With the rising temperatures, it’s about that time of year to start offering iced coffee and iced specialty drinks! Iced drinks can be an integral part of coffee sales during the warm summer seasons, allowing customers to have an opportunity to escape intense heat and cool off while getting caffeinated, especially in the South!
There are several different ways to offer iced coffee these days, and many cafes have decided to utilize the “toddy” method of cold-brewing coffee. However, there are other methods available that can be utilized using equipment you already own in your shop!
Making concentrates is a popular way of offering iced coffee, having ultimately a concoction that is twice as potent as you would normally brew, then adding ice. One of the unique benefits of iced coffee is that it has a lower acidity than that of normal coffee, and also has a lower amount of caffeine (especially appealing to the late night coffee drinker in all of us)! Keep in mind that dark roasted coffee tends to yield a smoother and more enjoyable flavor than lightly roasted coffee.
The toddy brewing process creates a concentrate that you can add to frappes, iced lattes, iced mochas, or just create iced coffee.
The Japanese method is rapidly gaining popularity throughout cafes as the way to serve iced coffee. This consists of any pour over device (Chemex, Hario V60, etc.) and takes only a couple of minutes to prepare. This process produces an extremely smooth and flavorful cup of iced coffee, brewing right onto ice so it is only hot for a couple of seconds. You can also incorporate your drip brewer to produce larger quantities of iced coffee by using the amount of coffee that yields a full pot but only running the half-pot water cycle. Of course you will still brew on top of a container that has the correct proportion of ice (the same ratio as for the pour-over method).
Iced Vietnamese-style coffee is another great method which requires a Phin filter and condensed milk. Start by pouring a small amount of condensed milk into the vessel you wish to brew into and add coffee (1 rounded tablespoon per 6 ounces at a coarse grind) to the Phin filter. Brew on top of the condensed milk, stir, and add ice! The later two methods are not concentrations, so it is important to get the right proportions every time so you do not water down the coffee.
Iced americanos will also help increase coffee sales during the warmer months by adding a cool refreshing version of a classic coffee beverage. Simply pull the shots of espresso directly into cool water and then add ice!
From a cost perspective, Toddy produces a larger quantity of iced coffee, running at about .21 cents an ounce. The Japanese method is brewed by the cup which requires a little bit more time and skill, but runs at only about .04 cents per ounce. While the Japanese-method costs less, it does call for more time per cup whereas the toddy is already made and ready to be used.
Iced signature or specialty beverages can also help increase your profit margins during the warmer seasons while standard coffee sales tend to slow down, and also increase efficiency by adding profitable and sought after items! The best way to prepare iced lattes or signature drinks involving milk is to add the ingredients and milk into a cup and pull the shots on top of the milk, leaving room for ice. This keeps the espresso shots from melting the ice and becoming watery, thereby diminishing the full flavor of the espresso. Then all that is left is to stir, add ice and serve!
Below are some links that may be of use when starting to get into the brewing processes: