There is nothing quite so good for the soul as watching the summer sunset from a comfortable chair on the patio and sipping away on a perfect iced latte. The problems of the day are gone, the blazing sun has given way to the spectacle of its burnt-auburn half- medallion slipping below the trees. You gently shake the glass, listen to the gentle tickling ice, and admire the magical layer of silky froth still clinging to the inside. Life’s good, and moments filled with coffee make it all the better.
Most of us think of iced latte as a drink to order in a fancy coffee shop or at an expensive resort, rather than a refreshing drink to be enjoyed at home. We've been making iced lattes at home for years and thought we ought to share our secrets with you. We’ve got a few top tips, some spiffy variations, and a couple of ways to jazz things up. If you’ve been living under a rock and haven’t tried an iced latte, you’re in for a real homemade treat.
Starbucks brought cold coffee into the spotlight when they added Frappuccinos to their brand in the mid-nineties. But cold coffee has been around since the nineteenth century. In 1839, during the French conquest of Algeria, troops fighting the Battle of Mazagran took to drinking their coffee cold to battle the heat. They also mixed water with cold coffee syrup, and the drink became known as Mazagran. When the veterans returned to Paris, the cool, sweetened coffee was served in tall glasses and became known as café mazagran. Just as did the Americano, the iced coffee has its roots in battle.
Before we roll up our sleeves and make an iced latte, we should take a minute to understand iced coffee itself. Don't confuse it with cold brew; they are two very different beasts. Iced coffee is coffee that has been brewed using hot water, left to cool, and served chilled or over ice. Cold brew, on the other hand, is the result of coffee grounds being steeped at room temperature or cold water for twelve hours or more. The two drinks are distinct in taste, with cold brew known for its smooth, sweet flavor. In short, iced coffee is a way of serving coffee, and cold brew is a brewing method.
If you’re going to have a great coffee, iced or not, freshness is the key. You wouldn’t drink stale hot coffee, so why would you want to drink it cold. We make our iced lattes with as much love as we make any other cup of coffee. In other words, we start with quality whole coffee beans and grind them right before brewing. In our opinion, the best iced latte drinks are made with fresh espresso shots pulled minutes before being poured over the ice. French brew also makes a nice iced latte and allows you to make a batch to keep in the fridge for a few hours. If you want to store cold coffee for drinking over a day or two, we suggest you make a batch of cold brew instead since the flavors hold up longer. Either way, you need to start with fresh beans and brew to purpose.
It’s important to select the right beans. When coffee is served chilled, it can have a muddied, slightly bitter taste, so proper bean selection is important. , We make our iced lattes with our Chamberlain Night Owl Coffee Blend because of its dark, rich, flavor. The coffee pushes through the milk with wonderful flavors of nuts, chocolate, caramel, honey, and toasted walnuts. Besides being one hundred percent USDA organic and fair trade, the blend is moderate in caffeine making it the perfect choice for any time of day. Lattes made with this blend have a great nutty taste with a natural sweetness.
If you visit a trendy coffee shop, you’re apt to be overwhelmed with choices for frozen coffee drinks. But, as you’ve come to expect from us, our recipes are all about the coffee, and not layers of ice cream, ribbons of syrup, and dazzling toppings. Don’t get us wrong, our hips have been introduced to many of those fanciful drinks, but you can’t pack those away regularly, nor are they easy on the pocketbook. So, with the coffee in mind, we've selected the best iced latte recipes to make at home.
How to make an iced latte at home
If you love iced latte as much as we do, you're most likely craving an iced coffee right now. It becomes awfully expensive to buy an iced latte from coffee shops every day, so why not just make it yourself? It is surprisingly easy to make an iced latte at home and we have gathered some of our favorite recipes here:
The perfect Almond Iced latte
A cup of hot brewed coffee has less than 2 calories, so why go ruin the purity with a ton of unwanted fat. Our pick for the top iced latte goes to the creamy, nutty, naturally sweetened, guilt-free and vegan, Iced Almond Latte.
What you’ll need
- Fresh coffee beans from the Chamberlain Coffee Bags Collection
- A French Press
- Almond milk
- Nutpod dairy-free creamer
How to do it
- Put the grounds into a French Press and cover them with boiling water.
- Wait 30 seconds before using a spatula to mix the beans with the water.
- Add boiling water to the French Press. The amount of water needed will depend on the size of your French Press.
- Leave the coffee to brew for 4 minutes.
- Pour the hot coffee into mason jars and seal them.
- Put the mason jars in the fridge for at least an hour.
- Pour the cold coffee over ice.
- Add almond milk.
- Add Nutpod Original flavor.
- Stir the drink.
Coconut Iced Latte
Now, if you’re wanting a triple hitter, nut allergy compliant, gluten-free, and vegan, we’ve got you covered. This Coconut Iced Latte is phenomenal and guaranteed to keep you away from guilt the whole summer long.
What you’ll need
- Two fresh espresso shots
- 2-3 cups cold, unsweetened, organic coconut milk
- 3 tbsp organic raw honey
- 1 tsp vanilla extract
How to do it
- Grind coffee beans and pull two fresh espresso shots maintaining a thick, rich, crema.
- Pour the espresso shots into a mason jar.
- Stir in the raw honey and let cool a bit.
- Pour over the cold coconut milk.
- Add a few ice cubes, stir, and enjoy.
Maple Iced Latte
So, let’s forget about the calories for just a minute. This recipe is made with whole milk, but you could use almond milk instead. It’s the maple syrup that makes this one a winner, and you don’t have to add any other sweetener. The recipe makes two servings, and we use a French Press to brew the coffee.
What you’ll need
- Dark roast beans. We suggest our Fancy Mouse Espresso Blend.
- 1 cup whole or 2% milk
- 2 tbsp pure maple syrup
- 1 cup ice cubes
How to do it
- Use a French Press and brew up 1 ½ cups of strong coffee.
- Place the milk in a microwavable jar and seal it. Shake vigorously.
- Remove the lid from the milk and place the container in a microwave for 15 seconds.
- Divide the ice cubes between two mason jars or other large serving glasses.
- Drizzle each mason jar or cup with maple syrup.
- Using a spoon to hold back some of the foam, pour the milk into the mason jars. Dollop some foam on top of each
- Sprinkle with a dash of coca.
Our top tips
- Choose medium-dark or dark roast beans so the flavor will push through the milk
- If your storing coffee in the fridge, place it in a sealable glass container. Unless it’s a cold brew, don’t keep it for more than a day. Cold brew, on the other hand, is a coffee concentrate and can be stored in the fridge for several days.
- Chill the serving glasses in the fridge or rinse them with very cold water. This will stop the ice from melting quickly, diluting the drink.
- Fill an ice tray with cold coffee instead of water and freeze it. Pop one of these coffee cubes in your latte along with the regular ice cubes. As it melts, the coffee flavor is added to your drink, offsetting the diluting effect of the ice.
- Try adding a pinch of sea salt. The salt takes any bitterness away from the chilled coffee.
- Keep the calories low by sweetening with honey, prune paste or maple syrup.
Feel free to play around with these recipes! Everyone has different taste preferences and you can use these recipes as a baseline of how to make an iced latte at home. You can experiment by adding other ingredients. For example, you can add vanilla syrup to create an iced vanilla latte.
Jazzing up your iced latte
Any good chef will tell you that taste starts with the eyes, and we couldn’t agree more. Chins drop when we arrive on the patio with mason jars filled with iced Lattes and floating clouds of frothy milk. Once we’ve poured the latte and topped it with foam, we draw a thin single line across the foam with chocolate syrup. Drawing a toothpick back and forth across the line leaves a "z" pattern in the foam. Cool!
Next, we jazz things up with a stainless steel straw. In the USA alone, more than five hundred million single-use plastic straws end up in the landfill every day. If we insist on coffee being grown using sustainable farming practices, why on earth we would be so selfish as to stick a plastic straw in our drink. Get your hands on one of our Stainless Steel Straw Sets. You might just be tempted to snap a selfie before that first sip!
Iced lattes are the best way to celebrate a summer afternoon with friends and family. Easy to make, dazzling to present, beautiful to behold, wonderful to drink, they are a simple reminder of the diversity and imagination to be found in that tiny bean! Share with us your favorite iced coffee recipe.