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I like iced coffee when the weather is hot, and I like to drink it black (or nearly black) and undiluted. What is a good setup for cooling freshly brewed coffee quickly, without a lot of hassle? I'm talking about normal brewed coffee, not cold brew.

At Starbucks, they seem to put ice in your cup and then pour coffee directly over the ice. This works, but it uses a lot of ice, and by the time you're done drinking it, the melting ice has started to dilute the coffee. You also just can't fit very much coffee in a cup this way, because so much space is taken up by the ice.

I've tried putting a whole bunch of water in a big pan, then sticking a thin-walled metal cup in the water and pouring the coffee into the cup to cool. This cools the coffee rapidly at first, but then the cooling process gets extremely slow. I think part of the problem is that the conduction and convection processes are slow, and also that the water's heat capacity isn't super huge, compared to the heat of melting of ice.

I homebrew beer, and to cool my wort, I have a coil of copper tubing that I insert into the pot and run water through from a garden hose. This is pretty efficient, but works for a quantity orders of magnitude greater than a cup of coffee. It uses a huge amount of water.

Below is a method that I'm currently messing around with. The pan of water is to take the initial heat off of the coffee and make sure the coffee is cool enough so that I don't melt a hole through the plastic parts or release bad chemicals into the coffee from the plastic. I then put some ice in the ziplock bag and stick it in. After a few minutes I can take the cup out of the pan. The ice melts, and then I replace it with fresh ice. This setup seems not too bad, but still kind of slow and wasteful. It uses up a lot of ice. I can wash and reuse the bag.

cooling coffee

Is there a better way to do this? I'm fantasizing about weird gadgets such as an aquarium pump sending pre-chilled vodka or ice water through a closed loop of tubing. Or maybe putting pieces of brass or copper in the freezer.

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    @Kat and jmk: Thanks for your suggestions, but I'm asking how to do it rapidly. Doing it slowly, overnight, it easy, but I don't want to have to plan that far in advance. Re the idea of doubling the strength of the brew, I think the main problem with this is that the dilution gradually increases while you're trying to drink your coffee. – Ben Crowell Jul 18 at 17:35
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    I am sharing this post with our sister site Coffee SE (but won’t migrate as the problem can be applied for other drinks as well, unless you request migration) and with Lifehacks SE (who are just the right group for funny and quirky ideas). – Stephie Jul 18 at 19:11
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    Is there some reason you don't simply cold brew your coffee? That seems a lot simpler. – FuzzyChef Jul 18 at 22:15
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    As a former Starbucks barista, I feel obliged to point out that this is not the normal "Starbucks way" to make iced coffee. This is sort of recipe would only be used to fulfill some odd customer request, like Decaf iced coffee. The regular normal iced coffee is made with a pre-measured batch of ground coffee which is brewed double-strength and then diluted with ice back to normal strength. So the hack of pouring regular hot brewed coffee directly over ice oughtn't be called 'the Starbucks way'. Maybe "dubious iced coffee hack" would be a better name for this procedure. – luser droog Jul 19 at 4:04
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    Reminder: Answers in the answer section, please. Comments are for clarifications and other tangential details. – Stephie Jul 19 at 4:28

24 Answers 24

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If done right, you can use a combination of ice and hot beverage that will ensure that the ice cubes have melted almost completely once you have reached an equilibrium, i.e. a cold drink.

For my go-to ice tea, I use one full tray of ice cubes in my jug and pour the freshly brewed tea plus some sugar syrup and lemon right over it. In ratios, I need two parts of ice per three parts hot tea (by weigh) and end up with small ice cubes floating around. A little less ice would still give me a cool drink, but not ice cold, so depending on your preference, work from there.

This ratio also helps when calculating increased coffee strength - use 60-70% more coffee in your brew if your plan to dilute by pouring over ice. If you are using coffee ice cubes (hint: great way to not throw away leftover coffee), use your preferred ratio.

Time to do it:
Under seven minutes fror my iced tea (boil water, brew tea, add ice, simple syrup and lemon to the jug while the tea is steeping, pour tea over the ice, stir vigorously until the ice is melted, done), under two for iced coffee with my espresso machine (heat up machine, grind coffee, tamp, lock portafilter, add a cube or two of ice to cup, draw a double shot, done).

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    I tried this and it worked pretty well, thanks! I used 150 g of water at 200 F with 10 g of coffee (a high-heaped scoop) in a French press, and 100 g of ice (about 6 ice cubes). The ice melted rapidly and completely. I would say that the result was slightly weaker than my normal coffee, presumably because you get under-utilization of the coffee when the amount of hot water is so low. But actually the slightly weaker brew was pleasant as iced coffee. I'll make a note to come back tomorrow and accept this answer unless something better comes along. – Ben Crowell Jul 18 at 19:30
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    @BenCrowell see also this method by YouTube coffee guru James Hoffmann, for iced filter coffee with a very similar approach: youtube.com/watch?v=PApBycDrPo0 – LSchoon Jul 19 at 9:49
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Make ice cubes out of coffee.

Depending on how you brew your coffee, you might even have some surplus coffee from time to time. Just pour it into an ice cube tray.

Then put the coffee ice cubes into your freshly brewed coffee, as usual.

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    I'm not so sure that this would work. It may result in dilution of the coffee during the freezing process - and he'd then have to wait for the ice to melt before drinking it, anyway. – nick012000 Jul 19 at 9:19
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    @nick012000: When freezing coffee or juice, the components might separate during the freezing process. E.g. you might find most of the tasty stuff concentrated on the underside or inside. Overall, there is no dilution. – user24582 Jul 19 at 10:02
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    @Ben_Crowell In your question you say, "Or maybe putting pieces of brass or copper in the freezer." It seems a little unfair to suggest that only to declare that ice cubes of coffee require too much planning. – Tashus Jul 19 at 14:11
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    I don't know about you, but I don't have any mug-sized pieces of brass or copper close at hand, and acquiring them seems comparably convenient to pouring some coffee in an ice cube tray. You'd only need to do it in advance one time, then just brew enough coffee to replace the cubes you use each morning. – Tashus Jul 19 at 17:23
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    @BenCrowell using regular ice requires the same amount of planning as using coffee ice, doesn't it? You only have to do it in advance once, really. Every time you make coffee and use some coffee ice up, make a bit of extra coffee and use that to refill the tray. – Kat Jul 19 at 18:02
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I'm a scientist not a cook, but this is how I would do it.

Conductive cup for the coffee. A thin-walled aluminium is best, but steel works reasonably ok. Glass or porcelain just insulates too well. (consider an empty cola can, that's about as thin-walled as aluminium containers get)
Put it in a container with crushed ice.
Add salt to the ice.

The crushed ice promptly becomes an ice slushy with liquid water at temperatures down to -20C, and with all the thermal benefits of ice's latent heat of fusion (the heat it wants to absorb when melting)

It should cool one cup of boiling water(coffee) down to about 2C in under 30 seconds,
and about 2 minutes later you have a solid block of iced coffee.

At least it does that for a lab specimen that needs to be cooled urgently.

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  • I love that answer. Probably the most efficient. I was wondering myself if : a wet paper towel (or tissue?) around the cup would help brind it quickly down (with the evaporation of water happening on it), but you pointed out the importance of the aluminium container (which I always overlooked), and the Ice water you recommend is probably even more efficient than a room temperature water evaporating. – Olivier Dulac Jul 20 at 13:04
  • Boiling to near-freezing in under 30 seconds? I've seen the salt bath trick for cooling cans of beer or soda before, but it usually still takes a few minutes to cool from room temperature to near-freezing. This method will definitely help to freeze things faster, but I'm really skeptical that you can turn boiling water into iced coffee in 30 seconds, or that an additional 2 minutes will freeze it solid. There's tons of "cool a drink quickly" pages out there, and I haven't found a single one suggesting a passive method like this will do it in less than a minute. – Nuclear Hoagie Jul 20 at 13:29
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    @NuclearHoagie The trick here is the crushed ice (not cubes) + salt. It makes the ice consume a lot of energy for melting very fast. – Enivid Jul 20 at 18:45
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    @NuclearHoagie I have a really wild suggestion for you. TRY IT YOURSELF. It requires just common household ingredients. Just remember to crush the ice really fine, and mix well with salt. about 1 cup salt for 3 cups crushed ice. and advice: don't mix it with your hand, you will regret it. Nor with a metal implement. a wooden spatula works great. Or if you are really , really lazy, just watch youtube.com/watch?v=CLfCvBDVOcM – PcMan Jul 20 at 19:09
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    @Clockwork basically. Broken ice = lots of surface for the salt to work on. Salt forces ice to melt. Melting ice absorbs enormous heat energy, equal to cooling the same mass of water by 79.52C. So forcing one gram of ice to melt, is enough heat absorption to cool 1 gram of actively boiling water from 100C to 20.5C. 1 1/2 cups of ice will take your 1 cup of boiling coffee to zero(but not frozen). About 4 cups ice will take your 1 cup of boiling coffee to frozen solid. The thin-walled metal cup and stirring is what speeds this heat transfer. – PcMan Jul 21 at 19:20
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Have you considered whiskey stones?

They are ice cold stones used in whiskey for the same purpose (to cool and drink whiskey without diluting the whiskey). You keep them in the freezer and use them exactly like ice.

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    Except their cooling effect unfortunately isn't even close to ice. Source: Have some and don't use them. – MaxD Jul 19 at 5:00
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    Agree with MaxD. Ice cubes are great for cooling because water requires a huge amount of energy for a phase change. Soapstone has only 1 J/gK of heat capacity, water has 4.2 J/gK. Heat of fusion for water is 334 J/g. – Michael Jul 19 at 8:24
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    @Michael, then per volume the heat capacity of ice and stone is roughly the same? – I'm with Monica Jul 19 at 9:47
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    @I'mwithMonica: Per volume water still wins — albeit less pronounced at 3 J/cm³K vs 4.2 J/cm³K. And it still means that even if you fill half the cup with stone cubes cooled to -20°C, after adding your ~90°C coffee it will end up somewhere around 45°C. Better than nothing, but with ice cubes you’d easily reach 0°C. – Michael Jul 19 at 10:11
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    @I'mwithMonica: The heat capacity per volume isn’t so different, as you say — but most of the cooling effect of ice isn’t from its specific heat capacity, but from the latent heat of melting, i.e. the figure Michael quoted of 334 J/g, much bigger than the heat capacity figures. – PLL Jul 19 at 11:58
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You can get ice cubes covered in heat resistant, food grade plastic. I think they are called “plastic ice cubes”.

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    The name I usually see is "reusable ice cubes". – Dragonel Jul 19 at 17:50
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Use a metal (drink) shaker

I like ice coffee myself, and use the following near-rapid approach, which requires ice but without (too much; dependent on step 2) dilution:

  1. Brew the coffee
  2. Let it cool/cool it (see below) down to luke warm-ish
  3. Add ice to a metal shaker and instantly pour over the luke-warm coffee
  4. High tempo shake
  5. Pour out the cold coffee without the ice

For me step 2 is quite simple as I make strong moka brew mixed wih a quite a lot of oat milk at fridge-temperature, but I guess a large glass (wide cross section) or a bowl could be a good intermediate stop for your warm coffee to reach luke-warm. You could also keep your metal shaker (the large part) in your freezer, and use it as the luke-warm mechanism before going into the shake-with-ice stage:

  • 2.a. Bring out the shaker from freezer
  • 2.b. Pour the warm coffee into the cold shaker
  • 2.c. Clean your brewing accessories while the shaker itself warms up whilst the coffee in it cools down. Be careful that the shaker may become very warm, though, depending on how much coffee you are making
  • 2.d. Pour the luke-warm coffee to another container (e.g. serving glass) and wash the shaker with some cold water just so it’s not warm when you add the ice to it
  • 3 to 5: As above.

The key here is that a metal shaker is a great conduction of heat, and we are using the this property of the metal shaker in several of the steps above (quickly cool shaker in freezer > cool hot coffee in shaker > quickly re-cool shaker with cold water > mix ice into the conductive environment of the shaker > cool luke-warm coffee into cold coffee).

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You wrote in your question:

At Starbucks, they seem to put ice in your cup and then pour hot coffee directly over the ice. This works, but it uses a lot of ice, and by the time you're done drinking it, the melting ice has started to dilute the coffee. You also just can't fit very much coffee in a cup this way, because so much space is taken up by the ice.

jmk responded in a comment:

If you don‘t like the dilution make the Coffee you want to cool twice as strong.

You responded in a comment:

Re the idea of doubling the strength of the brew, I think the main problem with this is that the dilution gradually increases while you're trying to drink your coffee.

Here's my suggestion: brew coffee twice as strong, and chill it with plenty of ice. After the coffee and the ice have mingled for about 30 seconds or so, strain the ice out and discard it.

By my calculations, if you mix coffee at 80 °C (176 °F) with an equal amount of ice at 0 °C (32 °F, freezing), the result will be diluted coffee at 0 °C (which is, of course, as cold as liquid coffee can get). The chilling will happen very rapidly, especially if you stir the mixture. Any excess ice will just remain as ice. If you then strain the ice out, this will obviously prevent the ice from diluting the coffee any more.

If you want to avoid diluting the coffee at all, put the coffee in a thin-walled metal cup and put the cup in an ice water bath. Make sure there's enough water to conduct the heat rapidly, and enough ice to keep the water bath ice-cold.

Yeah, both of these methods will consume a lot of ice. But you can make ice fast enough to chill all the coffee you want, can't you? If you can't, then the problem isn't the usage of ice; it's the capacity of your freezer.

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    How do you get 0 C coffee at the end after adding 80 C coffee? - surely there'll be some increase in temp over the 0 C ice, close to 4-8 C seems more intuitive, but then I haven't done any calculations on it. – bob1 Jul 19 at 3:16
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    @bob1 The energy required to convert ice to liquid water is huge. I just looked it up 334 Joules. 4.19 Joules to raise (or cool...) by 1 degree. 334/4.19 = 79.71. So in a perfect mix (this won't be, of course) of 80 C water (coffee) with 0 C ice, the result will be all liquid at barely over 0 C. – manassehkatz-Moving 2 Codidact Jul 19 at 4:00
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    @bob1 You can easily prove this for yourself with an insulated cup, some ice and some boiling water. Stir thoroughly. As long as you don't melt all the ice and you are stirring well, the temperature will drop to 0 C and stay there. If it does not, your thermometer's calibration is off or your water is not pure. For "why", that question is best asked at Physics SE. – MTA Jul 19 at 4:04
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    @bob1 For what it's worth, if you mix equal amounts of 0° ice and 75° water, you'll end up with a lot of 0° water and a little bit of 0° ice left over. Increasing the initial temperature of the water from 75° to 80° is only barely enough to melt all of the remaining ice. – Tanner Swett Jul 19 at 4:05
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    @manassehkatz-Moving2Codidact hat's true, the state change does chew a chunk of energy, that's the bit I had forgotten from my physical chem many years ago... – bob1 Jul 19 at 8:49
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What I have found most effective for this purpose is to keep a 0.5l water bottle in the freezer. Then I pour the coffee in a bowl, and put the frozen water bottle (with the cap closed) inside the hot coffee.

This way the coffee is cooled down quickly, without any dilution.

Obviously you should be careful that the outside of the water bottle is very clean before using it, anything stuck on the outside with end up in your coffee.

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There are products specifically designed for this purpose. For example, I owned for sometime the following iced coffee maker. It has a large thermal reservoir that is kept in the freezer ready for use, so that the hot coffee is chilled as it is poured into the flask.

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You seem to have gotten pretty close as you stated in your question

I've tried putting a whole bunch of water in a big pan, then sticking a thin-walled metal cup in the water and pouring the coffee into the cup to cool. This cools the coffee rapidly at first, but then the cooling process gets extremely slow. I think part of the problem is that the conduction and convection processes are slow, and also that the water's heat capacity isn't super huge, compared to the heat of melting of ice.

You could easily improve on that by changing a few things:

  • add ice and salt to the water in your big pan. The ice obviously drops the water temperature, but adding salt will make it drop even further through freezing point depression:
    • −20 °C can be achieved with a 1:3 mass ratio of sodium chloride (table salt) to ice.
  • add the coffee to the thin walled metal cup, and stir it. The coffee in contact with the cup walls cool down faster, so stirring moves the warm coffee closer to the cold metal walls.
  • additionally, move the cup around or stir the ice+salt+water (best if not with the same spoon you're stirring your coffee! maybe just move the cup...) to ensure the coldest water is in contact with your cup.

These tips should help you speed up the cooling process without adding much cost.

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Try to make a bigger batch, freeze it, then thaw when needed.

No idea if this will affect the taste, but with proper packaging (like maybe freezer bags with all the air removed) I can't see a reason why it should. Certainly worth a taste test at least.

Big advantage is that heat is WAY easier to produce than cold. Thaw it in a pot or a microwave, and stop just before it has completely molten. Voila, 0°C coffee in five minutes.

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    No need to thaw at all, just mix frozen coffee with fresh coffee – Juliana Karasawa Souza Jul 19 at 8:19
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The same way many people cool their tea - with a saucer!

Pour some of the coffee into a saucer (or lift some with a spoon) and then drizzle it back into the cup from a height of 1-2 inches (a taller mug can help prevent splashing.) You could also use a second mug in a pinch.

The coffee will break into droplets as it falls, vastly increasing the surface area in contact with air, and rapidly bringing the droplets very close to room temperature. Those droplets then cool the bulk of the coffee when they mix back in. Repeat until you reach your desired temperature.

This is sometimes called "saucering" and I learned about it from this answer over on the Physics StackExchange. Another answer on that question features quantitative measurement showing its effectiveness (the variant with a spoon, at least.)

In my own experience, I use this method to get fine adjustment to my tea temperature. I've found my tool of choice (the tea infuser) cools my large 14oz mug of tea about 1-2C each time I raise it and let tea drip from the bottom. Since I can perform this action about once per second, it's a very effective way to cool the tea quickly, especially since I can do it absentmindledly while doing other tasks.

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  • I remember my grandmother doing this - while surface area is highly effective at cooling, it will only approach room temperature from above. So this might be stage1 and followed by one of the other methods to chill below room temperature. – Criggie Jul 20 at 6:02
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Here's a wacky approach -- get a commercial freezer plate like they use to make Turkish ice cream. Do whatever you do to quickly cool the hot coffee to room temp, and then drizzle it onto the freezer plate and scrape it into a mug. You can include sugar, honey, milk, etc to make ice cream, too. It's expensive and silly, but you'd be a hit at kids' parties and craft fairs.

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As a fellow homebrewer, I too use a copper immersion chiller to cool my wort.

The problem with immersion chillers is the same as with ice baths (which is also a common homebrewing technique). The cold water immediately next to the vessel quickly absorbs the heat and then stops cooling. You need something to circulate the water. I swirl my immersion chiller around in my boil pot, but that's awkward and still takes a long time. You also mentioned that the immersion chiller uses a huge amount of water. I have the same issue with mine.

I suggest trying a counterflow chiller instead, which uses a tube within a tube. The drink flows one way through the inside tube and the cold water flows the other way through the outside tube. This provides two major advantages:

  1. More rapid cooling.
  2. You get more homebrew gear! (that may be reason enough by itself)

Counterflow chillers can be purchased as a whole unit, but they're also pretty easy to make yourself. Search online for various designs.

Examples:

https://byo.com/project/build-a-counterflow-wort-chiller/

https://www.homebrewtalk.com/threads/diy-counterflow-wort-chiller-build.537126/

A copper tube inside a garden hose works pretty well. Use an aquarium pump to pump the beverage and hook a hose up for cool water. For extra powerful cooling and water savings, use a second aquarium pump and a cooler full of ice water to circulate the water.

Another similar and simpler option would be to pump the hot beverage through your immersion chiller and drop the immersion chiller in a cooler of ice water. An aquarium pump could recirculate the beverage through the chiller or you could use a gravity feed with two pots.

For a small scale test, you could make a mini immersion coil with some 1/4" copper tubing and gravity feed from a pot on the counter to a cooler full of ice water on a chair to a pot on the floor. No pumps required!

And I'm saying "aquarium pump" because you mentioned in the original post. Find a food grade pump from your local homebrew shop. Aquarium pumps from the hardware store won't be sanitary and may not be able to handle the heat.

And think of how your beer will benefit from more rapid cooling!

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Another scientist here — you could buy one of these Cool Down Drink glasses. This is the commercial version of the DIY salt-water eutectic mentioned above.

In between the walls of the glass is a material (I'm guessing salt-water mix, but it might be something else) that takes a lot of energy to melt, and has a freezing point of -4 degrees. Just keep it in the freezer, then take it out and pour your coffee in, rinse, refreeze, etc.

The company show some cooling curves here too.

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Could you try to use dry ice? The CO2 would sublimate and leave the coffee undiluted.

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  • Some of CO2 will dissolve in the coffee. Coffee soda anyone? Liquid nitrogen is better imho. But harder to source. – fraxinus Jul 19 at 8:20
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    Expensive solution, using dry ice. Costly to buy, doesn't last long. – GdD Jul 19 at 8:52
  • @GdD ...and in addition, dangerous. Even more so is the liquid nitrogen I suggested. – fraxinus Jul 19 at 9:07
  • I had access to liquid nitrogen for a bit, made some very creamy ice cream. Never tried to make iced coffee with it though. – GdD Jul 19 at 9:12
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    Fizzy cold coffee could be a feature not a bug. – Frank Jul 19 at 11:33
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I use pots and pans to cool hot coffee. You need two of them. Pour the hot coffee into one, put the other under cold water from the tap. Wait a min or two until the pot with the coffee warms up. Then pour out the cold water from the sink pot, and dump the coffee into it. Put the warm pot under the cold tap. Repeat until it's cool, usually takes 3-5 swaps. This gets it to cold-tap temp in minutes, at which point ice doesn't water it down too bad.

You can rinse the last pot and put it back on the rack/cupboard; coffee is water-soluble and so it doesn't need washing. You can also throw in a handful of spoons or forks to increase thermal capacity and heat transfer surface area. I often add all our spoons to the pot while its brewing; they come out hot, which means the coffee is colder before I even start my pan games.

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  • I described in the question using this technique and the fact that it didn't work well. – Ben Crowell Jul 21 at 22:55
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You could filter the coffee over frozen ball bearings. A little experimentation with the size and depth of the bearings would be in order. Pour the coffee over the top, let it drain through a screen at the bottom (a small mesh food strainer would probably be enough. No dilution, clean-up is easy and it would essentially be ready at any time. Just keep a supply of bearings in the freezer.

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    The problem is that the volumetric heat capacity of steel is not very high. Ice cools things much faster, both because its volumetric heat capacity is high and because of the heat is melting. – Ben Crowell Jul 21 at 22:57
  • @BenCrowell; True, but I was thinking of beating that shortcoming with sheer mass. My primary thought was for clean-up, which would make it more practical. Small bearings would also provide a lot of surface area. But I do think you're right about it being a non-efficient way of cooling the coffee. Efficiency was not part of the question. I'm betting a two-foot 1-inch pipe of 20 degree 10mm ball-bearings would be enough. I might give it a try! If I do I'll post results. – JohnHunt Jul 23 at 4:20
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I make a big pitcher of iced coffee on hot days. I add hazelnut creamer, so it's already cooled a bit after that, and I take some out for my first glass and cool that with plastic fake ice cubes (which I will swap out for frozen ones as the water in them melts). Then I put the pitcher in the fridge for later.

I wonder how well it would work to place a serving in the freezer for a short time until cooled enough for your taste.

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Lots of great ideas and fun things to try on the weekend, but if you want minimal hassle before work try a casserole pan filled with ice and water and an bread pan to pour the coffee in. From your picture, it appears that the coffee is significantly higher than the chilling medium. Using a wider pan means more surface area between the coffee and ice water.

I'll make coffee, pour it into the bread pan and add ice water around it, and by the time I'm ready to make breakfast the coffee is room temp or below. Certainly some dilution there but not enough that I've ever noticed. I have an ice maker so the extra ice isn't really a concern for me - I pour the melted ice and water into my kettle for tomorrow's brew.

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The simplest way seem to be: pour your coffee into something with high thermal conductivity, and high thermal heat capacity, which you have pre-chilled to the target temperature.

An extreme example would be a 1 foot cube of stainless steel with a hole in it. A more practical example already exists:

Domestic ice-cream makers

These work on exactly this principle, you pre-chill a heavy base in the freezer and then add ice-cream ingredients. It has sufficient thermal capacity you do not need to return it to the freezer to make ice-cream, you just stir as it chills.

Put coffee in and Bob is your uncle.

0

2 options:

  • Cold Brew: This is my preference as there is more caffeine, less acidity, and a preferable taste to me. Although this is a different brewing method and will create a different flavor profile.
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    Perhaps not just post links but describe each in the answer so when the links break the answer is still valid – Mark Schultheiss Jul 22 at 17:01
-1

The coffee nerds (me included) have this figured out and is quite simple depending what kind of coffee you are making, since you never said what kind you are doing I am gonna explain the two more common ignoring cold brew since you already said is not an option.

For filter/immersion coffee you can just use ice but take in mind the water in the ice for your recipe, if you use 300ml of water use 150ml of ice and 150ml of water. Here is a video by James Hoffmann explaining it. Just remember that once it is chilled you can just add more ice and it won't dilute it much.

For espresso there are various ways but most dilute it but there are gadgets like this one that help with that but of course you need to make quite a lot of coffee, or you can use one of those cups with some kind of gel inside that you put on the freezer and cool your drinks without diluting.

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    This duplicates the accepted answer by Stephie. – Ben Crowell Jul 21 at 22:59
-1

My aunt had a genius idea, her whole family only likes drinking iced coffee in the mornings. They have a big, closed-off pitcher of cold coffee in fridge. They brew more coffee each morning and when everyone finishes their cup or 2 of iced coffee, they add the coffee from the new pot into the pitcher, refilling it, and place it back in the fridge. They had a family of 6 who all drank coffee (pretty big pitcher) and they never had a problem with running out of cold coffee to make nice iced coffee's with. No issue with dilution or settling either. Whenever they saw the pitcher less that half full, someone would just brew another pot in preparation to dump in.

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    Unless they empty out the pitcher every few days, you’ll end up with a brew that’s no longer “safe” by food safety standards. – Stephie Jul 21 at 17:59
  • Yeah they do. The pitcher has an airtight lid on it, so they keep it for about a week and empty it each sunday. – Sensoray Jul 21 at 18:17

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