An iced coffee is just the ticket for a refreshing summer boost. Here's how to make this cool caffeinated beverage.
Possibly our favourite iced drink. When the weather heats up we love to upgrade our morning cup of joe to the iced variety. There are so many different versions of this wonderful java drink that there's an iced coffee to suit everyone's taste.
When making iced coffee at home, we favour the cold brew approach for a richer flavour. But pouring a hot coffee over ice and milk is faster and ideal when short of time. For a more indulgent treat an ice cream coffee, known as a German Eiskaffe, is a good choice - read our tips on how to make this below. Or, for a sweet decaf option, we recommend coffee-flavoured syrup to create a frothy ice coffee milkshake.
How to make iced coffee
- First brew a cup of black coffee as you would normally - about 200ml (a full cup is about 250ml, so you want just less than that). Instant coffee will work, but for the best flavour we strongly recommend using ground coffee beans.
- Mix the hot black coffee with a sweetener such as sugar or syrup, if using.
- Fill a tall glass with ice cubes and pour over the coffee.
- Either enjoy as is, or top up with milk or cream.
TOP TIP: To give the iced coffee a frothy top, vigorously shake all of the ingredients in a cocktail shaker or old jam jar for 20 seconds. You could also treat yourself to a proper milk frother.
What type of coffee should I use to make iced coffee?
In general use the same coffee for iced coffee that you enjoy drinking hot. For the best tasting coffee we would always recommend using a freshly roasted coffee. Coffee shops usually sell the coffee that they use. Plus, the barista will be able to advise on the best coffee to suit your taste. GoodtoKnow Food Editor Samuel Goldsmith advises that when making iced coffee: “Use an espresso coffee if making a milkly iced coffee. But use a filter coffee for cold brew cofee”.
The iced coffee recipe above also works when using decaf coffee. Or for a coffee alternative with a similar flavour there is Camp Coffee. Camp Coffee is a coffee-flavoured syrup made from chicory root. We love using it to make what we call a ‘frothy coffee’. To make a frothy coffee whiz up 1tbsp of Camp Coffee with 350ml milk in a blender, serve in a tall glass over ice. It’s a sweeter alternative to regular iced coffee.
The best milk for an iced coffee
Using different milks will create different flavour, but all varieties of milk will work in iced coffee. For a dairy free option we favour oat milk. Oat milk has a sweet flavour that compliments coffee well. If using dairy milk we use full fat as it’s richer and gives the iced coffee a more luxurious flavour.
Do you need to add syrup to an iced coffee?
Sweetening iced coffee is optional depending on your preference. You can sweeten iced coffee with brown sugar, sugar syrup or even honey or maple syrup. If using sugar mix it with the hot coffee until it dissolves. This will ensure that the sugar mixes into the drink and doesn’t just sink to the bottom of the glass.
Sweetness can overpower the subtle notes in the coffee blend. Samuel adds: “Using a medium roast coffee rather than a light roast if you're going to add any syrup or sugar as it hold up better to the addition of something sweet. A light roast can go a bit acidic with the addition of sugar.”
How to make cold brew coffee
The flavour of cold brew coffee is different from regular coffee. As there is no heat involved the flavour from the beans is more fruity and floral.For the best results start with coffee that has been freshly coarsely ground.
- To make cold brew coffee put 100g of coarsely ground coffee into a jug.
- Pour over 500ml of cold water and give it a mix.
- Leave to infuse for 12 hrs.
- After 12 hrs strain the coffee through a coffee filter, muslin or fine sieve.
- It’s now ready to drink or store it in the fridge until you’re ready to use it. It will keep for a week in the fridge.
To make an iced coffee using cold brew coffee:
- Fill a tall glass with ice cubes and half fill with the cold brew coffee.
- Then top up with either milk or water.
If brewing regular batches of cold brew coffee it’s worth investing in a coffee infuser or cold brew maker. Although they will have the same result, the process is simpler and less messy.
How to make an iced coffee with ice cream
Eiskaffe is an iconic Austrian and German drink, or really pudding in a glass! It’s essentially coffee, vanilla icecream and cream. Which makes for a dreamy combination. Here’s our recipe that makes two Eiskaffes:
- 2 scoops vanilla icecream
- 500ml strong black coffee
- squirty cream
- Put a scoop of icecream into each glass.
- Pour over the hot coffee.
- Top with the squirty cream.
How to make a dalgona coffee
Dalgona coffee is the latest coffee craze sweeping social media. It’s an unusual drink made by whipping instant coffee until it’s thick and frothy. Samuel Goldsmith had a go at making one and shared his recipe for dalgona coffee here.
How to make a frappuccino
The iconic Starbucks classic is still going strong. It’s really easy to make at home, you will just need a powerful blender, coffee, ice cubes and flavoured syrup. Try this recipe for a homemade Frappucciono.
Sit back and enjoy!
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Rose Fooks is Deputy Food Editor at Future Publishing, creating recipes, reviewing products and writing food features for a range of lifestyle and home titles including GoodTo and Woman&Home. Before joining the team, Rose obtained a Diplome de Patisserie and Culinary Management at London’s Le Cordon Bleu. Going on to work in professional kitchens at The Delaunay and Zedel.