Homemade iced coffee has always eluded me. To be perfectly frank, I was always too intimidated. First off, I knew you needed to brew it stronger than normal to account for the ice melting, but I never knew how strong. And how much ice should you use to cool it down without diluting it too much? So, when my weekly eNewsletter from the Splendid Table included a link to the Perfect Iced Coffee, I decided to give it a shot. With some slight modifications on my part (which included some adjusted ratios to fit my coffee maker, as well as copious amounts of half and half and Kalhua), I think I finally nailed it.
I highly recommend freshly grinding the beans for this. It just adds amazing flavor and the aroma….oh, the aroma. While I’ve always been an iced coffee lover, it just never really had that wake-you-up-in-the-morning coffee smell to it. Grinding your own beans for this definitely helps.
And it’s pitcher perfect! (Get it? Pitcher per…..OK, nevermind.) Seriously, the amount of coffee grounds to the amount of liquid might instill your heart with fear (1 cup grounds to 4 cups liquid), but trust me on this. You need it super strong because the ice will constantly dilute this stuff. I put the finished product in a big pitcher with two trays of ice cubes, then added ice to our glasses, and had a few more glasses with several more ice cubes later on. You’d think the constant ice would turn this coffee weak and totally unacceptable, but it doesn’t. And that’s what’s wonderful about it. Well, there is something else that’s wonderful about it…
Kahlua! This was Ben’s idea. He added about 2 tablespoons of Kahlua to the iced coffee and, my oh my, it was amazing. Now, of course, please make this coffee any which way you like. Around these here parts, we usually just take our coffee with half and half, but since we were on the final day of our first heat wave of the season, this iced coffee called for a special indulgent touch.
Even though you’re only actually brewing 4 cups of coffee, this whole pitcher easily would serve 6 people. This would, of course, all depend on the size of your preferred glasses, but you at least get the idea. And it also keeps for the next day! You still get all that awesome aroma and flavor, but it’s oh so smooth and refreshing (and already brewed!) on a Sunday morning. (If you’re having this on said Sunday morning, you might want to skip the Kahlua…or not. Live your own dreams, man!)
This perfect iced coffee has amazing aroma and won't lose its strength when diluted in ice cubes. A splash of Kahlua and half and half make this a special indulgent summertime treat.
- 1 cup freshly ground coffee (from actual coffee beans)
- 4 cups water
- 2 trays of ice cubes
- 2 tbsps Kahlua per glass (optional, but highly recommended)
- 2 tbsps half and half per glass (if that's your thing)
- Brew coffee according to whatever method you have. Use 1 cup of freshly ground coffee for 4 cups of water.
- In a large pitcher, fill it with 2 trays full of ice cubes.
- When the coffee is brewed, pour the coffee over the ice cubes in the pitcher.
- Give it a stir and set aside for about 5 minutes, until the coffee cools down to your preferred temperature.
- Pour into individual glasses (already containing ice cubes) and if you prefer your iced coffee black, serve immediately.
- If you like the white stuff, add 2 tbsps of half and half to each glass.
- If you're feeling super indulgent and randy, add 2 tbsps of Kahlua to each glass.
- Stir and enjoy. You can put the whole pitcher in the fridge and it will keep for the next day.