Iced coffee is not hard
Kim Severson has a rather idiotic article in the Dining section today about making iced coffee at home. Why are people making it so hard? The best thing about summer is how easy and fast it is to consume caffeine.
The first trick is to use a fresh pot of coffee brewed stronger than your average morning batch. Cold does not transfer flavor as well as heat. Thus, a stronger brew makes for better iced coffee. As soon as it’s brewed, let it cool to room temperature and put it in the refrigerator.
Okay, well that is exactly what I do. In fact, aside from adding sugar and milk, that is all I do.
The second step is to make coffee ice cubes. There is nothing worse than watery, cold coffee, which is what one gets when conventional ice cubes go into the glass. This task is easily accomplished by pouring your leftover morning coffee into ice cube trays. Once they’re frozen, pop them into a freezer bag.
I suppose I see the value of ice cubes if you are serving iced coffee to guests. But if your coffee has been in the refrigerator for more than two hours, it doesn’t need more ice. Kim: is your refrigerator cold enough? If it’s melting your ice cubes that quickly, you should check the settings. And instead of pouring your leftover coffee into ice cube trays and then wasting a freezer bag, why not just leave the coffee in the fridge and add new coffee to it? I only wash my pitcher about twice a week, and my coffee tastes fresh every day.
The last step is to consider your sweetener. (People who like it black can head to the kitchen now and get busy with those ice cubes.) I like my coffee medium-sweet, and in my fussiest moments I take a tip from a favorite barrista [sic] and melt a few tablespoons of sugar in about a half cup of very hot coffee. This syrup keeps well in the fridge, and a spoonful of it in an iced coffee saves the laborious and ice-melting process of stirring granulated sugar into cold liquid. Alternatively, a shot of simple syrup (made by simmering equal parts of sugar and water) can also solve the problem.
Can she make it any more complicated? Maybe we should put the coffee in a stockpot and reduce it with herbs and spices before straining it through cheesecloth. Honey, just put in your sugar when the coffee is hot, and you will be fine. Before you serve it, give the contents of the pitcher a good stir with a big spoon, and your coffee will be sweet.