Generally, you’ve heard that a French press makes great hot coffee. But! Besides that, a French press is a versatile and good option for making iced coffees, cold brews, and a French press espresso as well.
But first! Let’s clarify what’s the difference between a “Cold brew” and an “Iced coffee”?
It is important to note that iced coffee is prepared using hot water (195-205 degrees), whereas cold brew is prepared using cold water (room temperature).
They both have different taste profiles as well. An iced coffee tastes sharp, acidic, and slightly bitter similar to brewed coffee.
However, cold brew tastes strong and naturally sweet. It is slightly higher in caffeine than iced coffee and made with a more coarse ground.
You can make French Press iced coffee with the cold brew route and I must say it’s the best way to prepare iced coffee but it takes a very long (16-24 hours) so you have to prepare for it a day earlier.
Why Use French Press for Iced Coffee
For making iced coffee, French Press coffee makers are perfect.
Here are some reasons why I love using French Press for making Iced Coffee.
- A French press is easy to use and does not require any special equipment or electricity, making it an ideal option for making iced coffee at home.
- With a French Press, you get a rich, full-bodied cup of coffee, which means the flavors don’t get diluted when the ice cubes are poured over it. Coffee brewed with drip machines, Chemex, or Hario is filtered and gets diluted when you add the ice cubes.
- You have complete control over the brewing process. The amount of coffee grounds, the size of the grounds, and the water you use in a French press can easily be adjusted to suit your taste.
2 Methods to Prepare French Press Iced Coffee
There are two different methods to prepare Iced Coffee with French Press.
I personally love to prepare with the Cold brew route as it results in a delicious and smooth cold coffee drink.
French Press Iced Coffee Recipe (Cold Brew Route)
- French Press Coffee Maker
- Coffee Grinder (Optional)
- Drinking Water
- Scale (Optional)
- 2 tbsp Coarse Ground coffee
- 8 oz Water (Room Temperature)
- Ice Cubes
- Milk (Optional)
- Sweetners (Optional)
- Grind the 2 tablesppons of Coffee beans to Coarse Settings.Using a coarse grind for cold brew coffee is essential for achieving a smooth and flavorful cup, without the bitterness and over-extraction that can result from using a finer grind.
- Add the Freshly ground coffee beans to French Press and Pour water over it. Don't use hot Water, the water must be at the room temperature
- Gently stir the Mixture for at least 1 minute.
- Place the lid on French Press with the Plunger in the upward position. Leave the mixture at room temperature and allow the coffee steep overnight for 16-24 hours.
- Next day, Press the Plunger to separate the coffee grounds from brewed coffee.Push the Plunger slowly otherwise your drink will become muddy.
- Fill a glass with ice cubes and pour freshly brewed coffee from French Press into the glass.You may like to add Creamers, Milks or Sweeteners to make your drink more Fancy
How to make Iced Coffee with French Press | The Quick Way
Undoubtedly, the best way to prepare Iced coffee in French Press is with a cold brew. However, it takes much time and you have to prepare for it a day prior.
If you are in a rush, Here’s the second method to prepare iced coffee quickly.
- Boil the water: after boiling let it sit for 30 minutes.
- Grind the coffee beans- Grind 1/3 cup of coffee beans (2 ounces)
Step 1: Pour The Ground Coffee And Water
Pour the coarse coffee grounds into a French press. Add 1/4th of the water so the bean can expand. Add water in a circular motion. Stir it gently for 30 seconds
Step 2: Let the Grounds Steep
For Iced Coffee steep the grounds in French Press for a little bit longer than a normal hot brew. 5 or 6 minutes is a good starting point you can adjust from there according to your taste.
The reason is ice cubes dilute the coffee and the longer steeping time will help to counter that.
Step 3: Fill a glass with Ice cubes
Meanwhile, the coffee is steeping. Take a glass and fill it with iced cubes to the top.
Step 4: Press the Plunger
Now Press the Plunger slowly, and Pour the freshly ground coffee into the glass full of ice cubes.
Step 5: Serve and Enjoy
Your Iced coffee is ready, you can serve the drink as it is or you can add milk or creamers for extra flavors. Either you’ll love it!
Tips to enhance the flavor of Iced Coffee
Here are some tips to make the taste of French Press Iced Coffee better.
1- Freeze Brewed-Coffee Ice Cubes
Does your Iced Coffee taste watered down?
There’s a solution to this! Froze some brewed coffee into ice cubes and add them to your recipe instead of water ice cubes.
Using coffee ice cubes instead of regular ice cubes will prevent your iced coffee from getting diluted and makes the flavors better and stronger.
2- Add Honey As a Natural Sweetener
Honey has some potential health benefits over other sweeteners as it contains a lower concentration of fructose that can lead to health diseases.
Honey is not only a healthy alternative but actually makes the taste of iced coffee delicious.
3) Use Frothed Milk
When milk is frothed, it becomes aerated and has a creamy, silky texture. This texture can create a contrast with the cold and refreshing nature of the iced coffee, making the drink more delicious.
4- Use Flavored Syrups
Adding a flavored syrup like vanilla, caramel, or hazelnut can add a sweet and tasty twist to your iced coffee.
5- Use Fresh Whole Beans Coffee
Always use freshly ground coffee for the ultimate freshness and flavors.
After grinding, coffee grounds start to lose their flavor and aroma, and they become stale over time, so it is best to use them as soon as possible.
Furthermore, using freshly ground coffee beans allows you to control the grind size, which can affect the strength and flavor of the coffee. So you can easily experiment with different grind sizes and find the perfect match for your taste.
6- Add Some Ice-Cream
You might haven’t heard of this but adding ice cream to coffee can be a great combo for sure.
Adding 1-2 scoops of Vanilla ice cream to the coffee decreases the temperature without making the coffee watery or over-saturated.
This will make a delicious Dessert loved by many people (I don’t like it, though).
Final Thoughts on French Press Iced Coffee
French press iced coffee is a great way to enjoy a refreshing and flavorful cup of coffee on a hot summer day.
The reason I love French Press for Iced Coffee is they are easy to use, affordable, and make rich and strong coffee that doesn’t get watered down by ice.
If you have the time, I recommend you prepare iced coffee using Cold Brew and I am sure you will enjoy it.
What are the Methods to prepare iced Coffee besides French Press?
While the French press is a popular method to make iced coffee, there are several other ways to make it.
A popular method of making iced coffee is the pour-over method, which involves pouring hot water over the grounds of the coffee and letting it drip into an ice-filled carafe. The method results in a more delicate and nuanced flavor than other methods.
Espresso over ice is also a method of making iced coffee, as it involves brewing a shot of espresso and pouring it over ice, resulting in an intense and bold flavor.
Is Cold Brew Iced Coffee Stronger than Regular Brew Iced Coffee?
Iced coffee made with cold brew is generally stronger than regular brew iced coffee. This is because cold brew involves steeping coarsely ground coffee in cold water for an extended period.
Cold brew iced coffee has a less acidic and smoother flavor, as the cold water extraction creates a less bitter and more mellow flavor.