Let us set up this scene for you – it’s a hot day and all you want is a mid-day pick-me-up. There’s no time to go to your favorite coffee shop. Your only option is to brew a hot pot of coffee.
But, remember – it’s hot out. You’re now faced with the quandary of trying to decide if the caffeine jolt from your favorite cup of joe is really worth sipping down hot on an already miserable day. Of course, if you had some coffee ice cubes on hand, this entire situation could easily be avoided.
Coffee ice cubes, despite their simplicity, are gaining in popularity among coffee drinkers around the world. They are a simple way to create your favorite cold brew coffee beverages at home without having to run to your favorite coffee shop or invest in an expensive machine.
What’s the Deal with Coffee Ice Cubes?
Coffee ice cubes are exactly what their name implies- they are simply frozen, flavored coffee that works to create frozen or cold beverages in your own kitchen.
Let’s go back to the hot coffee on a hot day scenario. If you are about to drink a cup of hot brew, you might think that regular ice cubes are the way go. The problem with this, of course, is that your cup of coffee gets too watered down. This is a dissatisfying turn of events, for sure.
For a while, it was believed that freezing sweetened creamer was a good way of curing this situation, however, it was soon discovered that this created a slushy film on top of the coffee.
After some more experimenting, though, some coffee experts began spreading the good news – flavored coffee ice cubes can be blended in a blender or simply set out to thaw to create a delicious iced or cold brew coffee drink any time the craving hits.
How to Make Perfect Coffee Ice Cubes
Making the perfect coffee ice cubes at home is simple and takes virtually no time at all. Below, we will talk about our tried and true, perfected method of creating delicious and useful coffee ice cubes in your own kitchen.
By following these simple step-by-step instructions, you’ll soon be whipping up cool coffee treats for yourself any time you want them (and saving a small fortune in coffee shop costs.).
Brew a Pot of Your Favorite Coffee
Obviously, a fresh pot of coffee is the best place to start. Some will say that freezing your leftover coffee is just as good, and this is honestly a matter of preference. We believe that a freshly brewed pot will make the best cubes, however.
Brew coffee a little stronger than usual for coffee ice cubes. You’ll likely wind up mixing with milk, water, or even ice cream to create a perfect cold brew drink. When your coffee is completely brewed, allow it to cool to just slightly warmer than room temperature. This will allow for the next step to be executed successfully.
Mix in Flavor
This is the step where you add in your favorite flavored syrup or creamer. If you are using creamer, go with a liquid creamer and not a powdered version.
A powdered creamer will not dissolve properly unless coffee is scalding hot. This will cause it to clump up in the freezing process creating unsightly and unappetizing lumps in your drink. Rather than choke back chunks of powder or risk an uneven freeze to cream, you might opt for a flavored syrup, instead.
If using flavored syrup, you’ll want to mix well to make sure the syrup breaks up and distributes evenly throughout the coffee.
You might also choose, simply, to sweeten the coffee with sugar. This is the simplest way to sweeten the coffee and sugars typically dissolve rather well.
If you prefer your coffee black, of course, it’s okay to skip this step altogether.
Carefully Pour into Ice Trays
The next step is pretty simple. Just carefully pour the coffee into clean, dry ice trays. Trays that have been set out at room temperature will work the best. If the trays are too warm, they will be malleable and hard to handle. If they are too cold, the coffee will not spread evenly throughout the tray basins.
Once the coffee is poured carefully into the trays, you can move on to the next step.
You can stack the trays in the freezer, but do so carefully. Place the trays in a place where they will not be contaminated by other foods or environmental agents.
It will take about four hours for the trays to freeze fully. Once frozen, they will last for a couple weeks.
Use and Enjoy!
When you are ready for a frozen coffee drink, simply remove the required number of coffee ice cubes from the freezer and mix them with whatever other ingredients you need. Enjoy your instant, cool brew coffee treat.
Other Flavored Ice Cubes to Try with Iced Coffee
If you aren’t keen on the idea of freezing coffee itself, there are still flavorful ways to create ice cubes that will enhance the flavor of your at-home cold coffee drinks. If you’re looking for other ways to jazz up your cold coffee game without freezing the coffee itself, read on. We have compiled some of our favorite frozen coffee additive ideas.
These additives all work great as stand-alone coffee enhancers, or they can be combined to create flavorful mixed frozen coffee drinks.
To keep your favorite cold brew coffee additives on hand at all times, invest in some plastic containers with lids that you can label appropriately to keep a few cubes of all your favorite flavors on hand all the time.
Making Vanilla Bean ice cubes for cold brew coffee is a great way to mix in a little added flavor. To do this, combine 6 ounces of almond milk, 1 teaspoon of vanilla extract, 2 tablespoons of granulated sugar, and pour them into an ice tray. Freeze this mixture for about 5 hours and you’ll be ready to mix up a delicious cool brew on the go anytime.
Frozen Espresso cubes make a great addition to already cool coffee drinks. They are flavorful and add an extra boost of caffeine to your beverage. If your coffee drink is too sweet, they can also help to reverse some of the extra sugar in the drink and bring you a more manageable flavor.
image source: foodieunderground.com
You need 6 ounces of almond milk, three tablespoons of hazelnut spread, and an ice tray to pull this recipe off. These cubes are delicious and mix well with hot or cold coffee. They also work well alone as mini frozen treats.
A caramel latte from your favorite coffee shop can be frozen in an ice tray to add the same great flavoring to your at-home coffee brews. You simply spread the latte evenly throughout the ice trays and allow it to cool to room temperature. Once that is done, the trays can be inserted into the refrigerator and frozen.
To brew a delicious cool mocha drink, combine six ounces of cold brew, a cup of almond milk, and 2 tablespoons of chocolate syrup. Once fully combined, you’ll need to pour the ingredients into an ice tray and freeze for about six hours.
This will add a rich, chocolate flavor to your coffee drink. The more cubes you add, the more flavorful it will be.
Have Fun and Experiment With Your Frozen Coffee Creativity
There are countless ways to prepare ahead for the perfect froze coffee treat at any time. The ones we have listed here are simply a few of our favorite ideas to help you get started.
Never be afraid to try out your own ideas and see where they take you. Nobody knows what you like more than you do, and the possibilities are endless when it comes to flavoring a delicious coffee drink at any time of day or in any season.
Amaretto, mint, ginger, cinnamon, or even your favorite shot of alcohol can make your next coffee treat all the more delicious and enjoyable.