If you drink coffee on a regular basis, you probably find yourself sipping on a specialty coffee drink made with a shot of espresso from time to time. Hot espresso drinks, like lattes and Americanos, are super popular among coffee enthusiasts, so it’s no surprise that you and so many others across the globe are drinking them often.
But maybe you’re a fan of cold drinks and want to enjoy something over ice that has no foam. You could make a simple iced coffee, sure, but what if you need a drink that’s a bit stronger? Well, that’s when a good old iced espresso hits the spot!
WHAT’S AN ICED ESPRESSO?
It’s exactly what it sounds like: espresso served over ice cubes. It’s just like cooling down with an iced coffee, but it’s got a slightly more powerful kick.
WAIT…COFFEE AND ESPRESSO ARE DIFFERENT?
Short answer: yes…but not for the reasons you think.
The truth is, there isn’t a difference between the beans used to make coffee and espresso; contrary to popular belief, there’s no such thing as an “espresso bean.” Espresso is defined not by the type of bean, but the processes a regular coffee bean undergoes.
Beans used for espresso are simply roasted darker and ground finer than those used for drip coffee. This is so they can properly withstand the high pressure of an espresso machine without losing their intense, smoky flavor. Regular coffee, on the other hand, requires a coarser grind and a less pressurized brewing method.
Need the long answer to the question? Check out our in-depth article comparing the two.
MAKE A COLD, ICED ESPRESSO AT HOME
- Glass of ice
- 3 shots of espresso
- 2 tablespoons of heavy cream (optional)
- 1 tablespoon of sugar (optional)
Use your espresso machine and your favorite finely ground coffee to prepare your shots of espresso. Remember, when it comes to brewing quality coffee, fresher is always better, so if you have a grinder readily available, grind your beans minutes before beginning to brew.
Pour the shots of espresso over a tall glass of ice. You can use as many ice cubes as you like.
Of course, you can drink the iced espresso as is, but if you’d like to cut the bitterness of your brew, add sugar and heavy cream to your liking. Our recipe calls for a tablespoon of sugar and two of heavy cream, but you can add more or less depending on your preferences. And if heavy cream isn’t your thing, add a splash of cold milk to the drink instead.
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ICED ESPRESSO PRO-TIPS
Here are a few tips to consider trying as you prepare your beverage.
- Add the sugar to your espresso before you pour it over ice so you can be certain all the granules will dissolve before you sip your drink.
- Feeling a bit wary of pouring hot espresso over ice? Let your brewed espresso chill in the refrigerator for a few minutes before you pour it over ice. That way, your drink is cold, not lukewarm, and the coffee won’t cause the ice to melt immediately.
- If you’re one who likes to sip on their iced coffee drinks for a long time, you know there’s nothing worse than melted ice watering down the flavor of the beverage. Keep all the coffee flavor intact by using frozen coffee cubes; when the ice begins to melt, there’ll be no water to dilute your drink.
Effortless Iced Espresso
A chilled espresso drink that is perfect for those summer days when coffee just won't cut it.
- Glass of ice
- 3 shots of espresso
- 2 tablespoons heavy cream (optional)
- 1 tablespoon sugar (optional)
- Prepare your 3 shots of espresso.
- Pour espresso directly over your ice. Add more ice to your liking.
- Add milk and sugar to taste or serve as is!