By Emma Slattery, Student Nutritionist
While not every college student is caffeine dependent, a great many of us are. Early mornings, late nights, and tough assignments drive many students to lean on caffeine. The only problem is that as the weather gets warm- or in this case HOT- a hot cup of coffee just isn't that good anymore. I'll come into work still sweating from the walk from off campus housing, and grabbing that steaming hot cup of coffee from the dining hall is just gross when I'm already hot and sweaty. It's just not as satisfying as cold summer beverages. Lucky enough for us, some very smart person invented cold coffee! A beautiful way to get a caffeine fix without raising your body temp in the summer heat. There are 3 main types of iced coffee to either make yourself or purchase before the weather cools down:
1) Iced Coffee
Hot coffee that is cooled.
This is the classic, easiest to make, and usually the least expensive.
It's also the only type to get from the dining halls with a little hack: take your coffee cup (preferably a large mug) fill it half with ice, and pour coffee over the ice! It has been argued that this method "waters down" the coffee. So an alternative method is to place a cup of hot coffee in the freezer or refrigerator until chilled, maintaining the integrity for the coffee but taking more time.
2) Cold Brew Coffee
Coffee that is brewed in a refrigerator.
You can buy this from Starbucks, make it with packs that are increasingly popular, or make it entirely yourself.
Now it's a little more work intensive and usually a smidge more expensive to buy, but tastes smoother than hot coffee that's cooled down and it's easy to make a large batch at a time.
How to make it:
Pour course coffee grounds in a large pitcher of water- a ratio of 1: 8 for coffee grounds: water- and let it sit in the fridge for 24 hours. Then strain through a sieve and either a cheese cloth, muslin, coffee filter, or paper towels (depending on your level of broke college kid) to remove the coffee grounds. If the grounds are too fine they won't strain out so it's important to keep them the consistency of breadcrumbs. And then you have your coffee!
3) Nitro Cold Brew Coffee
It's made by infusing cold brew coffee with tiny bubbles of nitrogen gas, creating a smooth, foamy drink.
This magical liquid looks similar to a Guinness beer and unfortunately, you cannot make this at home. This is not for everyone but made especially for the true coffee connoisseur. Nitro brew is served flat (not over ice) and black to get the full flavor of the coffee. So if you enjoy a sweet Iced Caramel Macchiato or a Unicorn Frappe then this may not be for you. But if you are a lover of coffee and want a quality iced drink, the nitro brew is the new thing to try.
What's your favorite style of iced coffee? And if anyone has tried the Nitro Cold Brew comment with your thoughts!
Terps With Taste is run by the Student Nutritionist Team with University of Maryland Dining Services. We write content for students, by students. Enjoy!