I can live without coffee...I just don’t want to!
Cafe visits and daily coffee splurges aren’t for everyone and their wallets though, and working from home has been a lesson to many, on just how fun doing it yourself can be.
Following the harsher lockdown levels, I treated myself to an old-school diner-style coffee machine I’d always coveted, to start.
With a machine fit to drip me the aromatic dark elixir, I recently tried my hand at more creamy Iced Coffee – perfect for those with a hankering for a caffeine fix, but not feeling up to the heat of a regular brew.
Iced Coffee making doesn’t need truly outlandish flourishes and near-alchemical skill.
FIRST RULE: The right bean sets the tone for Coffee success!
You have to choose your coffee bean, flavour blend, and supplier well. Why?
Because the fierceness and freshness of the coffee’s flavour, the brew’s ability to chill well and still be enjoyable, as well as the geoeconomic variables that reveal some beans aren’t sourced with the right ethics, mean that YOU – the consumer – have to pay attention before putting down your hard earned money and labour into DIY coffee brewing.
Once you’ve found the ideal coffee flavour pick for you (never be swayed by others’ tastes. Choose what titillates your nose and tastebuds!), ensure the coffee is set up for your at-home brewing tools.
Those who love espresso, cortado, lattes, or pour-overs require different instruments, so either:
- Get the beans freshly ground in-store
- Buy beans to grind at home
- Buy the pre-packaged filter coffee grounds.
One of my favourite Cape Town cafe haunts also happens to produce some of the best coffee in the city and can grind in-house beans on request.
Mischu Coffee exemplifies the unpretentious side of speciality coffee culture; They’re excellent without gimmicks, well-regarded and without ego. They sell great coffee and deliver good vibes. In between the owners’ own fascination with coffee flavour combinations and brewing just right, there’s a side of the Cape-based business dedicated to developing barista talents, and educating coffee lovers too.
Stocked in stores, restaurants, and cyclist haunts around the Cape too, Mischu Coffee’s ‘Colombia’, as well as their ‘Isabella Blend’ deliver for any coffee lover hankering for a fix. Mischu’s beans being prepared the way they are, means you’re likely to taste a great balance of the bean terroir as well as the roasted flavour notes, rather than one overwhelming the other.
If you’re ever in the Sea Point area, definitely stop in at their cafe for a grande Cappucino!
At home: brew a fresh pot of coffee, pour some of it into an empty ice tray, and freeze.
The Ingredient Lineup
Twist things up depending on your preferences, but this is what I used to bring my Iced Coffee to life:
- OATLY Oat Milk
- Mischu Coffee ‘Colombia’ Medium Roast Coffee
- Vanilla Essence
- Nescafe Cappuccino Sachet
- Cocoa powder
- Fresh Cream
- Brown Sugar
- Coffee Machine
- A durable mug
- A really lovely glass to enjoy everything in
…And honestly, it’s just about experimenting with quantities you prefer, and mixing it all together!
The DIY Method
While my coffee ice cubes had been cooling since the evening before, I held off taking them out till the last minute of serving. I did, however, brew the day’s coffee fresh, and then let it sit for a bit so the flavour profile smoothens and the acidity is balanced.
Keep in mind: There is my method of Iced Coffee-making, the regular ways Iced Cofee is made, and the actual “Cold Brew Coffee” methods (some requiring up to 24 hours of coffee soaking), which yields different flavours, and even mouth feels, due to how they’re combined at different temperatures.
In one bowl, I whisked together the Cream, vanilla essence, Cappucino sachet, brown sugar (known to help in fluffing up creamy concoctions), a bit of cinnamon, and the cocoa powder. It wasn’t as fluffy as I would have preferred – but that’s why a mechanic whisk or blender works best!
*Note: The drawback of hand whisking unheated ingrediants, is also that the granules of the ingredients are much more prominen. So, the night before, you could blend and whisk them hot, and then let them sit overnight in the fridge, and lightly whisk the next day. This ensures the heat dissolves some of the sediment and makes it a much more cohesive mix to top your Iced Coffee up with the next day.
In your fancy or cute serving glass, drop your coffee ice cubes till they hit the top of the glass rim.
Pour your freshly brewed coffee in, only about 1/3 of the way.
Grab your Oat Milk (or Almond or Full Cream milk), and pour 1/3 on top of the coffee and ice block combo.
One last whisk with your cinnamon/cream/sugar/cappuccino/vanilla mixture, and pour that slowly over your Milk level till it hits the rim.
And that’s it!
Got your own Iced Coffee Recipe or coffee bean recommendation? DROP A COMMENT BELOW!