Monday, August 6, 2012

DIY Simple Iced Coffee

I know there is a lot of hubbub right now about iced coffee. I just read a SUPER long article about it in Bon Appetit, and Starbucks (as much as I love them) has been shoving VIA down people's throats for the last few years. But in all honesty, iced coffee really isn't that big of a deal. I mean it is a big deal, but its not a big deal to make. You don't need any fancy machines (unless you really want one) and you don't need to pay $1 for a single serving of a name brand iced coffee. All you need are a few simple ingredients. You don't even really need to plan ahead, although that helps.
The first job I ever had was at a coffee shop. I had just turned sixteen, and if the owner had really read her insurance policy she never would have hired me. But my love of coffee had started before that. It had started back when I was twelve or thirteen, and I had gone to stay with my aunt and uncle who lived in Arkansas. Yes, I said it,
Arkansas. Not New England, not France, not Canada, not even San Fransisco. Arkansas. In a little, tiny town that had more Baptist churches than people. A place where there were white people and black people. The white people lived in this little town (we might even be able to call it a village) and the black people lived in their own little town, about ten miles away. I am not even joking. There were no other races. The white people were so white, and so blonde, and so unadulterated with other races, they almost all looked the same. Being from California, and saying things like, well, 'like', and 'guys', and having dark hair, darkish eyes, and a tan, I got the old, "Y'ain't from around here, are yuh?" They knew if a new car was in town. The townspeople assumed that I knew movie stars, because I lived in California. They thought the sun always shines, everybody has a tan, and famous people fill our enormous state. I, actually, have never even seen a movie star. I lived in SoCal for a while, and I even did some acting and modeling as a child, but I never met a movie star. I have never even met a celebrity chef! Anyway, back to coffee.
I was staying with family and my aunt was substitute teaching, so I had to go with her to work, for about two weeks. We stopped at Hardees every morning (CA people its a spot just like Carl's Jr., but a little better) and I got coffee. It was cold, sometime in October. I became an addict. By the time I was fifteen I was ordering quad half-caf non-fat peppermint mocha's with no whip (I tried to get a mark in every box on the side of the cup). While other kids my age were getting high, I was getting jittery. Hence, the job at a java joint. I worked for an independently owned coffee shop downtown, and loved every minute of it. My drink tastes have drastically changed since then, and now I usually do an Americano, or a Redeye. I have discovered an intolerance for milk, and don't like the flavor of vanilla soy all that much, although I do put up with it from time to time if I am particularly craving a pumpkin spice latte, raspberry white chocolate mocha, or toffee nut mocha.

Simple Iced Coffee

simple syrup (recipe below) or artificial sweetener of your choice.
cold brewed coffee (or room temp)
half and half

If you take your coffee some other way, like with regular milk, or whatever, of course, use that instead.

1. Brew Coffee. (I prefer to use leftover coffee that I have brewed that morning and is now cooled. Hot coffee will melt your ice and water down your drink.) Allow to cool, or put in a pitcher and chill.

2. Make simple syrup.
Place equal parts (i.e. 1 cup each) sugar and water into a saucepan. Heat, stirring frequently until the sugar is dissolved. Boil on high 1 minute. Allow to cool. Store in desired container.

3. Fill a glass with ice.

4. Add coffee, 3 Tablespoons simple syrup, and cream to taste.
5. Stir, and enjoy.

If you don't have one, buy a cold drink cup. Your six dollar investment will pay for itself after about three uses, if you ordinarily buy a large iced coffee.


  1. Nice story, when I was in kindergarten my little grandma would give us some coffee to drink with her each morning before school.

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