What to do when the days turn so hot that it seems like penitence to drink a hot cup of coffee? If, like me, you can’t shake off the after-meals coffee habit, the answer is iced coffee.
Summer came so suddenly. One day, there was a cool breeze blowing; the next day, the breeze was gone and, in its place, the humid sweltering feeling that comes with summer. The difference that twenty-four hours can make sometimes.
Summer came late too. Until mid-April, the nights were cool enough to dispense with air-conditioning. Then, three nights ago, I started to get that sticky feeling, my skin clinging to the bed sheets as though I got of out the bath tub and jumped into bed without toweling myself dry.
And we live in what’s supposed to be a cool, hilly suburb.
Making iced coffee is not exactly the same as making a hot cup of coffee. There are two tricks to achieve that wonderful balance so that your iced coffee tastes like it was mixed by a professional barista. First, you have to start with strong coffee. Remember that you will be diluting your drink with lots of ice so if you start with a bland coffee mixture, by the time the ice melts, your drink will taste like nothing more than colored water.
Second, you have to use twice as much sugar. I don’t know why that is so but it’s something I’ve learned over the years. If one teaspoonful of sugar is enough for a hot cup of coffee, use two when making iced coffee.
You can always make adjustments to suit your taste, of course. But this is my formula.
- 1/4 cup very strong brewed coffee (think twice the strength of a regular espresso)
- 3 to 4 teaspoons sugar (see notes below)
- milk as much as you like
- Stir the sugar into the coffee until dissolved.
- Stir in the milk, cream or non-dairy creamer.
- Place ice cubes in a tall glass, about three-fourths full.
- Pour the coffee into the glass. Stir. Serve.