How to Make Iced Coffee at Home

Face it, we’re all coffee mad and although the height of summer might seem like the right time of year to ditch the black stuff, some genius a while ago found a way to chill the caffeinated concoction to ensure we can enjoy it year-round. Today we’re going to get into how to make iced coffee at home!

To me it seems like a lot of people seem to associate iced coffee with the big coffee chains and, unlike regular coffee, not so much as something that they can whip up at home. However this just isn’t true, as there are some fantastic and inventive ways that you can make the iced wonder at home, and we’re going to look at them today.

First a warning: It is true that iced coffee takes longer to prepare than its hot counterpart, but if you’re smart and make it in large quantities then I promise that you’ll never look back!

We’re going to kick off by making it by cold brewing the coffee. Some of you out there might try to make iced coffee by cooling down hot coffee but this is hugely time-consuming, and not to mention it impacts on the flavor significantly. Cold brewing is a simple process and will guarantee a much better quality of drink.


How to Make Cold Brew Coffee

First of all it’s important to note that this is going to be very new for a lot of you, especially those of you who are used to the more instant variety of coffee (shame on you). With cold brew coffee, the emphasis is very much on the brew.

I will just say though that just because this is a long process does not mean that it is a complicated one. You will basically need two ingredients:

  • Coarsely ground coffee
  • Chilled filtered water

And that’s it. Just put the ground coffee in a french press and pour the water on top, keeping about a 1:7 coffee-to-water ratio. Push the press down an inch or so (but no more!) and then refrigerate for forty eight hours.

After that, pour your coffee over ice in a glass and add a little milk. It really is as simple as that – our very own homemade iced coffee.

How to Make Mocha Iced Coffee

Making an iced mocha is a little different in approach as our coffee-water-milk ratios are going to be totally different here. Compared to the lengthy cold brew approach though, this is a good thing though as these can be made in minutes.

Again, our ingredients are pretty simple and straight forward. You will need:

  • High quality cacao or cocoa powder
  • Milk
  • One shot of espresso
  • Ice cubes

Take a glass and put in a couple of teaspoons of your cocoa powder. One top of that add one or two teaspoons of hot water to help turn it into almost like a syrup. Top it up with ice and milk until about two-thirds of the glass is full, and then chuck in your single shot of espresso. Give it a couple of stirs and then you’re done!

How to Make Vietnamese Iced Coffee

Vietnamese iced coffee, or ca phe da, is a delightfully quick and unique way to brew iced coffee that involved the use of a French drip filter. Vietnam might not strike some people as the most obvious origin of a unique coffee blend, but with its abundance of plantations towards the south of the country it has become one of the world’s largest exporters of our favorite drink.

You can read more about coffee production in Vietnam in this great article on the BBC.

I wouldn’t expect most kitchens to have a Vietnamese coffee maker or French drip filter, but they’re small and cheap, and therefore I think worthy of the investment. You can pick one up from Amazon for about $8.

To make Vietnamese iced coffee you’ll need:

  • Coffee with chicory
  • Condensed milk
  • A Vietnamese coffee press
  • Ice cubes (hopefully you’ve noticed this is a common ingredient!)

Pour two to four tablespoons of condensed milk into a glass, then place your Vietnamese coffee press on top of your glass. Remove the press lid and scoop two to four tablespoons of coffee into the press. Place the lid back in the press and push down a little just so you’re sure that the coffee flakes can fall through into the milk. Fill the press with cold water and wait for the water to pass through into the glass. Once done stir the coffee and milk with a spoon until the drink is thoroughly lighter in color. Pour into a new glass over ice and enjoy!

How to Make Iced Coffee with Instant Coffee

Ok, don’t laugh or look at me like that. I know that a lot of you will turn your nose up at this, but for something really quick and easy this is a great way to make a fine substitute for the cold brewed recipe at the top of this article (I’ve put this lower down the running order to help hide it from any coffee snobs out there!).

Unsurprisingly, this is embarrassingly simple. The ingredients are:

  • Instant coffee
  • Sugar
  • Warm water
  • Need I say it? – Ice cubes

Throw a couple of teaspoons of instant into a jar along with one or two teaspoons of sugar (depending on how much you usually take in your regular cup of coffee). Add warm water then seal the jar, then SHAKE until foamy and pour over ice. Easy.

Obviously the taste of this will very much depend on the quality of your instant coffee, but this can a surprisingly nice version of the iced coffees listed above. A lot of you might look at this one with scorn, but I say don’t knock it until you’ve tried it.


Top 3 Best Recipes for Iced Coffee from Around the Web

The four recipes above are merely the tip of the (coffee) iceberg and, like with so many things, the internet has managed to come up with a whole range of ways to make iced coffee more interesting and inventive. Below are my three favorites from around them there interwebs:

DIY caramel iced coffee frappé by Stephanie at Hello Natural

Stephanie’s wonderful recipe on how to make caramel iced coffee frappuccinos is wonderfully straight forward (a key criteria for anything someone lazy like me makes) and only takes five to ten minutes to throw together. You might wish to use the cold brew recipe at the top of this post, in which case this will obviously take a lot longer but I think that that mixed with the sweet punch that this recipe packs will make it all the more worthwhile.

As Stephanie says: Sometimes you need coffee and dessert. Simultaneously. I think I need that now.


Vanilla Bean Iced Coffee by Lorie at Mississippi Kitchen

When searching for a recipe on how to make vanilla iced coffee, the mere mention of vanilla bean made me know this recipe was going in. Something about vanilla and coffee just seems to go together so well, and Lorie captures this superbly in her recipe.


Pumpkin Spice Iced Coffee by Nisa at Kitchenability

October is soon approaching, so there’s no better time I (well, except October itself) to start practicing this seasonal drink. Nisa’s take on the recipe includes whipped cream, but if that isn’t your thing then it works perfectly fine without. With its vanilla and pumpkin spice, this makes for a perfect drink as the colder months set in.


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