Summer is here and although the weather is less than favourable – coffee drinkers, including myself have quickly shifted to the taste of an ice-cold coffee. An iced coffee is just a hot shot of espresso made cold using ice, simple right? But with an abundance of coffee beans, alternative milks and syrups, the simple iced coffee is nothing but. There is a fine balance in creating something so uncomplicated. From the beans chosen, all the way to what type of milk and even sweetness. To help you decide how to create your ultimate combination, follow our 5 simple steps to your perfect iced coffee.

Step one: Choose your coffee

I suggest you use medium to light roast for a perfect iced coffee. Darker roasts contain a higher number of soluble carbon particles contributing to the extra smoky bitter flavours. This bitterness is highlighted when the coffee is served cold and sometimes require extra enhancers like syrups or sugar. But when heated milk hits coffee, the developed sugar in the milk helps to dampen some of the sharp notes like acidity and bitterness. This process just doesn’t happen with cold milk, so you may end up with a sour/bitter taste in your mouth. Try to avoid already ground coffee. The general rule of thumb is that grinding your own beans prior to brewing, is the best way to taste the coffee at its purest.

Step two: To sweeten or not to sweeten?

Well, if you’ve chosen your best coffee for your drink, then surely you shouldn’t need to sweeten? All up to preference, so if you do need a little extra sugar boost, then we recommend adding your sugar or syrup to your espresso before pouring into your glass.

Step three: Ice the coffee

Pour coffee, add ice, pour over milk, stir. Easy right? Pour your espresso (and syrup or sugar) into the bottom of the glass. Now fill the glass halfway with ice to cool down the coffee. Don’t worry about the first few melting, the milk will help that slow down.

Step four: Add milk

Milk can make it or break it, so choose carefully. Try to avoid soy milk as it can occasionally ‘curdle’ or split, this happens mostly with acidic, lightly roasted coffees. Full fat milk would be our go-to as it gives the drink a lovely full-bodied mouthfeel. But if you’re looking at alternatives, we recommend coconut. Not only does it introduce extra subtle notes, but it is a great flavour to celebrate summer. Another one of our favourites is oat milk, goes great cold with a nice biscuity flavour. If you’re looking for something bold, hazelnut milk may be worth a try.

Step five: Stir, stir, stir!

You may think your coffee is ready, it looks lovely and layered, smells great and you can already feel the chill. But we would suggest giving it a few good stirs to mix the coffee with the milk, and ensure it is ice cold throughout and ready for you to enjoy!