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I have been experimenting with iced coffee lately as summer has started and I haven't really had any good results. The coffee always tastes...different then what I believe it should taste like. What factors could attribute to having good iced coffee?

I brew it by using a standard coffee brewer (drip, i believe?) and then well, I ice it.

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    It would be very beneficial to know all differences from brewing hot coffee such as amount of ground coffee, grind size, preferred roast level, brew/steeping time, etc. – Steven Vaccaro May 25 '15 at 1:40
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    Cold brew coffee does taste different than other methods. Have you had cold-brewed coffee from a coffee shop or grocery? How is yours different, or how do you believe it should taste? As @StevenVaccaro said, please say your preparation method. – hoc_age May 25 '15 at 2:10
  • You do mean cold-brewed coffee, right? You have it tagged as both cold-brew (i.e., brewed at or below room temperature) and iced-coffee (i.e., brewed hot and then iced; or possibly brewed cold then iced); I modified to explicitly say cold-brew. Please re-modify if we missed your point! – hoc_age May 26 '15 at 15:58
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    All fixed up @hoc_age – NealC May 26 '15 at 16:09
  • To deal with bullet point #2 on the accepted answer, you can use regular strength coffee. Have a separate ice cube tray, or store in a freezer bag, and make your ice cubes out of good quality coffee. – PoloHoleSet Oct 13 '16 at 20:31
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Iced coffee, specifically drip brewed coffee poured over ice has a few things to consider with respect to taste.

  • It has the acidity of regular coffee, often making it harsh(er) to drink, cold brewing can reduce this acidity by 70% but also potentially leave some of the flavor a behind in the coffee
  • It will be diluted since the ice will melt leaving you with a weaker tasting drink. Often this is compensated for by doubling the strength of the hot brew and letting the ice dilute to normal strength
  • Supposedly (although I've never tried it), the Japanese iced coffee method is a middle ground between iced and cold brewed coffees. In this method, hot coffee is brewed directly over ice instantly cooling it locking in the full flavor of hot coffee, but oxidizing much less.

Often it comes down to taste what in particular might work to make your iced coffee better. A different bean type or roast level, maybe on that is slightly less acidic or more bold may give you the flavor you are looking for.

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