Iced Coffee Recipes
What is iced coffee? Basically iced coffee refers to any drink made from coffee cooled with ice and often sweetened and served with milk. More broadly, it can include other cold coffee drinks that don’t necessarily use ice.
Iced coffee was first known to have been enjoyed by French Foreign Legion soldiers trying to cool down at the siege of Mazagran in Algeria in 1840. They brought the drink back with them to Europe, where it became known as a caffe mazagran and is still served in different variations today.
With such a wide range of iced coffee recipes available it can be hard to know where to start. Below we’ve laid out some of our favorites at MyCoffeeBase, which you are welcome to use as a starting point in your own iced coffee journey.
The frappuccino has become perhaps one of the most common ways to enjoy an iced coffee in the last couple of decades since its creation by Andrew Frank, the marketing manager at the Coffee Connection, in 1992. The rights to the drink were bought, along with the rest of the Coffee Connection chain, by Starbucks in 1994, for whom it now accounts for over 20% of global sales — worth over $2 billion.
If you would like to have a go at making one yourself at home you will need a strong, short coffee (ideally a shot of espresso if you have a machine at home), some of your preferred milk, and some ice, plus any extra flavoring syrups you would like to add. Simply pop all of your ingredients in a blender and blitz until smooth.
Cold brew, while not strictly an iced coffee, is another increasingly popular way to enjoy cold coffee. Cold-brewed coffees tend to have a mellow and chocolatey flavor profile, as a lot of the fruitier or more bitter acids are not extracted by cold water.
If this sounds like your sort of thing you’re in luck. Cold brew can be very easy to make at home and you don’t need much to get started. At its very simplest you can steep ground coffee in cold water (a mason jar is a common choice here, but really any jar will do) for around 12 hours before pouring it through a filter to remove the grounds.
For a more in-depth look at cold brew coffee see this guide for the best cold brew coffee.
Japanese Iced Coffee
For specialty coffee buffs and third-wave enthusiasts, the Japanese-style iced coffee has become a firm favorite. It is prepared by brewing in a pour over device such as a Hario V60, Chemex, or Kalita Wave, directly over ice.
This hot-water brewing allows for a much brighter and more vibrant coffee than would be possible with a cold brew. The freshness which results from the immediate chilling, drip by drip, is believed to help preserve distinct flavors in specialty-grade coffee better than any other method.
The Greek frappé, responsible for half of the portmanteau “frappuccino”, is based on a drink invented by Dimitris Vakondios when he couldn’t find any hot water to make his coffee with whilst demonstrating an instant chocolate drink for Nestlé at a trade show.
It is made by shaking instant coffee powder together with a little cold water and sugar in a cocktail shaker, before diluting with either more cold water or some milk. It doesn’t get much easier than that!
The Eiskaffee, or German iced coffee, is traditionally made from a shot of espresso served with a scoop of ice cream and a little evaporated milk poured over the top. It is derived from the Italian dessert affogato, made from a scoop of vanilla ice cream with a shot of hot espresso poured over the top.
To try making this iced coffee at home if you don’t have your own espresso machine, you could brew a short, strong coffee in a Moka pot or an AeroPress.
Vietnamese Iced Coffee — Ca Phe Sua Da
Ca phe sua da, or Vietnamese iced coffee, is traditionally made with a Vietnamese robusta coffee brewed in a Vietnamese dripper (or a phin), directly onto cold, sweetened condensed milk. This can be served with or without ice.
If you’re going to make your own at home you could use any pour over brewer to get a similar result to a Vietnamese dripper. What makes this coffee drink distinctive is its combination of sweet, thick condensed milk with a dark and intense filter coffee.
You don’t have to use Vietnamese beans, or robusta for that matter. If you’re trying to replicate the feeling of Vietnamese iced coffee we’d recommend sticking with a darker roast profile, but something like a Sumatran arabica would likely give you a nicer result.
Thai Iced Coffee and Oliang
Thai iced coffee is fairly similar to its Vietnamese neighbor. The main difference lies in the way the coffee itself is brewed. Rather than with a pour over device coffee is usually brewed in a tungdtom, or a small cloth bag, which is filled with ground coffee and, often, spices such as cardamom.
This full immersion brew has a fuller body than the Vietnamese pour over. It is commonly drunk black as Oliang at this stage, or alternatively can be added to ice and sweetened milk to make a Thai iced coffee.
Nitro Brew Coffee
Nitro coffee is the most recent addition here. First developed by a food scientist working for Stumptown Coffee Roasters in 2013, nitro coffee is cold coffee infused with nitrogen in much the same way as a cold Guinness.
It has a smooth and velvety mouthfeel, and a creamy, chocolatey flavor. While it can be found in nitrogen-infused cans with a widget, or poured from kegs through special taps in coffee shops, it is possible to make yourself at home.
You need to start with some brewed coffee, either cold brew or cooled, which you then infuse with nitrogen. The easiest way to do this at home is with a whipped cream dispenser, or you could get a mini-keg setup.
We hope you’ve enjoyed this brief guide to some of the best iced coffee recipes from around the world. If this post has ignited a passion for coffee brewing more generally, head over to MyCoffeeBase to learn more.