Because I am from the Pacific Northwest, it should come as no surprise that, prior to the start of my illustrious internet writing career, I was a barista. For a lot of years. And during that time, I learned a thing or two about how to make a pretty decent cup of coffee–but by far the most important skill I learned was how to make iced coffee that isn’t a thin, watery, disgusting mess.
The best iced coffee (most snobby Seattleites would argue) is either a.) a very strong Americano, though plenty of baristas will caution against pouring the espresso right over the ice because it “kills” the shot, so usually they’ll add some warm water or cream first, or b.) cold-brewed, ultra-strong, really yummy kind of coffee concentrate that’s made in a special system. Usually called Toddy coffee (Toddy is a trademarked brand, but, much like Kleenex, it pretty much refers to all cold-brewed coffee), it’s arguably as good as iced coffee gets.
But if you don’t want to buy any fancy equipment, and you don’t want to spend $4 a day on Americanos, you can still make a damn fine cup of iced coffee, at home or at work, using the supplies you have on-hand. There are a couple of different ways to do this, and to ensure your cool coffee drink doesn’t turn into a lukewarm cup of gross. Here are a few tricks I learned during my days jerking lattes. Of course, just about everything about making coffee is somewhat subjective, so if you’re also a barista and disagree, feel free to share your wisdom in the comments!
All images: Mine