Iced Coffee has always been one of my favourite hot weather drinks. Before Starbucks, Costa et al became the in thing, we were drinking ice cold coffees in kopitiams in Singapore and Malaysia!
What is Kopitiam, you ask?
Kopitiam is an old fashioned coffee shop found in many parts of South East Asia, and known by different names depending on which country you are in. In Singapore, Malaysia, Indonesia and Brunei, these coffee shops are called kopitiam.
Kopi – is coffee in Malay
Tiam – is shop in Hokkien (Chinese dialect)
Kopitiam = coffeeshop
There are so many ways to make iced coffee and, largely, it depends on whether you drink freshly brewed coffee from beans or you go down the instant route. We’ll leave the instant coffee for another day!
When using coffee beans, the best method, to me, is the cold brew method.
What is the Cold Brew Method for Iced Coffee?
The cold brew method simply means that you steep your ground coffee beans in cold water, overnight, in the fridge. Sound strange?
It’s the method preferred by baristas (baristi, bariste – a bartender by any other name!). And let me tell you, it really works and produces a better glass of iced coffee!
The 2 biggest advantages to the cold brew method are:
- You’re not starting with hot coffee that is diluted with the ice you inevitably pour it over.
- Coffee brewed this way, while retaining all its flavour, is a touch mellower on the tongue and a touch less bitter, almost like drinking Kopi Luwak (Civet cat coffee).
The recipe here will give you a medium milky coffee, not quite latte milky. As you can see, we are using equal amounts of milk to coffee. You can always increase the milk (or decrease it), and even use cream for a creamier coffee, especially if that’s how you like to drink your regular hot coffee.
How to sweeten your Cold Brew Iced Coffee
I drink the iced coffee here without any sugar, as I drink hot coffee without sugar, most of the time. I only add sugar if it’s bad coffee! Don’t forget that if you are planning to add ice cream to your iced coffee, for a coffee float, that is also going to sweeten your iced coffee somewhat.
Since any added sugar is going to have a long old time trying to dissolve in your cold brew, we make some simple sugar syrup to add to the coffee, to sweeten.
Keep the leftover syrup in the fridge, it will last a week. It’s perfect for cocktails and mocktails.
Well, that’s it. Shall we go enjoy a tall glass of iced coffee?
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Homemade Iced Coffee (Cold Brew Method)
- 150 g coffee beans, coarsely ground
- 500 ml cold water
- 500 ml full fat milk
- Ice cubes as needed
- Vanilla ice cream to finish off if you fancy
Simple Sugar Syrup
- 200 g white sugar
- 125 ml water
The Night Before
- Place your ground coffee in a French press or in a jug.
- Top with the cold water, stir, cover with cling film and leave in the fridge overnight. Don’t use the plunger at this point.
The Next Day, to serve
- Plunge your French press as you would usually, or strain through a fine mesh strainer.
- Divide equally amongst 4 tall glasses.
- Top with cold milk.
- Add sugar syrup, if needed, and stir to mix. I love it without sugar.
- Either add ice cubes or top with ice cream.