How To Make Iced Coffee

In the 17th century, Dutch colonists in the East Indies escaped the heat with chilled coffee. In Europe, a cold coffee drink called mazagran came into fashion in the 1840s after being invented by French soldiers at the French Algerian fortress of Mazagran during a long siege. The drink consisted of cold coffee sweetened with syrup.

The name "iced coffee" first appeared in the 1920s, when the Joint Coffee Trade Publicity Committee was marketing the beverage in the United States. Later, iced coffee was added to the menus of large fast-food chains: Burger King, Dunkin' Donuts, Starbucks, etc.

What Is Iced Coffee?

Iced coffee is a popular, invigorating summer drink that's usually made from hot coffee, ice, and milk, and sometimes various other ingredients.

There are many iced coffee recipes from around the world, so there are many flavors to experiment with as you make it at home. You can even make iced espresso drinks—iced cappuccinos, iced lattes, iced mochas, etc. Plus, iced coffee is very easy to make since it always starts with hot coffee, chilled milk, and ice.

What Is Special About Iced Coffee?

Iced coffee is prepared differently than hot coffee, but it retains the same invigorating properties. It's indispensable in summer because it cools you down and also wakes you up.


Iced coffee has a light and refreshing taste. When milk or cream is added, the drink becomes soft, without bitterness or acidity.

To make iced coffee really tasty and aromatic, we advise that you use only freshly roasted coffee beans.

And you can change the taste by adding other ingredients—there's no limit to what your imagination can dream up when you add syrups, milk or cream, or delicious toppings.

What ingredients are good to add to iced coffee?

A well-prepared iced coffee is a delicious drink in itself, but experimenters can try adding other ingredients as well:

  • Cinnamon (you can brew coffee with a cinnamon stick or sprinkle ground cinnamon on the finished drink)
  • Whipped cream
  • Cream or condensed milk
  • Syrups
  • Ice cream
  • Liqueur (creamy variations like caramel, chocolate, and vanilla will work well).]

How should you serve iced coffee?

Traditionally, iced coffee is served in large, tall, narrow glasses to keep it cool longer, and is drunk through a straw. You can garnish the drink with whipped cream, ice cream, or ground cinnamon.

What Are the Differences Between Iced Coffee And Cold Brew?

Differences Between Iced Coffee And Cold Brew

While the exact origins of iced coffee may be controversial, one thing is clear: it is not the same as cold brew.

Cold brew is brewed without any heat. Most often, the ground beans are simply immersed in cold, filtered water for a long time until the water has extracted their flavors.

Iced coffee, on the other hand, is made with regular hot coffee (brewed by any method) that is cooled and poured over ice.

Many acids and soluble substances responsible for light and floral notes in coffee are only extracted at higher temperatures, so iced coffee tends to have a much brighter and more pronounced taste than cold brew.

Making Iced Coffee

The iced coffee recipe is quite simple. You do not need complicated brewing equipment, it is enough to have any coffee machine, be it a drip coffee maker or a pour-over coffee maker.

The following recipe uses the pour-over method. This requires:

  • Freshly ground coffee beans
  • Filtered hot water
  • Pour-over coffee maker
  • Simple syrup for sweetness, if desired
  • Burr coffee grinder
  • Kitchen scales
  • Ice

What Coffee Should You Use for Iced Coffee?

This depends on your preferences. If you prefer to drink iced coffee without sweetener or milk, use medium or light roasted beans. You will get a smooth drink with mild acidity.

For a stronger coffee aroma and richer flavor, dark roasted beans are recommended. Here, you can experiment with different toppings and even ice cream.

Coffee-to-Water/Ice Ratio

In the recipe, about ⅓ of the water is replaced with ice. The table below applies the classic 1:17 coffee-to-water ratio for a pour-over. Adding ice might lead to a slight change in the ratio of the final drink, but this will hardly affect the taste.

Iced coffee to water ratio

Step-by-Step Instruction

  1. Boil water and let it stand for 1-2 minutes if you don't have a thermometer in your kettle. The temperature should be 200-203°F (93-95°C).
  2. Weigh the coffee beans and grind them. The grind should be medium.
  3. Pour hot water through the filter to wet it.
  4. Place 170 grams of ice in the lower part of the pour-over and start brewing coffee so that the finished coffee drips into the ice. Let the coffee bloom for about 40-60 seconds.
  5. Slowly pour the remaining water through the pour-over at such a rate that the entire volume of water is poured out in 2-2.5 minutes.

By the end of brewing, all the ice in the should have melted. If not all the ice has melted, you can reduce the amount of ice.

Pour the drink into a cool iced glass and enjoy! You can also add more ice if you want it to be cooler.

Recommendations for Preparing Iced Coffee

You should usually start by brewing the coffee itself, then allow the coffee to cool down before making the iced coffee.

You can add warm or cold coffee to the glass with ice, but iced coffee stays cold longer if the coffee is not hot.

You can add any flavored extract or cream of your choice to the drink.

The easiest options are vanilla extract and salted caramel extract, but you can use whatever you have. If you are using condensed milk, you do not need to add additional milk.

Because sugar does not dissolve well in cold liquid, use sugar syrup or other liquid sweeteners if you want to sweeten your iced coffee.

What Type of Ice Is Best for Iced Coffee?

It may not seem like a big deal, but choosing the right ice for your iced coffee is the key to success. There are the following options:

Medium-sized ice cubes - These are the type of ice cubes found in normal freezers, so they're handy and also melt slowly enough. They're suitable for iced coffee with milk or cream.

Crushed ice - This is used to quickly cool the glass and the drink that is poured into it. But the ice will melt very quickly and your iced coffee will be very diluted. This ice is best used with highly concentrated coffee (like a double espresso) for a more balanced taste. To crush ice, put it in a bag and hit it with a hammer or rolling pin.

Large ice cubes - These are good because they melt slowly, so the taste and aroma of your coffee will last a long time. They're convenient for large volumes of iced coffee or for times when it's hot outside. You can make large ice cubes at home by buying a large ice cube tray.


Iced coffee is a great alternative to hot coffee during the warmer months. It perfectly quenches thirst, invigorates, energizes, and refreshes. This drink is rapidly gaining popularity and easily wins hearts. It can be found at almost any cafe and is also easy to brew at home. The recipe is simple and no special equipment is required. Be sure to experiment with additional ingredients to discover many delicious drinks. It can even work as a dessert after a hearty dinner if you add ice cream or other sweet ingredients. No doubt your family and friends will appreciate this treat.