The only issue with iced coffee is the fact that making it at home isn’t as simple as making hot coffee. A few machines have recently came out with iced coffee options but that still won’t give you the strong depth of flavor an iced coffee from a coffee shop or brewery will give you.
Luckily for all of us, iced coffee can in fact be made at home without investing in a robust coffee machine. It can be made with what you have already! Making iced coffee at home comes down to getting the right cooled temperature without sacrificing flavor— or mastering new techniques all together.
Making Iced Coffee from Hot Coffee
Turning hot coffee to iced coffee sounds as easy as leaving your cup out a bit longer to cool down while you fold your laundry (or search up faster ways to cool your coffee on the internet). But of course, there’s more to the method.
When ordering iced coffee from a coffee shop or restaurant, there is a chance that you are being served coffee that was once HOT.
Now, there’s nothing wrong with this method except for the fact that the ice will eventually melt and dilute the depth of flavor the coffee once had.
One way to solve the dilution problem is to make ice cubes with enclosed containers.
Now to make the very BEST iced coffee, there’s other options as well. Below are the ways on how to make iced coffee.
Iced Coffee Ice Cubes
The best and easiest solution on how to make a cup of iced coffee at home when you want to use up yesterday’s left over coffee is to make coffee ice cubes. They will help maintain the same depth of flavor while further cooling the coffee without dilution.
Instead of meal prepping you can be ‘coffee prepping.’
Take a room temperature cup of coffee and distribute it into an empty ice tray. We recommend this ice cube tray because it makes really solid square cubes that take longer to melt on those extra hot summer days. If you want to get fancy & show off in front of your friends, you can always get these coffee bean shaped ice cube trays. (they are way too cool & could be used for other projects too).
Leave it over night to freeze, while also making another cup of coffee to place in the fridge to cool over night. Combine the two the next morning— it’s much quicker than your typical Starbucks line (why are they so long every hour of the day). This will satisfy your cravings for iced coffee very simply.
But wait, there’s other ways to make it even BETTER.
This option is really popular amongst amateur coffee connoisseurs, if you want to keep the flavor at its best, take a look at the following methods.
If your daily coffee intake requires more than the basic flavor of any store brand coffee, it’s time to invest in some more sophisticated methods of making iced coffee and make cold brew at home.
A better tasting and satisfying coffee experience.
Cold brew is exactly what it sounds like— coffee that is brewed with cold water from the beginning. This often reduces the bitter taste that regular iced coffee gets when going from hot to cold. (It won’t eliminate all of the bitterness, some people actually enjoy it, but it definitely minimizes it).
Cold brew became popular when Starbucks started offering it, but you could’ve found it in any local coffee shop long before Starbucks made it mainstream.
When it comes to cold brew coffee tips, we have you covered. You really can’t make a fast cold brew, but it is simple and definitely worth the wait (plus it’s an awesome experiment).
All you need is a french press, coffee, coffee grinder and water. (click the links for our teams favorite) Here’s the steps to putting them all together for the BEST cold brew at home.
- You’ll want to grab that dark roast that only your dad seems to like, as darker roasts are going to break down easier in still, room temperature water. For an even better flavor, use coffee that is over two (2) weeks passed roast but no more than 3 months.
- Coarse grind your coffee using a burr grinder— here’s a great inexpensive one. Be sure to grind your coffee very coarsely. You can get away with using a pre-ground bag, but the flavor won’t be as great as a fresh grind.
- Normally the next step would be to weigh your coffee and water, but cold brew is quite forgiving in this case. Simply use about 3/4 cups of ground coffee beans to 4 cups of water. (You can double this amount if you find yourself needing more).
- Mix it all together in your french press.
- Stir about every 30 minutes for the first 2 hours for best results.
- Let is sit on counter for 18 hours.
- Dilute water to taste preference.
This is easily my favorite way of how to make iced coffee to do it because there’s just something about a slow morning with a french press (maybe it’s relaxing and meditative).
Cold brew is one of the best ways to drink coffee black as the extended brew time and lack of heat creates less acidic flavor.
If you need recommendations on the best tools needed to make cold brew at home, we recommend these following items:
- French Press by Secura – It’s available in 25 or 50oz if you are looking to do larger batches.
- Coffee: Death Wish Whole Bean Coffee – Strong yet smooth.
- Grinder: Baratza Encore Conical Grinder (pricey, but worth it if you are buying quality 3rd wave coffee)
Flash Brew Coffee
Now it’s time for the light roast to shine. It brings out the nice acidity in the coffee while maintaining flavor profiles of the preferred roast.
The method of how to make iced coffee comes from Japan and calls for hot water brewed directly over ice. It’s debatable whether this is better or worse than cold brew, but that really comes down to subjective preferences. Making it is the only way for you to find out!
You’ll need to get a v60 and pour over kettle. We also recommend a bee house dripper as it is more forgiving in this process.
Here’s what you have to do…
- Search how to use a v60 if you are new to this. Counter Culture has a great video on flash brewing that is worth watching before attempting this method yourself. (Good luck going down the rabbit hole of coffee videos).
- Have plenty of ice on hand— the more the better.
- Brew at a 10:1 ratio. (10 parts water, 1 part coffee).
We didn’t forget any steps there, flash brewing is that fast.
It’s simple. It’s fast. It’s delicious.
The process is very similar to how you would brew hot coffee but the introduction of ice and change in water to coffee ratio makes a difference that you’ll want to taste for yourself.
Aeropress Iced Coffee
This method is also quick— it works with any type of coffee you have at home.
- Get a medium to fine grind of coffee.
- Brew with the aeropress using 20g of coffee and 200g of water.
- Steep for 2 minutes inverted.
- Press over ice.
That’s it! Another really easy and simple process to get your hands on iced coffee at home. It really comes own to how hands on you want to be and the machinery you want to invest in.
A french press is something every coffee connoisseur should own, whether you’ll be using it for hot or cold creations.
Before you know it you’ll be trading in that early morning coffee shop dash for a morning routine that is more rewarding and fun. The best way to make iced coffee comes down to what you put in to the process and what experience you’re looking for.