I love iced coffee. Not necessarily cold brew coffee with ice, though iced cold brew is awesome too. I love an iced coffee made with espresso. Haven’t seen many people sharing this preference of mine, but that’s what I love most. The problem with chilling espresso is that by the time it cools down properly, it starts to oxidize, it changes taste, and loses the oomph. I tried chilling it on the ice, and it is acceptable, but it gets a little too diluted for my taste. What I like to do is to cool it down very fast, the put it in an ice cube tray, and freeze it into coffee ice cubes. This is the best coffee ever. The Zoku coffee chiller is the device I needed to tweak my espresso ice cubes preparation to perfection.
The Zoku Iced Coffee Maker is a coffee chiller, great for chilling any hot brewed coffee into an instant cold beverage that you can add some ice to, and enjoy on a hot day.
I love getting a great cup of iced coffee at the local coffee shop. There is a magical gesture in this ritual that just makes me feel good. The socializing, the barista, and the whole atmosphere of a coffee shop is just great.
However, I try to keep my visits to the coffee shop in control. Firstly, it can get expensive over time — especially if you like iced coffee as much as I do. Secondly, they don’t make the stuff as I do it, using frozen coffee cubes.
This insulated chilling coffee mug promises to turn hot coffee into iced coffee in a few minutes without watering down your coffee. I was a bit reluctant when I saw the product initially, because it seemed too good to be true. But I thought that even if it was slightly better than my frozen coffee mug routine, it was still a win for me. I bought one of these tumblers and gave it a try hoping the get my wallet a little break from my barista routine. Here is what I found about the Zoku Iced Coffee Maker and my honest review about it.
At a superficial look, this mug looks like any other travel mug, but the Zoku has some special features that turn it into a barista’s must have device. It has three separate parts: the inner core which is made of stainless steel, the protective sleeve made of regular plastic, (not the greatest quality if you ask but who cares…), and the straw, (made of plastic, I honestly don’t use it). The steel core is what helps you turn hot coffee into iced coffee.
You have to place the inner core into your freezer for about eight hours, or more for best results. When you are ready to brew, take it out of the freezer, slip it into the plastic sleeve, and pour your piping hot coffee into the cup. You don’t have to wait for your coffee to cool before pouring it into the cup, infact, I like to brew my coffee straight into the Zoku. I am able to pour my espresso shots straight into the chilling mug, and I can also make some great manual drip, into this mug. I can’t make a Chemex straight into the cup, but I can pour it right after the brewing is done, and stop the oxidation immediately. I was impressed that my improvised manual drip using a Kone took under six minutes to turn into the cold drink I needed.
If you don’t want to use my method of freezing coffee into cubes, the drink comes out completely chilled and you can add just a few ice cubes, or frozen milk cubes, if that’s “your cup of tea”.
I appreciated that my drink didn’t get watered down from the additional ice, because it was never diluted in the first place. Better yet, the ice didn’t melt as quickly as it would in a plastic cup because the stainless steel inner core of the tumbler kept my drink cold.
If you prefer tea, the Zoku mug can come to your rescue as well. You can chill your chai, or any other tea that you prefer, and add some ice cubes. Add a bit of liquid milk and two or three frozen milk cubes in the mug, and you have you perfect iced chai latte.
If you have a large family that needs iced caffeinated beverages, you probably need more than one coffee chiller tumbler. If you only have one Zoku, you will need to re-freeze the core every time. The problem is that freezing it takes 8 hours or more. The best is to plan ahead, and pop the steel core in the freezer the night before.