By Sarah Rummler / August 14, 2023
“Iced or hot?” will always be one of the top three questions you’re asked when ordering coffee in a public establishment. The question of “What size would you like?” or “For here or to-go?” are insignificant. But deciding whether you’d like your drink to be “iced” or “hot,” truly has the power to change the trajectory of your entire day.
Dramatic? Maybe. But the difference between the temperature of what’s in your coffee cup on any given day is often associated with a particular mood, environment, or even activity. (A “vibe,” as some would call it).
Any coffee enthusiast will tell you that it is a personal preference. Some believe that the temperature sometimes affects the potency of the flavor, and others will argue that this decision is often based on a variety of factors. Be it: time of day, season of the year, or flavor of the particular roast that is being brewed.
But despite your preference, nobody can deny the appeal of having an iced-cold caffeinated beverage in the heat of the summer. So, why not take it iced today?
Where Did Iced Coffee Originate?
According to American Dining Creations on The Rising Popularity of Iced Coffee, iced coffee is said to have derived from French Algeria in 1840, based on an Algerian drink called Mazagran, which was reportedly developed by the French military to stay cool in extremely hot weather conditions. As soldiers returned home and began sharing the new cold coffee drink concept with café owners in Paris, it quickly made its way to neighboring countries and continued to take different forms around the world.
What we know today as American iced coffee is very different, however, due to the emergence of a United States marketing campaign by the Joint Coffee Trade Publicity Committee that kickstarted its growing popularity in 1920. Nevertheless, it is no secret that iced coffee beverages have been around for a long time. And because of this, there is no true right or wrong way to make it!
Why Do We Love It?
Iced coffee interest growing rapidly ever since, coffee drinkers today often value the convenience of having it iced. For particularly younger generations, iced coffee consumption has become part of a larger experience than just a beverage product, especially in a society that thrives off of everyday hustle and bustle.
In the hot summertime, it only makes logical sense to drink something that’s cold and can be consumed rather quickly. Who has time to casually sip at a stifling hot cup of coffee when it’s 80+ degrees (Fahrenheit) outside? We have things to do!
(Not to mention the variations of iced coffee drinks are infinite and customizable!)
Types of Iced Coffee
Whether you’re a seasoned expert on the technical differences between cold brew, nitro, and iced espresso, OR you’re just looking for something tasty, caffeinated and chilled (no matter how it is created), there is a type of iced coffee out there for everyone.
Tasting Table breaks some of these down for us in 15 Types Of Iced Coffee, Explained.
The examples being:
- Cold Brew
- Iced Espresso
- Iced Mocha
- Iced Macchiato
- Vietnamese Iced Coffee
- Iced Latte
- Aussie Iced Coffee
- New Orleans Iced Coffee
- Dalgona Iced Coffee
But remember, the options are truly endless. As iced coffee has circulated the globe, a large variety of different cultures and communities have placed their own spin on the drink over time, creating iced coffee hundreds of different ways. Every single coffee publication online could have a different list of their favorites– because like I said, there are no right or wrong answers.
Our Favorite Type (According to the Sound Coffee Team)
A personal favorite of Sound Coffee’s is what is known as Japanese-Style Iced Coffee, where the coffee is brewed hot directly onto ice. This technique is best when the coffee is chilled more rapidly, maintaining its rich flavor. Besides, it allows the drink a certain level of brightness that cannot be replicated by cold brew or the leftover approach, for example.
Japanese-Style Iced Coffee Recipe
By Daniel Gritzer of seriouseats.com
Prep 5 min
Active 5 min
Total 5 min
Serves 2 servings
Makes 16 fluid ounces
- 8 ounces (225g) ice
- 1 ounce (30g) medium-coarse ground coffee (about the size of Diamond Crystal kosher salt)
- 8 ounces (225g) near-boiling water (roughly 200°F/93°C)
- Set a carafe large enough to hold 16 fluid ounces (475ml) of brewed coffee on a digital scale and tare scale to zero. Add 8 ounces (225g) ice. Set a dripper cone on top. Line with paper filter and add the ground coffee. Tare scale to zero once more.
- Pour just enough near-boiling water onto grounds to wet them, then let stand 30 seconds (this is called blooming the coffee and will improve the flavor of the final brew). Resume pouring near-boiling water all over grounds until the scale reads 8 ounces (225g). Allow water to fully drain through filter, then discard used coffee grounds. Serve iced coffee right away.
Digital scale, pour-over coffee brewer of your choice along with paper filters that fit your brewer
You can also use an electric coffee brewer: Simply fill the carafe with the correct amount of ice, then set up your brewer with the correct amount of coffee and fill the water tank with the correct amount of water, then brew the coffee; if your coffee maker has a warming plate, be sure to turn it off.
Make-Ahead and Storage
Japanese-style iced coffee is best enjoyed freshly brewed.
Our Brazilian Roast is a fantastic example of coffee that tastes delicious when prepared Japanese-style! The bright and fruity flavors of dried cherry, dark chocolate, and almond are preserved in a way that makes the taste feel bright and clean, and it can be done in just minutes with hardly any extra effort like what is required with other iced coffee methods.
If you’re extra curious to see the process and understand the methodology behind it, watch Black Tie Kitchen’s detailed video on how it works: The BEST Cold Coffee? Japanese Iced Coffee!
Have Fun With It!
No matter how you decide you like it best, iced coffee is supposed to be FUN. Dress it up with a sweetener, syrup, milk, or all of the above and you’ve got a great summer treat that will keep you awake too!
I hope you enjoyed exploring the world of iced coffee with us, and make sure to stay tuned for more coffee articles coming soon. Happy summer and have an iced day!
P.S. For more Sound Coffee content, please follow us on Instagram and Facebook @soundcoffeecompany
- The Rising Popularity of Iced Coffee
- Vintage Ads: Coffee Talk | The Saturday Evening Post
- 15 Types Of Iced Coffee, Explained
- Japanese-Style Iced Coffee Recipe