Monday, August 18, 2008

Tips for Brewing Iced Coffee

by Sarah Ferguson
Just because the weather’s turned hot doesn’t mean it’s time to forsake your beloved coffee. Whether it’s over ice, blended into a smoothie, or mixed into your favorite ice cream, coffee is a great addition to your summer festivities. So when you’re preparing for your big summer bash, don’t forget to brew a pot of your favorite java.

Here are a few tips on brewing iced coffee:
1. Always brew your coffee hot - Coffee is brewed at specific temperatures because it’s the best way to bring out the flavor nuances in the blend you’ve chosen. Brew your coffee as you normally would, and then pour it over ice to chill it. If you’re making small batches or individual drinks, try mixing your coffee and ice in your martini shaker.

2. Brew your coffee double strength - When you’re mixing a drink with ice, keep in mind that ice melts and waters down your drink - especially when you’re combining it with a hot beverage like coffee. If you’re brewing your coffee with a drip coffeemaker, it’s a good idea to use the same amount of water and double the amount of coffee you would use for a half pot. This way you get a double strength brew without worrying about overflowing your coffee filter.

3. A little bit of sugar goes a long way - If you like to sweeten up your iced tea, you’ll definitely want to add sugar to your iced coffee. But because coffee has a slightly bolder taste than tea when it’s chilled, adding a teaspoon or two to the entire batch is generally a good idea. Then set out sugar (and cream) with your iced coffee so your guests can add more to their individual drinks if they choose.

4. Serve your iced coffee with complementary desserts - Coffees from different origins have distinct flavor characteristics that pair very well with specific types of desserts. In order to enhance the flavor of these treats as well as your coffee, it’s important to serve them accordingly:
  • Fresh fruits and berries are especially common this time of year and are best complemented by lighter roasted coffees that have a high acidity. Try serving your berry pies and fruit tortes with our Java Joe’s Kenya AA or Guatemalan Huehuetenango.
  • When you’re serving creamy desserts like cheesecakes, custards, and lemon bars, you want to pair them with coffees that reflect their smoothness. Supreme Bean’s Organic Rainforest, Java Joe’s Costa Rican, and Café La Semeuse’ Classique perfectly harmonize with these types of velvety treats.
  • Dark, bold coffees coffees are best paired with rich chocolate and heavy cream-based desserts like mousse and chocolate cakes. For a decadent combination, serve your indulgent desserts with Java Joe’s Sumatra Mandheling or Supreme Bean’s Black & Tan.

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