By James Gallagher for Steampunk Coffee
The weather over the past few days reminds me that we are on the cusp of spring. I have felt warmer and the days slowly feel like they are getting longer. In the spirit of the upcoming spring season, I decided that I would start experimenting with iced coffee, a beverage best enjoyed in the warm weather. Today, the sun is shining brightly and I have no need for any additional layers of clothing. So, I thought I would make myself an iced latte.
I usually do not take milk with my coffee but I can make an exception for an iced latte (or a nice home cappuccino, if I am in the mood). Iced coffees -- including iced lattes -- are refreshing and help cool me down on warmer days. If more warmer days are to come, I should get in as much practice making iced coffees as I can so that this summer I am able to make better brews.
To make an iced latte at home, you need to prepare three ingredients: coffee, milk, and ice.
Before you start brewing, you should prepare a carafe which contains 100 grams of ice. This ice will melt later in the brewing process, allowing you to create a diluted but cold drink. Once you have your carafe ready, you can start brewing your coffee. I like to brew 200 grams of coffee using 15 grams of coffee. This is slightly more coffee than I would use to brew 200 grams but I dilute my coffee with ice later on so the coffee will not taste stronger.
I like to use my Kalita Wave when I am brewing iced coffee but you could use any pour-over device such as a V60 or a Chemex. An Aeropress may work too, although I have not tried to brew an iced coffee with an Aeropress this year. No matter what brewing device you use, there is one rule to which you should adhere: use hot water when you are brewing. Hot water takes out the flavours from coffee grounds more effectively than cold water. So, you want to brew with hot water over ice, rather than brewing with cold water over ice.
Once you have prepared your coffee, you are ready to start working on the next ingredient: the milk. To prepare your milk, pour some into a French press and then push up and down on your French press. I do this about 10-20 times to ensure I make enough foam. The more you plunge your French press, the more foam you will have which you can pour over your iced latte. I usually make more milk than I need but you can always drink what you do not use on the side.
Once your milk is ready, you can bring the whole drink together. I like to use a glass mason jar for my iced coffee because the mason jar makes the iced coffee look beautiful. I place a few blocks of ice in my glass mason jar and then pour my coffee over the ice. Because I brew my coffee over ice before I pour my coffee into the mason jar, the coffee will be cool so the ice in my mason jar does not melt. Once you have put ice into your mason jar, pour your milk in the glass.
The foam from your milk will stay on top of the drink but you may find a lot of foam stays in your French press. I like to use a spoon to scoop any foam from my French press and place it on top of the latte. Doing this lets me make the most of the foam I have created and makes the drink look even more amazing. There is something special about seeing a milky coffee below a full layer of foam.
The iced latte I made today was so good I drank half of it only a few minutes after brewing (so much for my intentions to savour the brew!). I could taste some of the flavours from the coffee I was using, the Steampunk Guatemala Finca La Esperanza, and the milk balanced well with the drink. Good to the last sip, this iced latte was both enjoyable to drink and refreshing as I had just come back from a long walk in the park.
To summarise, you can make an iced latte at home like so:
Place 100 grams of ice in a carafe.
Prepare 200 grams of coffee over the ice in your carafe. Use 15 grams of coffee grounds to prepare your coffee. Pour-over devices work well for brewing coffee for an iced latte but an Aeropress may work too.
Pour some milk into a French press and push up and down until you create the amount of foam you want to pour onto your iced latte.
Prepare a glass and put some ice in the glass. Pour your coffee in the glass.
Pour your milk in the glass. Use a spoon to scoop any remaining foam from your French press onto the top of your iced latte.
Enjoy the iced latte you have just made.
Iced lattes are perfect for the summer weather. Using high-quality coffee beans, you will be able to taste the characteristics of the bean accompanied by the sweetness of milk. If you are not a big fan of milky coffees, you can skip adding the milk to make a delicious iced coffee. Using the recipe above will give you a good place to start but I would encourage you to experiment. You could try different coffees, or using a different amount of coffee, or using an alternative milk. There is plenty of room to try new recipes.
Contributed by James Gallagher, a home brewer and coffee enthusiast. View his excellent blog at jamesg.blog