I wouldn’t blame you if your first instinct after learning that drinking extremely hot beverages might cause cancer was to run to Pinterest and immediately start looking up iced coffee recipes and cold brew hacks to replace the scalding cup of coffee in your morning routine. If you’re an iced coffee aficionado, you’re probably feeling pretty smug right now, but even you could probably do with learning a new, easy way to brew iced coffee. It is finally summertime, after all, which is prime time for iced coffee, and though I would almost always prefer taking my chances with a steaming cup, I can definitely appreciate the satisfaction of sipping on cold coffee on a hot and steamy summer day.
Though you might think making the perfect pitcher of iced coffee takes some fancy machines, you don’t have to be a barista to prepare the perfect pitcher of iced coffee. It’s actually a surprisingly simple process, especially if you use one of these hacks. And even if you’re not enamored with iced coffee, there are still some ways you can use the refrigerator to your advantage to easily and quickly improve your hot brew. So here are seven cool hacks that’ll make your coffee, cold or hot, taste better every time.
Make Your Own Cold Brew
There’s been an explosion in cold brew coffee recently, and though it sounds fancy, cold brew is surprisingly easy to make at home. Coarsely grind coffee beans, then dump the grounds and water into a giant jar or French press. Let it sit for at least 12 hours, strain out the grounds, dilute with water or milk, and enjoy the fruits of your labor.
Use Instant Coffee
For those who can’t be bothered with making cold brew in advance, there’s always instant coffee, and though powdered coffee often gets a bad rap, it makes for a surprisingly rich iced coffee. According to a recipe from Popsugar, all you have to do is heat up a couple of tablespoons of water, mix in a heaping spoonful of the instant coffee, and stir. Then fill up your glass with milk, and you’ll have iced coffee in a matter of minutes.
Pour coffee into an ice cube tray, and let it freeze overnight. You can then use the cubes to cool down room temperature or hot coffee without risk of watering down your drink. Alternatively, you can pour milk over the frozen coffee cubes. They'll eventually melt down and you'll be left with an iced latte.
Jazz Up Your Ice Cubes
Instead of freezing water to put into your iced coffee, try freezing milk and honey in an ice cube tray or even coconut milk if you’re dairy free. As these gourmet ice cubes melt in your glass, your iced coffee will get richer rather than more watery.
Use a Cocktail Shaker
If you need to cool down coffee quickly, throw it into a regular cocktail shaker with some ice and have at it. Plus, if you strain out the cubes, you’ll be able to enjoy cold coffee without watering down your drink.
Serve with Seltzer
If you prefer espresso in the morning, you can make your own espresso spritzer by pouring a shot of espresso over a glass of ice and topping off with sparkling water. It’s not as unlikely of a pairing as it might seem; high-end espresso is often served with sparkling water to help cleanse the palate.
Refrigerate Your Beans
Even if you’re not a fan of iced coffee or cold brew, you can still use the fridge to make better hot coffee. Storing whole coffee beans in the fridge, rather than at room temperature, will yield a more consistent grind, which will make for better tasting hot coffee, according to a new study published in Scientific Reports.