How to Make Iced Coffee

Posted in  Coffee Brewing  on  March 23, 2021 by  Urban Bean Coffee Team

If you are wondering how to make iced coffee at home, then you are in the right place.

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

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.

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.

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).

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?

cold brew and iced coffee

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

Cold brew coffee is brewed without any heat. Most often, the ground coffee 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 coffee.

Iced Coffee vs Cold Brew

Comparison Categories

Iced Coffee

Cold Brew

Brewing and preparation

Iced coffee uses hot coffee (brewed any way) as its base, rather than cold brewed coffee. The hot coffee is brewed stronger than normal to make up for dilution by ice.

After filtration, the concentrated beverage is placed in a refrigerator and served chilled.


Smooth texture, with a chocolate-caramel aftertaste.

A strong brew and not always pleasant on its own.

Brewing time

20-30 minutes

4-24 hours


Usually light, refreshing, and slightly more acidic, although this will depend on the bean variety.

Bitterness and acidity predominate. Milk, syrups, etc. are added to give a more interesting taste.

Caffeine content

100-136 mg per serving (if espresso is used as the base)

200 mg per 16 fl oz serving.


Must be consumed within a few hours.

Store in the refrigerator for up to two weeks


Poured into glasses

Most often bottled or canned

How to Make Iced Coffee at Home

The homemade iced coffee recipe is quite simple. You do not need complicated brewing equipment, it is enough to have any coffee maker, 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 cubes

How to Make Iced Coffee in a Chemex

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.

6.  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.

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


If the water drips too slowly, try a coarser grind. If the water drips too quickly, try a finer grind.

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

Grind size: Medium

Brew ratio: 1:14

Extraction time: 4 min

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.

Iced Coffee Recipes

Iced coffee is made from freshly brewed coffee poured over ice. The flavor, body, and acidity of the coffee remain intact as the ice is simply used to cool the coffee.

Now you can skip the hectic line at Starbucks and enjoy quality coffee at home for a quarter of the price.

Recipe 1


The name of this drink comes from the Algerian fortress of Mazagran, where French troops were stationed in the early 19th century.

At the time, the drink was made from coffee syrup and cold water. It's considered to be the original iced coffee.

Today, the drink has taken on a much wider variety of ingredients and is now a refreshing blend of espresso, lemon, mint, and rum, poured over ice.

It's most often served in a tall, narrow glass.

What you need:

  • Double shot of espresso
  • Lemon or lime juice - 1 oz.
  • Cold water
  • Rum - 1 oz.
  • Ice
  • Mint leaves
  • Sugar (optional)


  1. Put ice in a glass and leave to cool. 
  2. Prepare a double shot of espresso. 
  3. If desired, add sugar to the espresso and let dissolve, then pour the drink into a pitcher any glass container. Let cool. 
  4. Add water, lemon or lime juice, and rum to the cooled espresso. 
  5. Drain any melted ice from the glass (non-melted ice should remain in the glass). Pour the espresso mixture over it. 
  6. Add mint leaves for a fragrant aroma and garnish.

Recipe 2


A traditional frappé is one of the most popular drinks in Greece and Cyprus and consists of just instant coffee, water, sugar, and ice.

Presumably, the frappé was invented by accident in the middle of the 20th century when a Nestlé representative could not find hot water to make instant coffee, so instead, he shook it up with ice-cold water. Instant coffee is a must for making a frappé.

The drink has a gentle taste thanks to the thick, foamy layer on top.

What you need:

  • Instant coffee - 2 tbsl
  • Half glass of cold water or cold milk
  • Shaker or jar with tightly closing lid
  • Sugar or syrup to taste
  • Ice cubes


  1. Place ice in a glass to cool. 
  2. Mix instant coffee, sugar, and milk or water in a shaker. 
  3. Close the lid and shake vigorously for 30-60 seconds until everything is combined. This will create a frothy mixture. 
  4. Pour the entire contents into the chilled glass with ice. 
  5. Add water or milk to taste.

Recipe 3


The popular Italian affogato is a traditional blend of espresso and ice cream. The name itself means “drowned” because you "drown" the ice cream in hot espresso.

Outside of Italy, there are many variations of the affogato that use brewed coffee, ice cream, liqueur, and all kinds of creative toppings.

As a result, it can be difficult to decide whether to treat an affogato like a drink or a dessert. In any case, it's delicious!

What you need:

  • Vanilla ice cream - 1 serving 
  • Double shot of espresso
  • Whipped cream 
  • Berres 
  • Liqueur 
  • Crushed nuts 


  1. Pre-cool your glass. 
  2. Add a scoop of ice cream to the glass. Using a chilled glass will help prevent the ice cream from melting instantly. 
  3. Prepare an espresso and quickly pour it over the ice cream. 
  4. Add ingredients and toppings of your choice.

Recipe 4


Eiskaffee means "iced coffee" in German. It is very similar to the Italian affogato and almost as popular.

The predominant flavors are almost always coffee and vanilla, but chocolate syrup or shavings can be a great addition, especially if you complement this with delicious whipped cream.

Adding German waffle cookies on top provides textural contrast and pushes this "drink" all the way into snack territory.

What you need:

  • Vanilla ice cream - 1 serving 
  • Chilled coffee - 150 ml
  • Half a cup of whipped cream
  • Grated chocolate and/or chocolate syrop
  • German waffle cookies (oprional) - 1 pcs.


  1. Pre-cool your tall glass. 
  2. Prepare strong coffee via any brewing method and leave to cool for 2-3 minutes. 
  3. Add ice cream to the glass. 
  4. Pour chilled coffee until the glass is 4 full. 
  5. Top with whipped cream. 
  6. Add chocolate syrup and/or sprinkle with chocolate shavings. 
  7. Add a waffle cookie or any of your favorite cookies on top.

Recipe 5


A frappuccino is a cold coffee drink sold at Starbucks. The name is obtained by combining the words "Frappe" and "cappuccino."

The drink consists of coffee, milk, syrup, crushed ice, and a whipped cream garnish. The taste of the drink depends on what flavor of syrup is used.

By changing the ingredients, you can experiment with the recipe. By combining several syrups, it is easy to get a new flavor.

If you do not have a home espresso machine, you can use coffee made in an AeroPress, a French press, or a Moka pot. Just brew strong coffee.

A frappuccino can also be made vegan by replacing cow's milk with plant milk and substituting a vegan cream for regular cream.

What you need:

  • Double shot of espresso
  • Milk - 100 ml
  • Sugar - 1 tbsp (optional)
  • Caramel and/or chocolate syrup - 1 tbsp
  • Ice
  • Whipped cream
  • Blender


  1. Brew 2 shots of espresso and let cool for 7-8 min. 
  2. Pour coffee, milk, sugar, and syrup into a blender and blend for 10 seconds.
  3. Add ice and blend at high speed until a frothy cap forms and the ice is crushed.
  4. Pour the drink into a glass.
  5. Add whipped cream on top.
  6. Additionally, you can garnish the drink with ground nuts, grated chocolate, cinnamon, or other toppings.

Recipe 6

Dalgona coffee

Dalgona coffee is a Korean whipped drink made from instant coffee, sugar, and hot water in a 1:1:1 ratio. You whip the ingredients into a foam, which is then spread over the milk with ice. The result is a beautiful and very sweet milk-flavored dessert with almost no coffee. If you want a stronger drink, use more coffee than milk and sugar.

Is the most popular iced coffee drink of 2020 due to its simplicity and beautiful appearance, and because even those who don't like coffee will enjoy it.

The origin of dalgona coffee is an Indian drink known as “phenti hui coffee,” or whipped coffee. The only difference is that when making phenti hui coffee, the milk is poured over the whipped mixture, while dalgona coffee has the whipped mixture on top of milk.

Below is a traditional Korean recipe for dalgona coffee. To prepare it, you will need instant coffee. It is impossible to make dalgona coffee regular coffee grounds; only instant coffee will create a dense and frothy texture that's the hallmark of dalgona coffee.

What you need:

  • Instant coffee - 2 tbsp
  • Sugar - 2 tbsp
  • How water - 1 oz
  • Milk - 110 ml
  • 3-5 ice cubes
  • Blender


  1. Combine instant coffee, sugar, and hot water in a small bowl in a 1:1:1 ratio. Mix thoroughly with a spoon to dissolve the sugar. 
  2. Using a whisk or blender, beat the mixture until it is firm and light-coffee-colored.
  3. Pour cold milk into a glass and add ice.
  4. Spread the foam mixture over the surface of the milk.

Recipe 7

Espresso tonic

An espresso tonic is one of the most popular summer drinks. Also called caffe-tonic or coffee-tonic, it's a drink found in many coffee shops. The recipe is as simple: a double shot of espresso plus tonic water, poured into a glass with ice. At the same time, its taste is very versatile. It is prized for its balance of acidity, sweetness, and bitterness.

The aroma of coffee and the characteristic bitterness of the tonic are perfectly complemented by shades of rosemary, lemon zest, and berry syrups. More daring experimenters also use bitters and liqueurs.

The tonic is an integral part of the drink. We suggest using a tonic that has more readable and acidic notes. And espresso is best brewed with Ethiopian and Kenyan coffee beans. This will give you a balanced, pleasantly acidic, and refreshing espresso tonic.

What you need:

  • Double shot of espresso
  • Tonic water - 4 oz
  • Ice
  • Lime or lemon (optional)
  • Berry or floral syrup (optional)


  1. Fill a glass with ice completely, right to the brim. 
  2. Pour in your favorite tonic and leave to cool.
  3. Prepare a double espresso.
  4. Gently pour the coffee over the ice and tonic and garnish with lime or lemon (optional).
  5. The drink is ready. Syrup can be added if desired-a good choice is citrus or lavender.

Recipe 8

Vietnamese iced coffee with condensed milk

Vietnamese coffee has a rich taste, and when combined with a sweet addition, ice, and a traditional method of preparation, it will reveal a completely new aroma, amazing taste, and unique aftertaste. This drink will help you quickly wake up from sleep and cool off in extreme heat.

Having tried this drink at least once, it is difficult to forget its taste. You can brew it at home; the process doesn't take long and the recipe is very simple. You just need a phin coffee maker.

What you need:

  • Vietnamese ground coffee - 2 tbsp
  • Vietnamese phin coffee maker
  • Condensed milk - 2 tbsp
  • 1 cup of ice
  • Hot water - 130 ml
  • Cup


  1. Add condensed milk to the bottom of the cup. 
  2. Next, place the phin filter on top of the cup and pour medium-coarse ground coffee into it.
  3. Spread the coffee evenly over the bottom of the filter and press down.
  4. Pour 30ml of hot water on top, wait 15-20 seconds for the coffee to bloom, and add another 100 ml of hot water.
  5. Place the lid on the filter and let the coffee pass through the filter and fill the mug. The process will take approximately 5 minutes.
  6. Remove the filter from the cup and pour the resulting drink into a cup with ice.

Recipe 9

Iced mocha

A mocha is a mixture of coffee with hot chocolate or chocolate syrup. It's very popular in Europe and the US. The drink is good both hot and cold. You can enjoy it not only in the summer heat, but also on cold autumn evenings while watching your favorite movie.

An iced mocha consists of three simple ingredients: chocolate, coffee, milk, and ice.

You can always prepare a drink the night before and then put it in the refrigerator to keep the coffee cool and ready for your morning boost of energy.

What you need:

  • Chopped dark chocolate - 50 grams
  • Cold milk - 1 cup
  • Cocoa powder - 1/2 tbsp
  • Powdered sugar - 2 tbsp
  • Strong brewed coffee (cooled) - 1/2 cup
  • Ice cubes - 5-7
  • Whipped cream and grated chocolate (optional)


  1. Melt the chocolate in the microwave or in a bowl over a saucepan of boiling water. Leave aside to cool. 
  2. While the chocolate is melting, brew a strong coffee.
  3. In a blender, combine milk, cocoa powder, sugar, and coffee. Pour into the melted chocolate.
  4. Mix until smooth.
  5. Then add the ice cubes and stir again until completely combined. If using finely chopped chocolate or chocolate chips, add now and stir.
  6. Pour into glasses and top with whipped cream and grated chocolate.

Recipe 10

Coconut iced coffee

Sweet iced coffee with coconut milk is easy to make and keeps well in the refrigerator. Make a big batch and save a few trips to the coffee shop this summer.

The drink will impress you not only with its appetizing appearance, but also with its excellent taste.

What you need:

  • Strongly brewed coffee - 5 oz
  • Sweetened condensed coconut milk - 1/3 cup
  • Vanilla extract - 1/2 tbsp
  • Coconut milk - 1 oz
  • Ice cubes
  • Coconut whipped cream
  • Toasted coconut - 1 tbsp
  • Chocolate sauce - 2 tbsp


  1. Brew a strong coffee and leave to cool. 
  2. Dip the rim of a glass into chocolate sauce and then toasted coconut.
  3. Add chocolate sauce to the inside of the glass.
  4. Mix coconut milk, vanilla extract, and sweetened condensed coconut milk in a bowl.
  5. Add the mixture and ice to the glass.
  6. Pour in coffee and mix gently.

Recommendations for Preparing Iced Coffee

iced coffee regomendations

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 coffee 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.

About the Author

Urban Bean Coffee Team

Coffee is part of the lives of everyone on the Urban Bean Coffee team. We are a group of professional baristas, coffee bean roasters, and coffee machine repairers. Coffee has connected us, and together we strive to provide the best information to our readers. Our responsibility is to provide advice on any and all coffee-related issues. And we know that to do this we must be experts in this field. The coffee consumption culture has changed dramatically over several centuries. New brewing methods, bean quality control methods, roasting methods, and much more have appeared. We are sure that coffee will change further, and we want to be involved in changing it for the better.

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