How to Make Iced Coffee Like a Pro

When summer rolls around and the sweltering heat moves in, a steamy cup of coffee might not be your beverage of choice. Iced coffee is here to save the day! You don’t even have to pay $5 per glass at a coffee shop to enjoy it.

It’s time to learn how to make iced coffee at home, with a variety of methods. In this article, we will teach you how to make cold-brew coffee, how to properly cool hot coffee, and how to make frappés and iced coffees from around the world! This is a lot of information, but enjoy the learning process. It’s OK to take it slowly.

Iced Coffee is More than Just Coffee That’s Cold

The first step to learning how to make iced coffee is understanding the importance of the type of bean and the flavor. Certain flavors and blends taste especially good brewed, chilled, and served over ice. Our Jamaican Me Crazy, or Chocolate Macadamia Nut blends, offer refreshing flavor on a hot summer day. Not a flavor person? Try this technique with our Viennese or Cuban Blend coffees. Both are bold and bright, and taste great on ice.

(If you’re not a coffee person, our Lemon Ginger Tea, when iced, is a zesty burst of sunshine, while Pineapple Coconut is the perfect tropical excursion. Remember to use double the amount of tea when planning to put it on ice. Brew, cool, pour over ice and let summer bliss take you away.)

 

Cold-Brew-Coffee-Over-Ice-WIth-Cream

Method 1: How to Make Cold-Brew Coffee

To learn how to make iced coffee that’s sweeter, smoother, and has no bitter taste at all, this is your best bet. Here’s how to make cold-brew coffee:

What You Need:

  • Beans – Try Joffrey’s Jamaican me Crazy coffee beans (If you don’t have a grinder and plan to purchase ground beans, French press grind is best.)
  • Coffee grinder
  • Container with lid
  • Filtered water

How to Make:

  • Step 1: Why the Container is Important – How to make cold-brew coffee is one question, but the other question is where to put it. Be sure to put the coffee in a sterilized (i.e. washed with antibacterial soap) pitcher or jar that has a lid. The sterilization and the lid will keep the funk out of your coffee! Without them, bacteria, dust, and other grime can grow or fall into it. Gross!
  • Step 2: Grinding Beans – A key step in learning how to make cold-brew coffee is choosing the right settings on your grinder. If you have a grinder with fully customized settings, choose the coarsest setting. If you don’t own the Ferrari of all grinders, you probably have one with pre-set factory settings. In this case, choose the French press setting.

Test the size of the grounds by grinding a small amount first. The grounds should be the consistency of breadcrumbs. Also, this will be served over ice, which will dilute the coffee…so grind more than you normally would if you want the cold coffee to match the strength of your usual hot coffee.

  • Step 3: Pour into Container…or French Press– Place the grounds into the container or French press and pour cold water over them. When thinking about how to make cold-brew coffee, decide what strength is best for you. Typically, a 1:8 coffee to water ratio will make regular strength coffee.
  • Step 4: Stir – Stir the coffee and water gently until the two are well combined. Cover the container and let the coffee steep for 18-24 hours in or outside of the refrigerator. Don’t leave your coffee in the container or French press for over 24 hours, or the flavor will “over-extract” and the coffee will taste bitter. If you mistakenly allow the coffee to steep for over 24 hours, you have two options: throw it away or use the leftover grounds in an exfoliating mask – your sun kissed skin will thank you!
  • Step 5: Strain – Strain the coffee into a large bowl through a sieve to remove the larger grounds. Discard the large grounds, put cheesecloth into the sieve, and strain the coffee back into the jar.

What? You’re not a gourmet cook who happens to have cheesecloth lying around? We’ve got your back. A durable paper towel will work as a substitute. Proper straining is an important step when considering how to make cold-brew coffee. Poorly strained coffee tastes sandy. Who wants a grimy cup of Joe after all of that work?

  • Step 6: Serve – Serve your coffee over ice, with milk, sugar, and any other flavorings and yumminess that will dissolve well in a cold beverage.

Method 2: Steam ‘er Up & Cool ‘er Down: How to Make Iced Coffee by Hot Brewing & Cooling

Knowing how to make iced coffee by brewing it hot is useful if you prefer minimal prep time and if you don’t have coarse ground coffee on hand to brew it cold.

What You Need:

  • Beans, if you have a grinder, or ground coffee if you don’t
  • Coffee grinder
  • Container with lid
  • Water

How to Make:

  • Step 1: Making Hot Coffee First – Brew your coffee hot using whichever method suits you. Better quality coffee will taste better in the end, so choose wisely. If you like flavored coffees, try our Pumpkin Crème Brûlée, Bananas Foster, or French Vanilla. If you’re not a fan of flavored coffee, try one of our coffees from around the world, or one of our varietals or blends! Make your coffee stronger than usual if you’re planning to turn it into iced coffee, because the ice will dilute the coffee.
  • Step 2: Flavoring – Add any sugar, milk, and flavorings you’d like while the coffee is hot. Flavorings dissolve better in hot liquid.
  • Step 3: Container – Transfer the coffee into a sterilized container and let it cool to room temperature for one hour. (See the cold-brew coffee instructions to read about why sterilizing the container is important.)
  • Step 4: Refrigerate – Put the container in the refrigerator and allow it to cool for two hours.
  • Step 5: Add Ice – Pour the coffee into cups and add the ice to the cups. It’s important to ice the coffee only when you serve it. If you add ice beforehand, it will melt and dilute the coffee resulting in a very watery iced coffee.

Cold Brew vs. Hot Brew: Taste Differences

Now that you know how to cold-brew coffee, let’s talk about the taste differences between the cold and hot brewed coffee. We already mentioned that cold-brewed is sweeter, smoother, and less acidic than hot-brewed. The good thing about hot-brewed coffee though, is that it’s more flavorful, full-bodied, and aromatic. When you choose flavors for your iced coffee, think about which type of coffee (cold or hot-brewed) would taste best with the flavor you prefer.

Method 3: How to Make Iced Coffee Frappés

The directions below will describe how to make iced coffee frappés plain, but you can be creative and add any flavoring you’d like to your fun frothy frap! (The next section will offer some tantalizing ideas!) Without further ado, here are the instructions. May the froth be with you!

The recipe below serves two, but can be modified to serve any number of people. Just make sure you pay attention to the ratios in the recipe. For larger recipes, the ratios of ingredients should be the following:

  • Ratio of coffee to water – 2:3
  • Ratio of milk to coffee – 1:3
  • Ratio of ice to coffee – 1:1
  • Ratio of tbsp. of sugar to number of servings of coffee – 1:1

What you Need:

  • Coffee (cold-brewed or cooled hot-brewed)
  • ½ cup of milk
  • 2 tbsp. of sugar
  • 5 cups of ice
  • Any flavoring you’d like to add
  • 1 blender
  • A coffee machine, French press, or another means to brew coffee

How to Make:

  • Step 1: Milk and Sugar – Add milk and sugar to the blender with the coffee.
  • Step 2: Ice – Add ice to the blender.
  • Step 3: Flavoring – Add flavors of your choice.
  • Step 4: Puree – Puree the mixture in your blender.

How to Make Iced Coffee Frappés with Flavorful Add-Ins

What you add to your iced coffee all depends on the kind of coffee drinking experience you’re looking for. Do you want a simple glass of coffee with a slight twist to tickle your taste buds? Do you want something more filling, but still fresh tasting? Do you want your coffee to taste like a dessert with caffeine, or tropical paradise in a glass? Below are a few flavoring suggestions on how to make iced coffees that achieve all of the above.

Simple Frappé with a Small Kick

If you’re more of a coffee purist who’s open to adding a little zing to your drink, you might try a fresh add-in. Mint leaves are a great choice and will leave your drink tasting fresh. If you like spicy drinks, a small amount cayenne pepper will add a nice kick without dramatically changing the flavor.

Thin slivers of orange peel will give your drink a little zesty citrus punch, which is oh so refreshing on a hot summer day! Fruit is also an option. Add between one half of a serving and a full serving of your favorite fruit to the drink, and grind it up in the blender. (One serving is a ½ cup of chopped fruit, or one medium sized whole fruit.)

Filling & Fruity Fun Frappé

To make your drink more filling, mix a lot of fresh fruit into your coffee (more than one serving) and puree it all together. This will give you a coffee-fruit smoothie. Flavors like peach, orange, and mango taste great together. Orange and pineapple also complement each other well, as do strawberry, blueberry, and raspberry. For a sweet flavor with a warm aftertaste, try apples (or apple sauce) and cinnamon! Once you make the coffee, it should stay fresh for 3 days in the fridge!

Tropical Paradise in a Glass Frappé

If you’d like your coffee to taste like a Caribbean vacation, try adding pineapple and coconut shavings alone or try adding them along with mango.

Dessert Coffee Frappé

Dare to drink your dessert! The possibilities for dessert iced-coffee frappés are limitless. You could go with candy and add M&Ms®, Snickers® bars, or blend any type of sweet treat with your coffee, and add ice cream to top it off. Ice cream can also be mixed with fruit, chocolate sauce, Nutella®, or any dessert your heart desires! Then, mix it all in a blender and try topping it with whipped cream and sprinkles!

How to Make Iced Coffee with an International Flair

If none of the suggestions above work for you, try traveling the world…sip by sip! Iced coffee is popular in many countries. Here are a few recipes from around the world.

Brazil: Mocha Cola

Brazilian iced coffee is the fun crazy cousin of the root-beer float. It calls for a mixture of coffee, chocolate milk, and fizzy cola! If this doesn’t make you want to dance the Samba, nothing will! Here are the ingredients:

What You Need:

  • Beans, if you have a grinder, or grounds if you don’t (Mocha Java would work well here!)
  • 1 12 oz. can of Coke, root beer, or your favorite soda
  • 3 cups of chocolate milk
  • 2 cups of whipped cream or ice cream

How to Make:

  • Step 1: Brewing – Brew coffee that’s twice the recommended strength.
  • Step 2: Chilling – Chill the coffee by placing it in the freezer for 15-30 minutes.
  • Step 3: Combine – Combine the coffee, soda, and chocolate milk.
  • Step 4: Pour – Pour the mixture over ice and top it with whipped cream or ice cream.
  • Step 5: Serve

Sweden: Kaffelemonad (a.k.a. Coffee Lemonade)

To make this gem of a coffee, you’ll first have to make the lemon zest syrup.

What You Need for Lemon Zest Syrup:

  • 1 cup of cane sugar
  • 1 cup of filtered water
  • Make lemon zest out of one medium-sized lemon.

How to Make Lemon Zest Syrup:

  • Step 1: – Combine – Combine the sugar, water, and lemon zest in a saucepan.
  • Step 2: Saucepan – Turn the saucepan up to medium heat.
  • Step 3: Stir – Stir the mixture regularly until the sugar has dissolved.
  • Step 4: Cool – Remove the pan from the heat, let the mixture cool, then pour it into a glass bottle and store it in the refrigerator or use it right away.

Iced Coffee Lemonade

Remember to pay attention to the ratios in this recipe. If you don’t, the coffee could end up tasting too sour…and let’s face it…pucker face doesn’t look cute on anyone. The ratios you’ll need are below:

  • 3 parts brewed coffee
  • 2 parts fresh squeezed lemon juice
  • 1 part lemon zest syrup
  • 2 parts tonic water
  • Ice cubes

What You Need:

  • Brewed coffee (Have you tried the Ybor City Blend?)
  • Fresh squeezed lemon juice
  • Lemon zest syrup
  • Tonic water
  • Ice cubes

How to Make:
Step 1: Combine and Stir – Combine all of the ingredients in a glass and stir vigorously, or put the ingredients in a shaker and shake away!

Vietnam: Café Sua Da (Sweetened Condensed Milk Iced Coffee)

What You Need:

  • Medium coarse ground coffee
  • Sweetened condensed milk – Be sure not to mistake this for evaporated milk. This is a key ingredient, so don’t make substitutions here if you want to taste the real deal.
  • Vietnamese coffee press – Remember, a Vietnamese press is not the same as a French press. Use only a Vietnamese press for this coffee. You can find Vietnamese presses at any Asian market or on Amazon for $10 or less.

How to Make:

  • Step 1: Milk First – Add 2 tablespoons of sweetened condensed milk to a glass.
  • Step 2: Ground Coffee – Add 2 tablespoons of ground coffee to the base of the coffee press.
  • Step 3: Wet Coffee Grounds – Wet the grounds a little bit with some hot water.
  • Step 4: Pack Coffee Grounds in Press – Tightly screw the press on and make sure the coffee is well packed.
  • Step 5: Boiled Water in Press – Pour boiled water into the coffee press and cover the coffee press with the lid.
  • Step 6: Slow Drip Speed – The coffee will drip very slowly. Check the drip speed. Make sure the coffee only drips a few drops per second. If the coffee drips too fast, use a small spoon or knife to screw the press on tighter until it slows down.

A few drips per second will make regular strength coffee that will finish brewing in 3-5 minutes (stronger coffee requires a slower drip speed). We know waiting is painful, but try to occupy yourself. Try dancing, singing, contemplating the meaning of life, or whatever tickles your fancy. Just don’t speed up the brewing process. If you do, you’ll be disappointed by the taste of the finished product.

  • Step 7: Once the coffee is finished dripping, stir it well and put it into the glass with the milk and add ice.

 

Ireland: Sweet Iced Coffee & Whiskey

Sure as a shamrock, Irish coffee is a treasure for more reasons than one! The whiskey will soothe and the coffee will energize, and the sweet taste will leave you loving life! Best of all, it’s easy to make!

What You Need:

  • 4 tbsp. brown sugar
  • 6 – 8oz Irish whiskey
  • 2 tsp. fresh cream
  • 4 cups brewed coffee (Try our Roastmaster’s Reserve!)
  • A pinch of nutmeg

How to Make:

  • Step 1: Stir – Stir the coffee, whiskey, fresh cream, and brown sugar together in a tall glass (2 parts whiskey, 4 parts coffee, 1.5 parts fresh cream, 1 tsp. brown sugar)
  • Step 2: Topping – Top it with whipped cream.
  • Step 3: Spice – Sprinkle the whipped cream with nutmeg.
  • Step 4: Keep it away from the kids…and smile the whole time!

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