How to Make the Perfect Iced Coffee

Four years ago we moved to Massachusetts. Up to that point, I considered iced coffee a specialty drink that I would get on very rare occasions at a coffee shop. Oh, but Massachusetts changed my entire thinking on this topic. They drink iced coffee like Southerners drink sweet tea. I’m serious! Even in the dead of winter you will see people walking around with their iced coffees. And so began my love affair with iced coffee.

I first started making it by brewing a pot of coffee and cooling it. Seems reasonable, right? Then, a couple of years ago I watched a documentary on coffee and I learned that cold brewed coffee has the best taste. So I googled (I am addicted to googling) and, sure enough, the way to make iced coffee is not at all to brew a pot and then chill it. No, you must brew it cold. I have since changed my ways, and I do believe that I can make an iced coffee that will rival any coffee shop’s version. It is much cheaper too.

There is something about the process of cold brewing that makes the coffee less acidic. It gives it a really smooth taste. Try it. You will not go back. It is so easy and so delicious!

Coarsely ground coffee. Can’t you just smell it?

Just add room temperature water. Let it brew overnight or about 12 hours.

I use my French Press. If you don’t have one, though, no worries. Just mix it in a bowl and after it has brewed, pour it through a strainer or a cheese cloth (my neighbor gave me that tip).

Pour in your glass and add milk and sugar. I use raw sugar. I really like the flavor it gives to coffee. But you could use regular, too.

Add ice and enjoy.

It is that easy.

In the summer I brew some nearly every night. I just keep it in a jar in the refrigerator. That way when I want an afternoon cup or a friend comes over, I nearly always have some available.

I am not sure why I am even writing it out as a recipe. Truthfully, it will depend on your coffee beans and how strong you like it. Just remember, you should think of it more as a concentrate, so make it stronger than you would hot coffee.

Iced Coffee

  • 1/2 cup coarsely ground coffee
  • 2-3 cups of room temperature water
  • Milk (I go by the color!)
  • Sugar to taste
  • Ice 

Let coffee and water stand overnight. Strain and add milk, sugar, and ice.

If you have never tried the cold-brewed method for an iced coffee, you will love the taste. Try it!


Linked to Tasty Tuesday



  1. I can’t wait to try this! I love iced coffee and have always used the cool-down method to make my own. I’ll have to google making cold-brew coffee using finely ground coffee since that is all I have in the house right now. :)

    • The cheese cloth might work. Or you could try finding a way to pour it through a regular coffee filter after it has brewed. Hope you enjoy!

  2. I scour the internet for iced coffee recipes and have yet to be successful in finding one that I *really* like OR that doesn’t have 18 steps. I’m going to try this one! :-)

  3. You have learned well! :) I don’t think one can properly manage a home without iced coffee. Just sayin.

  4. I adore iced coffee already, and I’ve never even been to Massachusetts!

    This is great advice. Here’s a tip: iced coffee keeps in the fridge for weeks. (Well, supposedly it keeps for weeks, no matter how much I make it’s always gone in a few days!)

    Also it’s really fabulous Vietnamese style with some sweetened condensed milk poured in.

    • I almost added that coffee lasts a long time in the fridge, and then I thought, I don’t know how long because I always drink it up rather quickly, lol :)

      The Vietnamese style coffee sounds like dessert in a cup. Thanks! :)

  5. we’ve been cold brewing for YEARS – have you heard of toddy coffee cold brew system? it’s awesome!

  6. Oh! I need to go do this. That sounds wonderful!!! (I realized I am two years late on this post! Better late than never!) :)

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