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Hot Day, Cold Coffee: Iced Coffee Love

Iced coffee is a summer staple. I crave it the moment I roll out of bed; and there’s no better warm weather afternoon pick-me-up than a strong, smooth, cold brew.

Since iced coffee gets diluted by ice, it’s got to be robust. One approach is to simply brew a pot of super-strong coffee, and leave it in the fridge to cool. The cold brew method is my favorite way to get big, brawny iced coffee. Here’s how it works: grind up a pound of coffee you love (or ask the Fairway coffee guy or gal to do so) , stir in 10 cups of cold water, and let the concoction sit overnight. The next morning, strain out the grounds and voila! A pitcher of potent coffee awaits. Your concentrated brew will stay delicious in the fridge for about two weeks.

But that’s not the end. I’m a coffee purist: I like my hot coffee black. But iced coffee has a different place in my heart and in my day–it is a cold, sweet treat–and I doctor up my cold brew with plenty of milk and sugar. Or cream, if I’m feeling decadent. And no need to stop there. A good cup of iced coffee is a veritable canvas on which to paint an inspired culinary masterpiece. Here are some ideas to get you started and shake up your iced coffee routine:

  •  Use a flavored bean. I love Fairway Chocolate-Almond Coffee.
  • Make Vietnamese iced coffee:  Brew your coffee with beans containing chicory. Our New Orleans blend does the trick. Then add sweetened condensed milk to taste, for awesome sweetness and richness.
  • Make Thai iced coffee: For each cup of brewed coffee, add 1/2 teaspoon of ground cardamom, 1/2 teaspoon of almond extract, 1 tablespoon of sugar, and as much half-and-half as you like.
  • For even stronger coffee, make coffee ice cubes by pouring room temperature coffee into an ice tray and freezing overnight. Pour your brew over a glass of these for coffee-on-coffee intensity.
  • At a party or a picnic, shake it all up in a cocktail shaker, for flair and fizz.
  • Make a frappe: Mix one or two teaspoons of instant coffee, sugar (to taste) and a little water until foamy. Pour over ice, and top with condensed milk or half-and-half.
  • Have your iced coffee in dessert form. The Italians do it right–make an affogato by topping a scoop of vanilla gelato with a shot of espresso. A glug of amaretto is optional.

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