It?s summer. It?s afternoon. It?s hot. And you?re feeling a little lazy.

?Nothing like a tall glass of iced coffee to get the temperature down while at the same time perk you up to take part in some more fun-filled activities. Whether it?s a special treat or just leftover coffee from breakfast, iced coffee can be a refreshing drink to have in your fridge. Plus, it?s ridiculously easy to make with very few ingredients needed.

A big chill is sweeping the coffee industry as iced coffee beverages gain popularity.

According to the National Coffee Association, the percentage of people who drink iced coffee beverages increased from 20 percent in 2018 to 29 percent in 2019. Following the popularity of cappuccinos and mocha lattes, consumers are discovering that coffee is just as tasty - and even more refreshing - when served cold. 

Iced coffee can be as easy to prepare as iced tea. A variety of options, such as flavoring syrups, cold milk, chocolate and spices, allow you to create personalized coffee concoctions that are just as delicious as those served in your favorite cafe. 

Beverages such as iced vanilla mocha, iced rum coffee and iced latte are easy to make at home. Here are some tips for refreshing iced coffee drinks.

* Pour the flavoring syrup into the cup first. To complete the drink, pour in espresso or coffee, then the ice, and top it off with cold milk. 

* Don't let your beverage become watered down. Cool your favorite coffee beverage with ice cubes made from fresh-brewed coffee instead of water. 

* Use a machine that produces a high quality coffee or espresso. The Capresso CoffeeTeam Luxe, for example, grinds coffee beans right before brewing and allows you to control the strength of your coffee.

* Be creative. Add a personalized touch to your iced coffee beverages with whipped cream, chocolate shavings, nutmeg or cinnamon.

When summer is finally upon us and most days are just too warm for hot cup of java juice. Below are some tips to help you make a great iced coffee. 

1. Start with fresh coffee beans. A great iced coffee was never made using stale beans so avoid buying your beans on sale. If you don?t drink iced coffee often, consider buying fresh beans at a coffee shop where you can buy only the amount you need for the occasion.       

2. Test the taste. Hot coffee tastes different than cold coffee. So to get an idea of how your coffee will taste cold let a hot cup cool to room temperature. This little test will help you decide what tastes perfect to you.

3. Use fresh ice. Ice has a tendency to get a stale if it sits in the freezer unused for too long. If you?re wondering whether your ice is helping of hurting your iced coffee, it?s easy to test: let a few cubes melt and come to room temperature, then taste the resulting water. If it?s water you would want to drink by the glassful, you?re in good shape. If not, toss out the old ice and make fresh. If it still tastes stale, buy a bag of ice, the cost is worth the boost in flavor. 

4. Brew it strong. Brew your coffee on the strong side as it will be weakened by the ice. To keep from diluting your drink, try turning your leftover coffee into ice cubes. Use these in the place of regular ice cubes to keep your drink chilled.

5. Try a cold brew. Some people object to acidity in their cold coffee. Cold brewing greatly reduces the acid content of coffee (with the same coffee it will lower the acidity one full pH point vs. hot brew). Put 3/4 cup ground coffee in a quart Mason jar, fill with water and stir. Cap it and put in the refrigerator for 12 hours. Strain the resulting concentrate through a coffee filter to remove the grinds. Add water to taste when you?re ready to drink. You can even heat the reconstituted beverage for a quick, low-acid cup of hot coffee.

6. Don?t use burned coffee for your iced coffee. Saving leftover coffee for iced beverage is often fine, but don?t be tempted to use the dregs of a burnt pot. If it doesn?t taste good hot, it definitely won?t taste good cold.

7. Add some zip to your iced coffee. Adding fruits like strawberries, oranges, blueberries or even cherries and spices like nutmeg, cinnamon or cardamom are a great way to perk up your drink and your day. The important thing is to have fun with it! Try lots of new things. Vary your usual routine. The worst that can happen is you won't like it. You can always try something else!

If you?re short on time and don?t have a stash of reconstituted coffee available, try this recipe using instant coffee. 

Vanilla Iced Coffee

2 teaspoons instant coffee 

1 1/2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract

2 teaspoons cold water

1 1/4 cups milk 

Chocolate shavings (optional)

Sugar (optional)


Put the first 5 ingredients into a blender.

Pulse blend until the ingredients are smooth and frothy.

Add the cold milk and pulse blend until all the ingredients are blended well.

Pour of a few cubes of ice, add the chocolate and voila!

If you desire, add the ice to the blender after the first five ingredients have been blended and crush the ice and then add the milk and mix.

Don't stop there, learn a delectable coffee recipes to choose from among hot and cold coffee drinks.