Goooood morning 🙂 Or afternoon….or night I guess. When it comes to being a momma & needing coffee, it doesn’t matter what time of the day it is.
If you’re like me, you are probably drinking it all throughout the day. I love all kinds of coffee; drip coffee, espresso, cold brew, iced coffee – you name it, I’ll drink it. One of my favorites though is iced coffee. Making iced coffee at home is super easy and so much cheaper than buying it either in the store or at a coffee shop! Wondering how to make a iced coffee at home? It’s easy!
When it comes to how to make an iced coffee at home, there are a few different ways you can go about it. I have a favorite way of doing it, where I find my coffee turns out WAY better than the other methods, but I’ll list out all of the different ways and you can pick your favorite for yourself. One of the things I love about iced coffee is all of the different things you can do with it. First, you can prepare it numerous different ways (which will drastically change the taste of your iced coffee) but there are also so many different ways to flavor it & drink it!
So let’s get right into how to make a iced coffee at home! First, let’s talk about the different ways you can prepare the coffee for your iced coffee. Then we can look at different ways to put your drink together & I’ll share some of my favorite recipes! First things first though…the coffee <3
Methods to Preparing your Coffee
Making an iced coffee at home is super simple, but how you prepare your coffee for your drink will depend on your taste buds. Here are the different methods to prepare your coffee:
- drip coffee (extra strong & cooled)
- cold brew
My preference would be either espresso or the cold brew method. Cold brew is much cheaper and easier to make at home though! So this is the method that I use. I’ll break down each one though & you can pick which will work the best for you.
For this method, you will just use the coffee you brew from your coffee pot. So whether you use a regular coffee pot or Keurig, brew your coffee like you normally would (except I would recommend brewing it stronger than your regular coffee) and allow it time to cool. You could use it right away while it is still hot but it is going to water down your drink (since it is going to melt your ice faster).
The reason I don’t like using drip coffee in my iced coffee is because it tastes more bitter. Since you are brewing it with hot water, your coffee is going to be more acidic & have more of a bitter flavor. So when adding it to your iced coffee, that is the taste you are going to get. I’ll explain in the cold brew section why I think that method is better.
If you are using a regular coffee pot, just add more coffee grounds when you are brewing your coffee. That will make it stronger & allow your iced coffee to have more flavor. For a Keurig, they make espresso pods. I would recommend getting these if you are using a Keurig to make your iced coffee. They, of course, won’t taste exactly like the espresso you might be used to (since espresso is made under high pressure) but they will be better than the regular coffee pods you could use. Regardless, either will work though.
If you are looking, here are some options. For your regular coffee maker, you can use any ground coffee that you like.
If you have a Nespresso, here are a few “espresso” options.
Nespresso Capsules OriginalLine
Peet’s Coffee Espresso Capsules Variety Pack
If you have a Keurig, here are a few “espresso” options.
Keurig Espresso Roast Variety Sampler Pack
Café Bustelo Coffee, Espresso Style Coffee, K Cup Pods for Keurig Coffee Makers
If you want the “real deal”, espresso is probably the way to go. Typically, this is what they will use in coffee shops. But, if you are making it at home it will be a little more expensive, since you will need an espresso machine.
Really, you could go about this method two different ways. You could go to a coffee shop and just ask for a shot (or two, or three 🙂 ) of espresso over ice. You could then take it home and add whatever you wanted to it.
Or, you could make your own espresso at home. If you have an espresso machine, this would be pretty easy for you to do. They also make other versions of espresso machines that are cheaper that you could try, but they probably won’t taste like your regular coffee shop espresso, since it won’t work exactly like an espresso machine is designed to.
If you are really into your coffee drinks (not necessarily just iced coffee, but any coffee) it might be worth to invest in an espresso machine. Like I said, they make different versions, ranging from pretty affordable to, of course, expensive. If you are interested, I’ll list out a few different espresso machines.
All start with an affordable one.
SOWTECH Espresso Machine
This is highly rated, yet affordable espresso machine. With this one, you get an espresso machine, filter and funnel, spoon, carafe & milk frother all for under $100! Actually, all for under $70! I love that this machine is not only affordable but super easy to use. It has one knob that you can control everything with. So, you can make milk foam, make coffee, turn off the machine or pause it..all with the one knob. It’s also nice that you can save on counter space because of the compact design.
So, with this, you can make your espresso in 3 simple steps.
- add the water to the machine
- add your coffee to the filter
- turn the knob to the “coffee” position
If you wanted milk/foam for your coffee, that is just one more step. You would just turn the knob to the “foam” position!
This is about as basic as you can get with an espresso machine. This one is a little more expensive than the last one I talked about but still very affordable, in my opinion. The Nespresso pods that I just talked about, will work with this machine. This is the original Nespresso machine. If you want the newer version, look for the Nespresso Vertuo. Just know, that if you get the Vertuo those pods won’t work with that machine. If you need help with this, send me an email or leave a message in the comments, I’m happy to help!
This espresso machine is nice because of the size and how easy it is to use. Some espresso machines can get really fancy & can be more complicated to use but this one can get espresso with just the press of one button. That’s a machine that I can figure out 🙂
So, this is a one touch operation and extraction system. This means you can create a barista-style coffee or espresso drink with ONE BUTTON. Nespresso is known for their high quality espresso. So even though this is more of an affordable option, you will still be getting high quality espresso. Nespresso offers a wide ranges of espresso machines, I chose this one due to the affordable price, smaller size (which helps save counter space!) and quality espresso. I also like that with this espresso machine, you don’t need that extra step of tamping your espresso. All you need is to put the pod in the machine and press a button.
Breville Barista Espresso Machine
I also want to have an option that has a higher price point, for if you want to splurge on an espresso machine. With this machine, you start with the beans & the machine will grind them for you. All of this, from beans to espresso, in all under 1 minute! So you know your coffee is going to be fresh 🙂
While this espresso machine has a higher price point, you are paying for what you get. You are getting some awesome features with this machine! Here are some of the main features that you are going to love:
- dose-control grinding – this means that the machine is going to grind your beans & deliver the right amount of freshly ground coffee right into the filter!
- grind size dial – simple & straightforward! You can control the grid size no matter what type of coffee bean you are grinding
- precise espresso extraction – it has a digital temperature control so the water for your espresso is at exactly the right temperature, which makes a big difference when brewing espresso
- micro-foam milk – there is a steam wand that allows you to hand texture micro-foam milk
This machine allows you to brew single or double shots of espresso. All-in-all, you can have your drink, from bean to espresso, in under 1 minute!
This machine is still considered compact but will be bigger than the other two options that I listed above. This one also, obviously, has a higher price point too.
This is my favorite method, for multiple reasons. First, it’s easy! Second, it’s cheap! And third, the taste!!! Cold brew coffee is when you let your coffee grounds soak (for about 10-12 hours) in cold water. Brewing your coffee this way makes the taste so much smoother! Cold brew is perfect when making iced coffee at home because it is less bitter than hot coffee, less acidic and naturally sweeter! For these reasons, cold brew tastes so much better plain! So you wouldn’t even need to add anything to your coffee (milk, sugar, syrup, etc.) if you brew it cold!
For making cold brew coffee, I love using my french press. I find this to be the easiest way. This isn’t anything fancy…and you can find one for around $30 if you don’t have one. Here is one option:
Having a french press is nice not only for making cold brew, but I also use mine to make traditional hot coffee too. I love the flavor that it gives my coffee!
This french press is so nice because it is high quality but also under $30. I also love that it has double stainless steel screen filters, so the filtration is awesome with this french press. You’ll love this too since nobody wants coffee grounds in their coffee 🙂
So when it comes to making cold brew in this, just add your ground coffee and water, place the filtration system in the container and place in the fridge for at least 12 hours. Then, press the filtration system down (which pushes your ground coffee to the bottom) and you can pour your coffee out! Then, just dispose of the ground coffee! Super simple to use and you will love the taste!
Otherwise, if you don’t want to buy one, you could use any container you have (large tub, mason jar, large bowl, etc.). Then use a strainer or coffee filter to strain out the coffee from the grounds when you are ready. Just a little messier and more work than using a french press, but nevertheless it will get the job done!
Here are the ingredients & steps for making cold brew. You will have to modify this depending on how much you want to make & how strong you like your coffee.
1 cup coffee
3 cups cold water
French Press (or any container to hold your coffee/water mixture)
*now, I like my cold brew with a lot of flavor, so my ratio is 3 to 1 (3 parts water to 1 part coffee). If you don’t want yours as strong, you can do 4 parts water to 1 part coffee. Also, if you are grinding your own coffee beans for this, I recommend grinding them coarsely, this will give a little better flavor. Otherwise, use any ground coffee that you have 🙂
- grind coffee beans, or use ground coffee
- combine coffee and water in your french press (or whatever container you have)
- let sit for 12 hours in the fridge
- strain water & ground coffee (if you are using a french press, this is easy, just pour the coffee into another container & the ground coffee will stay in the french press, just dispose of after)
A few more notes about this:
- you can adjust how long you let your mixture soak, I like to let mine sit overnight. The longer you let it sit, the more flavor it will have. So, you could even let it sit for 24 hours…if you can wait that long 🙂
- you can either throw your coffee beans/grounds away after using or they make good compost to mix in with your soil if you have a garden!
I think we have covered the most “complicated” part of making your iced coffee. Once you have your coffee, the rest is easy!
How to make Iced Coffee
Okay, so once you have your coffee, you can put your iced coffee together. This is the fun part that you might have to experiment with until you get it the way you like it. The basics of iced coffee though are coffee, milk and sweetener. The sweetener can come in the form of sugar, syrup or sauce. Like I mentioned before though, if you are making cold brew to use with your iced coffee, it is smooth enough to drink just like that.
If you’re like me though, you will want some extra sweetness and flavor 🙂 I’ll list out some options for each of the components of your iced coffee. So, for your coffee, you will have either your chilled drip coffee, espresso or your cold brew. Fill your glass with ice, pour your coffee in over the ice & pick and choose some of the following to add to it.
Usually, iced coffee with have some sort of milk base to it. This doesn’t mean it actually has to be milk but this is the most common. You could use any of the following in place of milk:
- 1%, 2%, skim or whole milk
- half & half
- almond milk
- soy milk
- almond milk
- coconut milk
- coffee creamer (this can be homemade creamer or your traditional store bought coffee creamer)
*one reason why so many people like to use coffee creamer is because there are so many different flavors. Also, because that is all you would need to add to your iced coffee, your coffee & creamer. You wouldn’t need any additional sweetener or flavoring.
I really like to make my own creamer using sweetened condensed milk & evaporated milk. Just take 1 can (12 oz) evaporated milk & 1 can (14 oz) of sweetened condensed milk, mix together and store in a container. Then, add this to your iced coffee. You can add more flavoring if you want (such as vanilla syrup, caramel, hazelnut, etc.) but I like it with just this creamer!
Like I mentioned before, your sweetener can come in a few forms. You can simply just add sugar. Or you can add flavored syrups or sauces. The difference between syrups & sauces are sauces are going to be thicker. Here are some of the options:
- vanilla bean
- french vanilla
- english toffee
- white chocolate
- sea salt caramel
- milk chocolate
- dark chocolate
For my syrup, I love to use the Torani brand. They have a wide variety of flavors at an affordable price. You can get these pretty much anywhere (Walmart, Target, grocery stores, etc.). There are also Starbucks syrups that I use as well! I’ll include links for these, but again you can get these in pretty much any store as well! These are variety packs (to show you some of the different flavors) but you can buy them individually as well.
Starbucks Variety Syrup:
For sauces, my favorite is to use Ghirardelli. Again, I’ll provide a link for these so you can see what they look like but you can get these in pretty much any grocery store too. They should be by the syrups but you can also find them by the ice cream toppings in some grocery stores.
Both the bottles of syrups and sauces will last you awhile, depending on how many drinks you make. But, they will make a lot of iced coffee drinks!
So, hopefully by now you have what you need to make your iced coffee at home. It’s extremely simple to do, you may just need to play around with it awhile until you get it how you like it.
To help get you started, here are a few of my favorite iced coffee recipes!
Sweet Cream Iced Coffee
- sweet cream creamer (this is the creamer I mentioned before; 12 oz evaporated milk with 14 oz sweetened condensed milk)
Brew your coffee however you prefer (again, I like using cold brew for this). Fill your glass halfway with ice and add your coffee. Pour in your creamer, add as much as you like until you get it to taste the way you like. You could add a flavor shot to this, such as vanilla or hazelnut.
Brown Sugar Iced Coffee
- 3/4 C coffee grounds (or beans, grounded)
- 3 TBSP brown sugar
- 1 tsp cinnamon
- 3 C cold water
- milk/creamer of choice
I love this one not only for the taste but because it is so simple! This one requires cold brew coffee though. But, you’ll be amazed at how smooth this coffee tastes. Add your coffee grounds, brown sugar, cinnamon and water to your french press. Let steep overnight (around 12 hours). Filter out coffee.
Fill your glass with ice. Pour in your cold brew coffee and add your milk or creamer. I like to use just 2% milk. YUMMMM.
White Chocolate Iced Coffee
- cold coffee (espresso, cold brew, etc.)
- 3-4 pumps vanilla bean syrup
- 3-4 pumps white chocolate sauce
How much of each of these ingredients will depend on how big of a glass of iced coffee you are making. So just play around with it. But, for what would be a medium size at a coffee shop, follow this:
Fill your glass 3/4 with ice. Fill halfway with your cold coffee or espresso. Add 3-4 pumps vanilla bean (or regular vanilla) syrup along with white chocolate sauce. Fill the rest of your glass with milk.
Ninja Coffee Bar
If you are a coffee addict and love to drink it every kind of way, you might be interested in the Ninja Coffee Bar. With this, you can make your coffee hot or it has an iced coffee setting too. It even comes with a recipe book so it gives you an awesome start with iced coffee recipes that you can try. So you can make hot or iced lattes, macchiatos, iced coffee, cappuccinos and more. Personally, I have not tried the Ninja Coffee bar but I have so many friends that have it and LOVE it. Once I have more counter space in my kitchen, you know it will be on my counter. This, or an espresso machine 🙂
- 6 brew sizes
- single cup
- XL single cup
- travel mug
- XL travel mug
- half carafe
- full carafe
- 4 different brew types
- classic: provides a balanced taste
- rich: provides more intense flavor
- iced coffee: freshly brewed but never watered down
- specialty brew: super-rich coffee concentrate (this would be like espresso-so you could make lattes, macchiatoes, cappuccinos, etc)
- built in, fold away frother
- no pods required
Hopefully by now you are well on your way to making your own iced coffee at home. If you have a favorite recipe, leave it in the comments below! Share the coffee love! 🙂
All the best,