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With spring just around the corner, I know I’ve found myself very excited for warm weather and the cold drinks that come along with it. Although I’m guilty of drinking iced coffee, cold brew, and iced espresso drinks year-round, there’s something exciting about drinking them when they’re actually weather appropriate. I tested some of the products we offer that you can use to craft your perfect drinks, and I also tried out a few fun tips and recipes that will have you dreaming of warmer days!
When the weather starts warming up, it’s iced coffee’s time to shine. The simplicity of iced coffee can be deceiving – though the most basic way to make iced coffee is to just put your regular coffee over ice, this can cause watery tasting coffee that falls flat on flavor. When you’re brewing specifically for iced coffee, though, you can avoid those issues and get a delicious iced drink.
The Braun KF9150 MultiServe Brewing System has a few different brewing options, including an option to brew that will meet the SCA’s Golden Cup standards and an “Over Ice” feature. To brew iced coffee, you’ll fill the carafe (or your cup) with ice, select what size you want to brew, choose the “over ice” option, and then choose the strength of your brew. Braun recommends the “bold” setting to offset the dilution of the coffee, though when I brewed with it I tried the “gold” setting since I was testing it for the Golden Cup Certified Home Brewers blog. The coffee was flavorful but a little watered down, so I second Braun’s recommendation to opt for the “bold” setting if you’re brewing over ice.
Like the MultiServe, Breville’s BDC450BSS Precision Brewer has an “Over Ice” feature. With the precision brewer, you’ll double the amount of ground coffee you add to the filter basket before brewing so that your coffee is still strong even after it’s diluted with ice. I tested out this coffee maker as well, and I found that because of the higher dose, the iced coffee I made with the Precision Brewer resulted in a strong, bold, and flavorful cup even once it was diluted with quite a bit of ice.
If you’re on a budget, a french press like the Espro P3 is a great choice. When brewing with a French press for iced coffee, it’s a good idea to brew a little stronger than you actually want your coffee to be since melting iced will dilute your drink. To brew hot coffee in a french press, we recommend using 60g of coffee for 1L of hot water, which is around a 1:16 brew ratio. If you’re planning on making iced coffee, going for a lower brew ratio may be best, though you should adjust and try out different ratios to find what you prefer.
You can also brew cold brew in a french press by adding coffee and water at a 1:7 or 1:8 ratio. Just add your coffee and water into your french press, put the top on (without pushing down the plunger), and let it sit for 12-24 hours.
If you’re looking for how to take your iced coffee to the next level, these tips can help. Keep these ideas in mind to help you get the perfect drink for those warm spring and summer days.
Don’t want to dilute your iced coffee or mess around with brew ratios? Think ahead and create some coffee ice cubes to keep in your freezer. Make sure that if you do this you stick to the same type of coffee for your cubes and your brew (unless you want to try out mixing a few different coffees, which could be an interesting experiment).
Like I mentioned with the French press, you can always brew your coffee a little stronger to account for dilution from the melted ice. You can achieve this by decreasing the overall ratio of coffee to water used to brew, or by grinding your coffee a little bit finer than usual to increase the surface area of the coffee, which will lead to higher extraction in whatever brew method you’re using. If you choose to do this using a french press, make sure that you filter your coffee an extra time when you’re pouring it out to make sure the fines don’t end up in your cup. To counteract potential bitterness in your coffee, you can add a pinch of salt to your ground coffee before brewing.
A basic black iced coffee might be perfect for your preferences, but there are also many ways to mix things up and experiment with flavor. Here are a few recipes you can try if you’re looking for a change from a classic iced coffee.
If you like adding pumps of different flavors to your iced coffee when you order it at a cafe, you can also easily make your own flavor syrups at home. A basic simple syrup truly lives up to its name: to make it, all you have to do is
When refrigerated in a sealed container, the homemade simple syrup will keep for a month. You can also easily add in other flavors to your simple syrup, like vanilla, by adding ingredients into the mixture while it's heating on the stove or by infusing your simple syrup after it’s finished.
One syrup flavor I especially like to make is toasted vanilla. I enjoy this in iced coffees, and it’s also great to add to cold foam if you want your drink to taste like it was made by a professional. There are a few extra steps compared to normal vanilla syrup, but I think the flavor makes it worth it. Here’s how to make a toasted vanilla iced coffee:
Cold brew is coffee that you let steep overnight or even for a full day, and the result is a coffee that’s strong, full of flavor, and won’t get watered down when you add ice to it before drinking. Unlike normal iced coffee which is brewed hot and then poured over ice, cold brew is made by combining coffee and water and letting it sit at room temperature for 12-24 hours. Many people prefer it to iced coffee because you don’t have to worry about watering down your drink, and if you have a sensitive stomach it’s often less acidic than coffee that’s brewed hot. I personally love it because I can make a big batch on the weekend and have it prepared for the entire week since it stays good in the fridge for about 10 days after being brewed.
Making cold brew is a pretty simple process at its core – just add room temperature water and coffee to a container and let it sit for 8-24 hours and you’ll have a cold brew (or cold brew concentrate, which is stronger than a normal cold brew and needs to be diluted before drinking). A traditional cold brew is brewed with a ratio of 1:8, while a cold brew concentrate is brewed with a ratio of 1:4 or 1:5. If you drink undiluted cold brew concentrate, it probably won’t taste very good. Though making cold brew is overall a pretty simple process, these products help streamline the process of making cold brew to help you brew with the least amount of effort.
The Espro Cold Brew Kit comes with a UV-protected glass growler as well as a brewer with an auto-lock valve and micro-mesh filter, and it can make up to 48 oz of cold brew concentrate, so you can make enough to last you for a week or two. The Espro brews cold brew concentrate, so make sure you enjoy this over ice or with water or milk mixed in!
The Pace Cold Brew Coffee Maker holds 51 oz, which means it has the highest capacity of the cold brewers on this list. The borosilicate glass on this carafe means that it can not only stay in your fridge, but it’s also dishwasher safe on the top rack. The fine mesh filter in the center can be filled with coffee to brew and removed afterward so you can store the carafe in your fridge for up to 10 days. Primula boasts that all of their cold brew products create coffee with 65% less acidity than hot brewed coffee, so if you have a sensitive stomach this may be the right choice for you.
If you prefer to make one glass of cold brew at a time, this Cold Brew Bottle is a great choice. This bottle holds 20 oz of water, so you can brew one glass of cold brew overnight and enjoy it directly from your bottle the next morning, making this perfect if you’re on the go in the morning. To brew, you can add coffee to the filter, put it in the bottle, add water, and let it sit for 12 hours. It even comes with a black neoprene sleeve that has a carrying handle built-in, so you can put this bottle in your bag for work and keep it safe from scratches while it’s rolling around in your bag.
The Primula Pace Cold Brew Coffee Maker has a 50 oz capacity, so you can make quite a lot of cold brew in this device. So if you’re like me and like to prep your cold brew for the week, this is a great choice. This BPA-free carafe is made of borosilicate glass, and the brew core is made of a superfine stainless steel mesh to keep coffee grounds out of your cold brew after brewing. There’s also a silicone ring on the bottom of the carafe, so you don’t have to worry about accidentally knocking over your cold brew if you’re rifling through your fridge for something else. It’s also dishwasher safe on the top rack, making it more convenient to clean than some other cold brewers.
One of the advantages of cold brew is that it’s very simple to make – all you need to do is add water and coffee and let it sit on your counter overnight or for a full day. However, these tips are helpful if you want to optimize your cold brewing experience.
I’ve mentioned this above, but making enough cold brew for an entire week’s worth of drinks is a great way to make the process as easy as possible. You only have to prep, brew, and clean once for an entire week’s worth of cold brew. If you meal prep for the week, adding a batch of cold brew to your meal prepping plans is easy and will help you not have to worry about your morning coffee all week.
Whether you’re grinding your coffee yourself or buying it pre-ground, you should make sure you’re using a very coarse grind for cold brew. Because there’s so much contact time between the coffee and the water, you’ll want less surface area with a coarse grind to get the best flavor for your cold brew.
Though I love home brewing, I do occasionally get a cold brew at a cafe, and one drink I love getting while I’m out is the vanilla sweet cream cold brew. Luckily, it’s easy to replicate this recipe at home! There are tons of ways to DIY it that you can find online, but here’s the recipe that I use:
When the weather turns warm, you may want to switch up your usual latte or cappuccino for its iced counterpart. I’m someone who enjoys a good iced latte year-round, so I’m always looking for the best products and tips to get the best possible drink. Here are some products and tips that can take your drink to the next level.
Though you can make iced espresso drinks by putting espresso from any espresso machine over ice and adding cold milk, these espresso machines are optimized for iced drinks. If you like cold foam, having a milk frother will also make it easier than steaming milk and scooping foam from the top of your milk to add to an iced drink.
The Z10 Super-Automatic has a built-in Cold Extraction process that slowly pulses cold water through the coffee puck using high pressure, which results in a clean, refreshing, and delicious iced coffee or espresso beverage. Whether you want iced coffee or to make an iced espresso beverage, this espresso machine can help. You can also clearly tell which drinks allow for a cold brew setting as they’ll have a small snowflake next to the name of the drink on the full-color screen.
Not only can the Z10 make a variety of hot and cold beverages, but it also lets you customize each different drink so that it’s brewed just the right way. You can adjust the strength of your drink, the volume of your beverages, and more, so there’s a lot of flexibility in the brewing process for an automatic machine.
A feature unique to the Z10 is the Product Recognizing Grinder (P.R.G.), which allows the Z10 to recognize the difference between what grind settings each type of drink needs and adjust your settings accordingly. This allows you to be perfectly dialed in for every drink every time. Even if you’re switching from espresso to cold brew, you won’t have to worry about your drink not being properly dialed in.
The Dinamica Plus ECAM37095TI has a TrueBrew Over Ice feature that reduces brew temperature without compromising flavor, so you can create delicious and flavorful iced coffee beverages. With the full-color display, you can also customize the 16 espresso drink options, and you can also create multiple user profiles for everyone in your home. The included LatteCrema System is an auto-frothing carafe that will add milk to your drink automatically to make crafting the perfect espresso beverage easy. Along with this, the Dinamica Plus ECAM37095TI is able to create cold foam so you can easily brew drinks like iced cappuccinos with the touch of a button.
If you want to make an iced cappuccino or just add some cold foam on top of your iced latte, you’ll need to froth milk without heating it up with steam. A milk frother like this Capresso is perfect for that very reason. You can even make flavored cold foam by adding your flavoring or some flavored creamer along with your milk in this frother. I like to add a splash of the toasted vanilla syrup mentioned earlier to my frother, and the result is a sweet foam that makes any drink its added to taste as if it came straight from a cafe.
One big tip that I use for my iced lattes is to shake the espresso with ice in a cocktail shaker. This will help cool your espresso down without diluting your drink too much. If you’re adding any flavor syrups to your latte, this is a great option as well since you can combine the hot espresso with the syrup and give it a shake before adding ice to the shaker. When you’re straining your espresso into your drinking glass, another good tip is to double strain to avoid getting any of the ice chips in your cup.
A basic iced version of your favorite espresso drink is simple – just pour your drink over ice and make sure your milk isn’t hot when you add it. However, these recipes are ones that are meant to be enjoyed cold.
This is a recipe that we’re borrowing from our friends at Jura. As the name suggests, this recipe is refreshing and perfect for warm summer mornings. To make this fresh and delicious drink, you’ll need a double shot of espresso, 1.5 oz of freshly squeezed orange juice, and 1 oz of vanilla bean syrup. When it comes to choosing your coffee, you’ll want to use a medium roast bean that’s chocolatey and sweet or light fruity. We’ve tested it out using an Ethiopia Yirgacheffe, but a Brazil natural would probably be great as well. You can enjoy this drink just over ice or blended, and here’s how to make this recipe either way:
Okay, hear me out on this one. I tried this on a whim a few years ago at a cafe, and since then I crave it every time that first real day of summer rolls around. Making it is simple, and all you need is your favorite flavored sparkling water (I like Pellegrino's sparkling water personally because there’s also some natural fruit juice that makes it a little sweeter), and your espresso. A coffee with citrus notes would complement this drink really well if you’re using lemon or orange sparkling water. If you aren’t using Pellegrino or another brand with juice added, I would recommend adding a splash of sweetener, like a plain simple syrup. When I found it in a cafe the drink was made with lemon Pellegrino, but I’m sure other flavors would work as well. To make this drink:
This drink is a classic for the spring, and the sweet and soft flavors of honey and lavender will feel just right when all of the flowers start blooming. You’ll need honey, dried lavender flowers, espresso, and oat milk for this recipe. Oat milk’s creamy texture and subtly sweet flavor makes this latte taste just right for a sunny spring morning, but you can substitute a different milk if you aren’t a fan of oat milk. To make this drink:
Iced coffee, cold brew, and iced espresso drinks are delicious any time of year, but as the weather starts turning warmer and you’re craving an iced drink more keep these tips and recipes in mind. To keep up with new recipes, promotions, sales, and more, make sure to follow Whole Latte Love on Instagram, Facebook, Twitter, and YouTube, and sign up for our email list as well!