Making Iced Coffee at Home: Get the Absolute Best Taste with These Simple Recipes

Coffee Geek Lab / Making Iced Coffee at Home: Get the Absolute Best Taste with These Simple Recipes
Yurii Brown

Certified Barista

June 10, 2021

If you’re anything like me, you probably cannot stay away from your local coffee shop for long.

I mean, my local baristas know me, my pets’ names, and even what hobbies I have.

And of course, they know that I’m in love with iced coffee.

If you share my feelings, I have exactly what you need.

These awesome homemade iced coffee recipes will improve even your worst day. They don’t require much but will definitely step up your coffee game greatly. Ready to try them?

Making Iced Coffee at Home

Method 1 – Fast but Fancy, For Those Who Want It Now

There are many ways to make cold coffee at home, but this one is probably the easiest, the most foolproof option. This method is ideal for those lazy bums (me included) who want something fast but still fancy and delicious. I mean, who says that making iced coffee at home should be hard?

Here’s what you’ll need:

  • coffee of your choice (either instant or ground)
  • ice
  • blender
  • sweetener and creamer of your choice
  • a serving glass/mug
  • preparation time: 5 min

Step-by-step guide:

  • Brew your coffee or pour some hot water onto the instant coffee granules. Both of these options are fast, so pick whichever you prefer. You don’t have to wait for your coffee to cool down. Just make sure that, when using ground coffee, you run it through a filter or a fine sieve first to prevent the grounds from getting into your beverage.
  • Pour your coffee into a blender. Add some ice, sweetener, and creamer of your choice. I prefer using two shots of coffee with around 20-40 ml of milk and a full cup of ice. Don’t hesitate to experiment with different ratios in order to find your perfect combo.
  • Blend all the ingredients together.
  • Pour your homemade iced coffee into a glass and enjoy this frappe-style beverage!

If you want to make an iced latte but don’t have a milk frother, don’t worry. You can froth the milk by hand or using a French press. The simplest way is to pour some milk into a jug, close the lid, and shake it nicely. However, if you have a French press, you will get a fluffier result. Just pour the milk in it, close the lid, and move the filter up and down multiple times. Then pour the milk into coffee but hold the foam using a spoon. Transfer the foam into the glass/mug, and voila!

Tips and tricks from Yurii Brown:

  • If you are feeling extra lazy today (or maybe you’re simply in a rush), you can make iced coffee at home Japanese-style. Simply put some ice into a glass and pour your freshly brewed coffee (hot) onto them. This is the most popular coffee making technique in Japan, which results in a rich flavor without the need to do the extra work.
  • Freezing coffee and then using those cubes in your beverage makes your drink less watered down.
  • You can also freeze your favorite creamer (any type of milk that you prefer) and add it instead of the regular ice cubes. This way, your cold coffee will be creamy without being too diluted with water.
  • To get a colder frappe, you can brew your instant coffee using a small amount of hot water. Stir it and once the coffee is dissolved, add the desired amount of cold water. This way, when blending everything with ice, your cold coffee will be even colder.
  • When trying an iced coffee recipe at home, you can brew coffee in large batches and keep it in the fridge. Then, whenever you feel like making homemade iced coffee, take it out of the fridge, add some ice and milk, and you’re good to go!

To make your cold coffee super sweet and creamy, make it coconut-based. Dissolve some instant coffee in a tablespoon or two of hot water. Then, pour some coconut water in (or use frozen coconut water cubes). Add your favorite coconut milk and whip everything in a blender to get your flavorful, sweet, and rich coconut frappe.

If you don’t have a coffee machine, you can still get a good shot of espresso, which you can mix with milk and ice to enjoy your favorite iced coffee. For instance, you can brew espresso using a French press. Just make sure you get the right water and coffee ratio.

Method 2 – Exquisite Taste That’s Worth the Wait

If you are ready to sacrifice some of your time to get the best-tasting beverage, then this way to make cold coffee at home will definitely become your favorite. It isn’t hard to follow; it just takes quite some time. But trust me, it’s totally worth it. If you want to brew iced coffee and get the most out of it, keep reading. Here’s what you’ll need:
  • ground coffee of your choice
  • sweetener and creamer of your choice
  • ice
  • French press (or a container with a lid)
  • a coffee filter (or, again, a French press)
  • filtered or bottled water
  • preparation time: 12 hours 15 minutes
Step-by-step guide:
  • Start by cold brewing your coffee. To do that, put ground coffee into a French press or a container and add room-temperature filtered (or bottled) water. I personally prefer using 1 part coffee and 4 parts water.
  • Stir the “mixture”, put the lid on, and stick your French press or container in the fridge. Let it sit for at least 12 hours.
  • Once you have waited enough, take your coffee out of the fridge. It’s now time to strain it. If you are using a French press, then you just need to push the filter down and pour the coffee into a glass/mug. However, if you’ve left it to brew in a container, you will need a coffee filter or a very fine sieve (or a cheesecloth, as an alternative).
  • Now it’s time to dilute your coffee. What you should know is the cold brew process makes really strong coffee. And even though you are going to add ice and cream to it (or milk, depending on the homemade iced coffee recipe that you’re following), it’s still going to taste rather bold. So, it’s better to add some water to it. I prefer mixing 1 part coffee and 2 parts water, which results in a strong and rich beverage. You can test different ratios to find the one you like the most.
  • Add some ice. Now, here you have a couple of options. If you prefer your beverages strong and concentrated, use the frozen coffee cubes, which you need to prepare beforehand. If you prefer regular ice cubes, add those. For the coolest beverage, fill an empty glass up to the top. This way, your beverage will taste great and look cool at the same time.
  • Pour your strained and diluted coffee over the ice. Add a sweetener of your choice and a splash of milk or cream. What makes this beverage great is that there’s no “right” way to make your iced coffee. You can experiment with various creamers, add interesting flavorings, and test different ratios to find that perfect recipe.

Are you craving something more nutritious but with that rich coffee flavor? You can make yourself a glass of coffee smoothie. It is perfect for lunch, as a snack, and, at the same time, as your regular caffeine fix. What you need to do is blend together some brewed coffee, one small banana (cut and frozen beforehand), milk of your choice, a few ice cubes, and some sweetener if you need it. Blend all the ingredients together and enjoy your delicious, refreshing smoothie.

Tips and tricks from Yurii Brown:

  • If you don’t have an ice cube tray but need to make frozen coffee (or regular ice) cubes, there are other ways to make them. For instance, you can freeze water using a Ziploc bag and then break the ice into pieces. You can also use egg cartons, chocolate trays, empty milk containers, yogurt cups, candy molds, and so on.
  • When trying a new iced coffee recipe at home, make sure that you grind your coffee beans coarsely. Otherwise, you might get coffee sediment and ground pieces in your beverage.
  • For a cold brew, it is recommended to get either a medium or a dark roast. However, my advice is: consider different options. We’re all different and have different preferences. Who knows, maybe a lighter roast will be more to your liking, especially when mixed with your favorite creamer.

Filtering your cold brew a couple of times is always a good idea. Even if you are using a French press, some bits may get through the filter. And you don’t want to find them in your beverage. So, to make an even smoother iced coffee, you can use a coffee filter or a very fine sieve a couple of times.

Looking for a perfect fall iced coffee recipe? Try blending your brew, ice, and cooked (steamed, baked, or canned) pumpkin. Add vanilla extract, cream, sweetened condensed milk, and a teaspoon of pumpkin pie spice. There you have it, better than Starbucks!

How to Make Great Coffee Every Time: Tips and Tricks

So, you’ve decided to brew iced coffee. And of course, you want it to taste amazing.

Well, don’t worry, there are many ways to achieve that. If you think that adding frozen coffee cubes is the coolest life hack ever, get ready to learn some new, topnotch tips and tricks.

Are you ready to become your own barista? Consider the following pieces of advice:

  • For a creamier taste, add ice cream to your coffee and blend it together. You can experiment with different flavors (my favorites are chocolate and raspberry, they go really well with coffee).
  • You can also add frozen fruits and blend them with coffee. This way you get both ice (because the fruits are frozen) and a fresh flavor (try bananas, yum!).
  • Always use high-quality coffee beans if you want a great-tasting beverage. Freshly roasted beans are the most flavorful, so it’s better to buy them from local coffee shops, where they roast the beans on the spot.
  • If you’re making frozen coffee ice cubes, you can add an interesting twist to them. For instance, if you are a fan of spicy beverages, you can sprinkle some cardamom or cinnamon into the coffee before freezing it.
  • For a truly enhanced flavor, sprinkle your prepared beverage with salt. Just a pinch will remove the bitterness and make the flavor more distinct and richer.
  • Vanilla extract works really well with iced coffee. You will thank me later, I’m sure.
  • If you love mocha, you can easily make a homemade iced version of it. Just add some chocolate syrup to your beverage. Or, as an alternative, you can add some cocoa or hot chocolate mix to your ground coffee and brew them together.
  • For the most refreshing effect, you can freeze the glass before pouring coffee in it. Just put it in the freezer for around 15 minutes. This will keep your iced beverage cold longer. Plus, the refreshing effect will be much stronger.

Here’s an interesting idea: if you want to always have freshly roasted coffee beans, use your popcorn maker (if you have it) to achieve that. Just buy some green coffee, pop the beans into your popcorn maker, and watch them turn brown and shiny.

  • If you are a sweet tooth, you can try making Vietnamese iced coffee. How? The recipe is rather simple: put some ice in a glass, pour your room-temperature coffee over it, and add a dollop (or a few) of sweet condensed milk. Super creamy, super rich, and, of course, super sweet!
  • You can freeze hot chocolate (just wait for it to cool down) and then add the cubes to your coffee for a sweeter, chocolaty taste.
  • Infusing your brew with spices is another way to add a little twist to your regular beverage. Before adding water to your ground coffee, mix it with your favorite spices (I always go with cinnamon and a bit of ground ginger). Then brew the mix as you would normally do.
  • Always give your preference to either filtered or bottled water. This way, your coffee will have a clean, crisp flavor.
  • Strain your coffee slowly. Don’t push it through the filter (or a cheesecloth) or try to wring it. You will end up with a bitter beverage, which might even contain some parts of ground coffee. Instead, take your time and work in smaller batches if necessary.
  • If you need a healthier iced coffee option, consider adding a healthier sweetener or creamer. For instance, instead of a regular milk, go for a non-fat one. As for the sweetener, you can add brown sugar, agave syrup, stevia, or any other natural substitute for sugar. There are many options, and I’m sure your iced coffee will taste great with any of them.

During summer, we all want something refreshing and maybe even citrusy. Did you know that you can also make your iced coffee orange-flavored? What you need to do is mix some brewed coffee, orange liqueur, a couple of orange slices, and spices (for instance, nutmeg and cinnamon). Blend that mixture with ice and there you have it, your citrusy iced coffee.

Things You Shouldn’t Do (If You Want Your Coffee to Taste Good)

Now that you’re almost an iced coffee expert, it’s time for you to learn what potential mistakes you might be making as a barista. I mean, you are now responsible for your own coffee, which means you are a barista, in a way. So, if you want your coffee to always taste great, there are some things you need to avoid doing. Take the following pieces of advice into consideration and make coffee like a pro:
  • Do not store your beans or ground coffee in the freezer. This will not keep them fresh. On the contrary, this storage method can mess up their flavor. It’s better to store your coffee in an airtight jar and in a dark, dry place, away from heat and light.
  • Don’t use tap water. It might seem clean and good to be used, but tap water won’t allow your coffee to reveal its full flavor. It just won’t taste that clean.
  • Always make sure that your water is hot enough (if you are not using a cold brew method). You see, brewing coffee using a warm (not hot) water will not extract the most flavor from your coffee beans.
  • Don’t be greedy when it comes to coffee. Cheap beans aren’t good, end of story.
  • Avoid using beans that were ground a long time ago. Seriously, buying pre-ground coffee is a taboo in the world of professional brewing. Once the beans are ground, they start to slowly lose their flavor. So, the longer the ground coffee rests somewhere on the shelf, the more its flavor levels decrease. My advice is: invest in a good coffee grinder and buy freshly roasted beans. This way, you will always have the freshest cup of coffee.
  • Never use dirty utensils. No matter how much in a hurry you are, your coffee equipment and utensils absolutely have to be clean.
So, are you ready to make your perfect glass of homemade iced coffee? Which cold coffee recipe are you going to try? Let us know in the comments down below!

Yurii Brown

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