How to Make Your Own Iced Coffee – 3 Easy Methods to Save You Time and Money

When the temperature rises, coffee lovers know nothing refreshes quite like a delicious iced coffee. It’s a great afternoon-break beverage that cools you down while perking you up. Whether served black, with cream, sweetened, or flavored, iced coffee is a great change of pace from fruit drinks and sodas. In this article we’ll show you how to make your own iced coffee in the comfort of your own kitchen.

Why Make Your Own Iced Coffee?

Grabbing a cold brew at the corner coffee shop can be a great treat. But let’s face it, making that trip a daily habit can be both time-consuming and costly. Plus there’s always that thorny little issue of flavor consistency. One day your coffee will be handed to just the way you like it, perfectly lightened and/or sweetened. Then, the next day, it won’t be quite right. Which means you’ve just wasted your time and spent good money on an inferior experience. Don’t you hate that?!

Thankfully, it doesn’t have to be that way. We’ve got three simple recipes that will save you time and money while consistently delivering the flavor experience you crave. Read on, and you’ll quickly see how easy it is to make your own amazing iced coffee at home.

Traditional Hot-Brewed Iced Coffee

For many coffee drinkers, there’s no substitute for the full, robust flavor of hot-brewed coffee. And they want that same experience in their iced coffee, too. If this describes you, then you’ll want to give the following recipe a try. With a few modifications, you’ll find your favorite hot cup of java transforms beautifully into a brisk, icy refresher.

The key to making iced coffee from hot-brewed coffee is in the strength of the hot brew. Since you’ll be diluting the hot coffee with ice, you’ll need to compensate by making a stronger coffee base. Exactly how strong will depend on your personal taste.

You may have to experiment a little to find your ideal measurements, but the following recipe will give you a medium-bodied, rich-flavored iced coffee as a starting point. You can then modify with more or less coffee, or more or less water, to make your ideal glass of iced coffee.


Yield: 2 – 4 Servings


1/2 Cup Ground Coffee

1 1/2 Cups Room Temperature Water

1 1/2 Cups Cold Water

Ice Cubes

Milk/Cream/Creamer/Sugar to Taste


Brew the ground coffee in your coffee maker using 1 1/2 cups room temperature water. Add the 1 1/2 cups cold water to the coffee carafe. If time allows, pour coffee into a pitcher and chill for an hour in the refrigerator. Or, to enjoy right away, fill serving glasses with ice cubes and pour coffee over the ice to chill. Lighten, sweeten, and/or flavor as desired and enjoy! Store any leftover iced coffee in the refrigerator.

Cold Brew Iced Coffee

The cold-brew method of making iced coffee takes more time than the hot-brewed method, but many coffee lovers prefer the mellower, less-acidic, slightly sweeter taste this process renders. It’s very easy to make cold-brew iced coffee, but you will need to let the coffee sit at least 12 hours or overnight to get the best results.

Just like with the hot-brew method, the key in cold brewing is to make a strong coffee base that won’t get diluted when served over ice. This can be achieved by the length of brewing time and also by the grind of the coffee. Purchased ground coffee will work just fine, but, If you have the option to grind your own coffee beans, a coarse grind will enhance your cold brew results.

Again, start with our basic, easy-to-follow recipe, then adjust to suit your taste. If you’d like the coffee stronger, add another tablespoon of grounds and/or let the coffee and water sit for a few hours longer. To make a milder iced coffee, decrease the coffee used by a tablespoon or two and lessen the standing time. With a little experimentation, you’ll find the exact ratio of coffee to water and standing time to create your ideal glass of icy coffee heaven.


Yield: 2 – 4 Servings


1/2 Cup Ground Coffee (Coarsely ground if possible)

1 1/2 Cups Room Temperature Water

1 to 1 1/2 Cups Cold Water (to taste)

Ice Cubes

Milk/Cream/Creamer/Sugar to Taste


In a jar with a lid, stir together the coffee and 1 1/2 cups water. Cover and let rest at room temperature for at least 12 hours. Strain coffee through a coffee filter or folded paper towel into a clean jar. Repeat straining process if necessary to remove all grounds. To serve, place ice in desired drinking glass and add equal parts (or to taste) coffee concentrate and cold water and stir. Lighten, sweeten, and/or flavor as desired and enjoy! Store any leftover iced coffee in the refrigerator.

Pour-Over Iced Coffee

The final method of how to make your own iced coffee is one that many coffee drinkers may not be familiar with but is becoming more popular. It’s called the pour-over method, and you can use it to make extremely fresh and flavorful coffee one serving at a time. Though pour-overs are usually served hot, you can adapt the process to make a quick, robust glass of iced coffee as well.

Be forewarned: this process does require a special piece of equipment, a pour-over brewer. If you don’t already have one, you can find them at most chain discount stores, in larger grocery stores, and from a variety of retailers online. A basic plastic pour-over brewer is typically $5 or less, so it’s definitely an affordable way to take your iced coffee experience to the next level.

pour over coffee brewer basket

Unless you purchase a reusable-mesh pour over brewer, you will also need coffee filters. These are the same inexpensive paper filters used with electric basket-style coffee makers. The cone-shaped filters will fit best, but you can also adapt the basket-style filters if that’s all you have on hand: fold the basket filter in half, then press open it up inside your pour-over brewer, molding it to the shape of the brewer cup.

It’s also wise with the pour-over method to use a serving glass that can take a little heat. Tempered glass or a thick-walled mason jar both make good options. If you want to serve your iced coffee in more delicate glasses, use a mug for the pour-over process itself, then transfer your iced coffee to the desired drink ware.

As with the hot-brew and cold-brew methods of making iced coffee, the key to a great pour-over iced coffee is making sure the coffee is strong enough. In this process, hot coffee will be cooled directly over ice, so the dilution will be immediate. Thankfully it is quite easy to make a hearty cup of coffee with a pour-over brewer, and that’s why this method adapts well to iced coffee.

Unlike the cold brew method where a coarse grind will create the best results, a finer grind will release the most flavor during a pour-over brew. Commercially ground coffee will do the trick, but if you are grinding your own coffee beans, give them an extra few bursts in the grinder. A finer grind will produce a richer taste during the short pour-over brewing process.

The following recipe will give you a good starting point for a great pour-over iced coffee. Once you’ve given it a try, you can easily adjust it to your personal taste by using more or less coffee or more or less ice.


Yield: 1 Serving


4 Tablespoons Ground Coffee (Finely ground works best)

6 – 8 ounces fresh boiling water

Ice to fill a tall, sturdy glass or large mug

Milk/Cream/Creamer/Sugar to Taste


Prepare your pour over brewer with a filter and place the brewer over a serving glass or mug filled with ice. Spoon the ground coffee into the filter and tap gently to level the grounds. Slowly pour the boiling water into the brewer using a spiral pattern from the outer rim inward towards the center. Be careful not to fill the brewer too quickly or let the grounds float above the edges of the filter. Once all the grounds are saturated, stop pouring. Let the grounds rest for 30 seconds in order to extract their full flavor.

After 30 seconds, continue pouring the remaining boiling water slowly into the brewer, this time starting in the center and spiraling outward towards the edge. Once all the boiling water has been poured, allow ample time for it all to filter through the brewer into your glass or mug. Once brewing is complete, remove the brew cup. Transfer your iced coffee to the desired serving glass if necessary, then lighten, sweeten, and/or flavor as desired.

How to Make Your Own Iced Coffee Recap

Iced coffee is a refreshing, warm-weather treat that’s incredibly simple to make. We’ve given you three basic recipes to get your started on crafting your own at home. Whether you use the hot-brew, cold-brew, or pour-over method, we hope you’ll enjoy experimenting until you create your ideal at-home iced coffee experience.

If you love iced coffee, please let us know! Feel free to share how you make your own iced coffee in the comments below. We’d love to hear from you. Happy sipping!


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