound idea, but I doubt the owner would have approved.
posted by whorl at 4:35 AM on March 25, 2012


You know how some guys can draw a leaf with a toothpick?
posted by this reminds me of an achewood strip at 10:31 AM on March 25, 2012


> You can buy Cafe Du Monde or the Trader Joe's knockoff - either are good.

Ehh, I have three places within a click that I can get Café Ông Thọ, sorted out phin with a short trip downtown. Nestlé did kind of invent condensed milk, so don't hate on them for that.

Whatever you do, don't over-stir it. You need a mouthful of condensed milk at the end. Is good.
posted by scruss at 12:34 PM on March 25, 2012


It's all what you are used to. When I have an iced coffee, I want regular coffee (with all the lovely bitter) iced. I don't mind if it's cold-brewed, but I don't require it. Of course, I also brew my french press coffee with boiling 100-degrees water, to suck out the extra bitter.
posted by jb at 9:16 AM on March 26, 2012


Sun-brewed tea? Yuck. Black tea must be brewed with boiling water; green tea or white with 80-85 degrees.
posted by jb at 9:17 AM on March 26, 2012


Because of this thread I have started drinking cold-brewed iced coffee with a dollop of condensed milk in it. I'm not normally a coffee drinker, but this stuff is so moreish I just can't seeem to stop hey is everything vibrating for you guys too?
posted by subbes at 2:36 PM on March 26, 2012 [2 favorites]


Café Ông Thọ (COT) is standard french roast coffee, which is a third category, neither the complex viet style mixed blend nor the genuinely bitter chicory coffee.

I tried it with COT and other french roasts, and the flavor didnt cut it for me. YMMV.
posted by lalochezia at 6:24 AM on March 27, 2012


Slap some ice in a blender with some very vanilla soymilk, a dash of sugar, and a couple of shots of espresso and you have yourself a damn nice iced coffee.

That sounds like a delicious frozen coffee, Malice.

I work in a coffee shop, and we do the cold brew method, but we don't water it down. We use 3 pounds of locally roasted coffee to 5 gallons of water. We grind the coffee on coarse, then tie it in a giant filter and let it soak in the water at room temperature for 24 hours before removing the coffee and pouring it into pitchers which are stored in the refrigerator until served. I find that cold brewed coffee is much smoother than hot coffee, never acquiring that acrid bitterness.

Also, as any good southerner knows, if you intend to make iced tea, the brewing water shouldn't be heated to boiling, but just below boiling before removing from the heat and steeping the tea in for no more than about 10 minutes. Sugar should be added or not added to taste before the tea is diluted and cooled.
posted by Night_owl at 1:24 PM on March 27, 2012


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