If you need a little pick me up but it's too hot for coffee, drink it on ice! To make the best tasting iced coffee, start by steeping coffee grounds in cold water. Strain this concentrated coffee and then pour it over ice. Stir in cold water or milk and enjoy it right away. You can also play around with flavors and textures. For example, try making an iced coffee with vanilla or an iced coffee frappe.


  • 1/3 cup (30 g) of coarsely ground coffee
  • 1 12 cups (350 ml) of cold water, preferably filtered
  • Milk or half-and-half, to serve
  • Ice

Makes 1 drink

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Method 1 of 2:
Creating Iced Coffee at Home

  1. 1
    Make a cup of coffee. Get out a French press and put 1/3 cup (30 g) of coarsely ground coffee into the bottom. Pour in 1 12 cups (350 ml) of cold water and use a spoon to stir it gently. [1]Don't plunge the French press yet since the coffee grounds need a lot of time to come into contact with the water.

    If you don't have a French press, combine the coffee and water in a jar, container, or coffee pot.

  2. 2
    Refrigerate the French press overnight. Since you probably won't be able to fit the French press with the lid in your refrigerator, cover the top of the press with plastic wrap or beeswax. Put the press in the refrigerator and leave it to steep for at least 12 hours or overnight.[2]
    • For stronger iced coffee, steep it for up to 24 hours.

    Tip: If you'd like a large batch of iced coffee, double the amounts of ground coffee and water. Then pour it into a large French press.

  3. 3
    Plunge the French press. Remove the French press from the refrigerator and take off the plastic wrap or beeswax. Set the French press lid on top and slowly press down to push the grounds to the bottom.[3]
  4. 4
    Pour the coffee through a filter to remove natural oils. For the cleanest-tasting coffee, set a coffee filter into a fine mesh strainer and place it over a measuring jug. Slowly pour the cold coffee through the filter and discard or compost the grounds that are left in the French press.[4]
    • If you made the coffee in a container or jar, you'll definitely need to filter it to remove coffee sediment.
    • If you don't mind the natural oils from the coffee, skip pouring the coffee through a filter.
  5. 5
    Pour cold coffee over ice and stir in milk or water. Fill a tall serving glass with ice cubes and pour enough cold coffee to come halfway up the glass. Then fill the rest of the glass with cold water or milk. Stir the drink gently to combine the coffee and drink it before the ice begins to melt.
    • Store leftover coffee concentrate in an airtight container for up to 1 week.

Method 2 of 2:
Trying Variations

  1. 1
    Refrigerate hot coffee instead of cold-brewing it. If you don't have the time to make cold-brewed coffee, make a cup or pot of hot coffee. Use your preferred brewing method and then put the coffee into the refrigerator until it's cold. Then pour the cold coffee into an ice-filled glass and enjoy it.[5]
  2. 2
    Dissolve instant coffee powder and pour it over ice for a fast drink. This is another quick way to make iced coffee. Stir 1 tablespoon (6 g) of instant coffee with 2 tablespoons (30 ml) of hot water in a tall glass. Then fill the glass with ice and pour 1 cup (240 ml) of cold water over it. Stir the iced coffee with a long spoon and drink it before the ice melts.[6]
    • For a creamy iced coffee, use cold milk instead of water.
  3. 3
    Use coffee ice cubes. To prevent your iced coffee from becoming diluted as the ice melts, make coffee ice cubes before you make the drink. Just pour cold coffee into an empty ice cube tray and freeze it until the cubes are solid.[7]
    • This is a great way to use leftover coffee instead of throwing it away.
  4. 4
    Stir in your favorite syrups to add flavor. Purchase or make caramel, vanilla, or chocolate syrup. For plain sweetness, use a simple syrup. Then stir in as much as you like. Play around with combining flavors, such as a chocolate caramel to make unique iced coffee drinks.[8]
    • Refrigerate homemade syrups in an airtight container for up to 1 to 2 weeks.

    Copycat coffeeshop syrup:
    Combine 1/2 cup (100 g) of granulated sugar with 1 cup (240 ml) of water in a saucepan. Stir and heat the mixture over medium heat until the sugar dissolves. Let the syrup cool and then stir in 12 teaspoon (2.5 ml) of vanilla extract.

  5. 5
    Mix cold coffee with ice cream for a creamy treat. Pour 1 cup (240 ml) of cold coffee and 14 cup (59 ml) of milk into a tall glass. Fill the glass with ice and then top the drink with 1 large scoop of vanilla ice cream.[9]
    • If you prefer, leave out the ice cubes and add extra ice cream.
  6. 6
    Blend the iced coffee to make a frappe. Pour 1 cup (240 ml) of cold coffee into a blender and add 3 cups (420 g) of ice cubes along with 2 tablespoons (25 g) of sugar. Put the lid on the blender and blend the ingredients until they're smooth. Then pour the frappe into a glass and top it with whipped cream before serving.[10]
    • If you like, add 2 tablespoons (30 ml) of syrup, such as caramel of vanilla.

Community Q&A

Add New Question
  • Question
    How do you make iced coffee with instant coffee?
    wikiHow Staff Editor
    Staff Answer
    Making iced coffee with instant coffee is easy and quick; indeed it's often the preferred go-to for homemade iced coffee because it's quick (no waiting on cooling coffee) and tasty, plus it dissolves easily. For the complete instructions on doing this, see How to Make Simple Iced Coffee.
  • Question
    What can you add to iced coffee?
    wikiHow Staff Editor
    Staff Answer
    You can add all sorts of flavors or food adornments to iced coffee, provided the addition works well with coffee flavor. Some suggestions for additions to iced coffee include spices like ground cinnamon or chili pepper, syrups such as vanilla or mocha, different kinds of milk like coconut, almond or condensed milks, fresh herbs such as mint leaves or lavender buds, whipped cream with or without sprinkles, coffee ice cubes, and so on. Optional but fun food additions: If you're using a straw, you can thread on mini doughnuts, cookies with center holes or other similar treats for eating with the iced coffee; or just put cookies or cake on a plate and serve with the iced coffee.
  • Question
    How do you make good iced coffee at home?
    wikiHow Staff Editor
    Staff Answer
    To make good iced coffee at home, follow the instructions above for any one of the listed iced coffee styles to ensure you're using a correct method that will achieve the right results. As well, for the best results it is important to use good quality coffee, fresh milk and suitable flavors (if you’re adding any). When adding any flavors, be creative but take care to complement the coffee flavor to keep it tasty; suitable flavors include mocha syrup, berries or spices.
  • Question
    Can you make iced coffee with hot coffee?
    wikiHow Staff Editor
    Staff Answer
    Yes, you certainly can make iced coffee with hot coffee but you’ll need to let it cool to room temperature first (about an hour). As such, the coffee is only hot after being freshly brewed, but this is useful because the iced coffee benefits from its strong, fresh flavor and by cooling it down you keep the strong flavor but add the icy cold ingredients as well. See the method above for “Hot Brewed Coffee” to know how to make iced coffee with hot coffee.
  • Question
    How do they make iced coffee at Starbucks?
    wikiHow Staff Editor
    Staff Answer
    The staff would make iced coffee in a way similar to you making it home, using their own brewed coffee and their own signature syrup. If you’d like to make your iced coffee at home taste just like the Starbucks’ "frappuccino" version, this is possible; check out: How to Make a Starbucks Mocha Frappuccino.
  • Question
    Can I use chocolate powder instead?
    Community Answer
    Sure, just don't confuse cocoa and chocolate. Cocoa is typically used for baking and tastes bitter. Chocolate powder often has sugar, milk, and other flavors mixed into it. It is typically used for making hot chocolate, and tastes sweet.
  • Question
    Is it OK if I chill the coffee in the fridge overnight for an iced coffee, or will the coffee not be strong enough?
    Community Answer
    12-24 hours in the fridge is recommended, so overnight would be fine.
  • Question
    Do you think adding caramel syrup will be tasty?
    Community Answer
    It will go perfectly with the frappe, but it can go with any of these as a drizzle on top.
  • Question
    When making the coffee frappe, how much ice should I add?
    Community Answer
    Add the coffee first, then add enough ice until it reaches the same level as the coffee, or just a little less. Remember, you can always add more ice if the frappe is too thin.
  • Question
    What is an average amount of coffee grounds to use?
    Community Answer
    On average, one teaspoon of coffee is used for one cup of water. If you calculate it out, for one gallon of water, you will want about sixteen teaspoons of coffee. Then, add to taste.
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      • For an adult iced coffee, stir 2 tablespoons (30 ml) of Irish cream, brandy, or rum into the drink.

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      • If you're brewing hot coffee into a glass coffee pot, avoid putting it directly into the refrigerator with hot coffee in it. The extreme change in temperature may cause the glass to crack.

      Things You'll Need

      • Measuring cups and spoons
      • French press or coffee brewer of your choice
      • Plastic wrap or beeswax
      • Measuring jug
      • Coffee filter
      • Tall serving glass
      • Spoon

      About This Article

      wikiHow Staff
      Co-authored by
      wikiHow Staff Editor
      This article was co-authored by our trained team of editors and researchers who validated it for accuracy and comprehensiveness. wikiHow's Content Management Team carefully monitors the work from our editorial staff to ensure that each article is backed by trusted research and meets our high quality standards. This article has been viewed 2,549,966 times.
      4 votes - 65%
      Co-authors: 71
      Updated: May 28, 2020
      Views: 2,549,966
      Article SummaryX

      To make iced coffee, first brew a pot of hot coffee like you normally would. Then, wait for the coffee to cool to room temperature, or chill it in the fridge. Fill a glass with ice cubes, then pour the coffee over them until the glass is nearly full. Add cream, milk, sugar, or any other sweeteners you’d like, and you’re done! If you’re in a rush, brew coffee that’s twice as strong, then pour it over ice right away. Even though the ice will melt and dilute the coffee, your drink will still taste strong. You can even freeze coffee ice cubes to add to your iced coffee so it doesn’t get watered down as it melts. For an even faster treat, use instant coffee. First, add 2 tablespoons (24 g) of instant coffee and 5 tablespoons (75 mL) of creamer to a glass. Stir well, then fill the glass with cold water. Continue stirring until the instant coffee dissolves. Finally, add some ice and enjoy! To learn how to make iced coffee using a French press, keep reading!

      Did this summary help you?

      Thanks to all authors for creating a page that has been read 2,549,966 times.

      Reader Success Stories

      • A


        Jan 15, 2017

        "I made the coffee frappe, and it was amazing. At first, there was not enough ice, which made it very thin but frothy. After it was doctored back to life, it mainly tasted like milk with coffee added. But thankfully, that is just the way I like it! Thanks!"..." more
      • TG

        Tony Guerrero

        Aug 21, 2016

        "This was the best frappe I have ever had! I had pumpkin coffee with organic milk, and some vanilla extract. The best part was, it only took a minute to make! I highly recommend trying."..." more
      • Lori Sekol

        May 27, 2017

        "My daughter and I had a discussion on how we would make iced coffee. It was nice to read 5 different ways! Perhaps we'll experiment and see which one we each prefer."..." more
        Rated this article:
      • MK

        Mily Kiti

        Apr 26, 2016

        "When I clicked on this article, I hadn't planned on actually making coffee, so I was happy that there were so many methods. I loved it, thank you."..." more
      • FS

        Frederica Smith

        Jun 2, 2017

        "Great dessert ideas, the frappe and chilled coffees instead of cakes or pies when the weather is hot. A cold Irish coffee is my personal favorite."..." more
        Rated this article:
      • S


        Jun 1, 2018

        "Worked in a coffee shop for 5 years. Today I finally learned the recipe to a successful iced coffee that leave people wanting more."..." more
      • A


        May 27, 2017

        "I loved iced coffee, but had no clue how it was made. Now I have at least one glass every morning! Thank you so much."..." more
      • A


        Feb 27, 2018

        "Excellent, clear instructions. Needs proportion of coffee to water. It was a trial-and-error process for me."
      • CC

        Cristiana Castillo

        Jul 28, 2016

        "The specific steps. Very easy to follow through. Detailed. Just learned, had very little knowledge. Thanks."
      • EH

        Eirene Hogan

        Oct 13, 2017

        "What helped is that you gave lots of different options and explained it clearly in simple steps."
      • A


        Jun 16, 2016

        "Best yet! It's nice that you don't have to let most of them sit."
      • LR

        L. R.

        Jun 16, 2017

        "I needed measurements to make a cold brew coffee."
        Rated this article:
      • ED

        Enmy Diaz

        Jun 21, 2017

        "Really easy and simple steps! I loved the result!"
        Rated this article:
      • M


        Jan 28, 2018

        "Making for school treat use. Larger bottle."
      • LP

        Lupita Phillips

        May 26, 2017

        "Fantastic, very well explained, thank you!"
      • CB

        Candy Berger

        Jul 25, 2016

        "I like the steps by step. Made it easy."
      • BJ

        Bruce Johns

        Apr 2, 2017

        "Great, easy recipe for Coffee Frappe."
        Rated this article:
      • FS

        Faye Secret

        Mar 15, 2017

        "I love this recipe, it is delicious!"
        Rated this article:
      • BM

        Bob M.

        Mar 22, 2017

        "The third recipe is so helpful. "
        Rated this article:
      • A


        Jun 30, 2017

        "Very informative and complete."
      • SM

        Sakina Mustafa

        Mar 28, 2017

        "It gave me the recipe."
      • A


        Jul 24, 2016

        "Great details."
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