This guide will give you pointers on brewing and serving well flavored iced coffee drinks without letting them get watered down. From the brewing process to service this will take you step-by-step to a great beverage.
The first step is to determine which method or producing coffee you want to use. Regardless of your brewing process you need to follow a couple guidelines. After brewing let your coffee come to room temperature and then refrigerate. Straight from brewing to fridge when hot can cause clouding and murkiness. If you want to pour fresh hot brew over ice then you should brew it at double the strength that you want to end up with.
The most unique brewing process is called a toddy or cold-water process. The upside to this is ease of making; mix grounds at one cup to one quart cold water leave in the fridge for 24 hours. The down side is filtering out the brew when you are finished. This will yield a low acid very pleasant brew to serve over ice, or mix with hot water to make an instant cup of real coffee.
If you are using a drip system you will want to increase your grounds by about fifty percent from what you normally use. A French press system is harder to do this with since you are usually using the maximum amount of grounds to fit your pot. Since it is already a stronger brew it lends itself well to icing, as long as you understand that it will be slightly lighter over ice than you may be used to drinking straight from the pot. If you like to end up with a sweetened beverage you should add your sweetener of choice immediately after brewing. It will dissolve easier and be part of the brew when you serve it. Try brown sugar for a little added richness.
So, now your coffee is brewed and chilled, ready to serve. Put your ice in the glass first and pour your coffee over it. The ultimate trick to avoid watering down your iced coffee is to make your cubes out of coffee itself! This may not be practical in a volume environment, but for home entertaining it is a great way to make your guests’ beverage enjoyable to the very end. If you are adding dairy – milk or half and half – pour your coffee first over the ice then add your dairy gently for a creamy cascade look to the beverage. Top with a dollop of whipped cream and a cinnamon sprinkle to get that professional look to your drinks.
So the key points are to start with a stronger brew and have it pre-chilled to minimize the ice melting and avoid watering down your iced coffee drink.