This foolproof recipe yields the perfect cup of chilled iced coffee each and every time. The secret is in the ratio of coffee grinds to water: double-strength is key. Just add ice and your favorite creamer. Voila!
I still remember my first experience drinking coffee. Does the fact that I recall the exact details of that day so clearly nearly 16 years later make me a caffeine-obsessed oddball? I’m not sure, but I digress.
The dinner table had just been cleared and the dessert course was on deck during a family gathering with my relatives at our home in northern New Jersey. My mother was the catalyst: she was taking inventory of how many coffee drinkers she had and nonchalantly offered me one of the empty china teacups we typically reserve for fancy occasions.
“Want to try some coffee?” she asked. I hesitated. “I’m not sure if you’ll like the taste,” my very Italian cousin warned me. Even in my first year as a teenager, though, I was never one to turn down new experiences. Especially culinary ones.
“Sure, why not,” I responded. And that’s how, moments later, a serving of the mysterious, steamy, nearly black beverage was passed down the table to me, and I took my very first sip. I smiled. “I like it!” I proclaimed, hoping that I surprised everyone by genuinely enjoying the taste of such a grown-up drink.
Little did I know that this small cup of coffee in a china teacup would be the start of a passionate love affair. For the next few years, though, I took things easy and reserved the beverage for family and social gatherings.
It was in high school that my affection blossomed. After classes let out for the day at 3:15, I would go with my friends to a local cafe to indulge in flavored lattes of all sorts: white-chocolate raspberry, banana macadamia nut, vanilla marshmallow. We would sit and talk and talk for hours and try practically all of the offerings on the menu. Sure, sugar had something to do with it. But I still loved the coffee taste of the base I could detect with each sip.
In college, things got more serious. I picked up my very first Black & Decker drip coffee maker for my dorm room. I started frequenting Starbucks and Dunkin Donuts for iced coffee, both conveniently located within a mile of campus and later, a handful of incredible local coffee shops including Las Vetas Lounge and Source Coffeehouse.
Then, of course, there was the $1.50 French Toast flavored Green Mountain coffee my friend and I would grab every morning from the small convenience stand right inside the building where our sociology class was held. Coffee helped fuel me through studying and late nights out dancing with friends, sure. But still, I loved the taste.
Fast forward to today, and I’m still as enamored as ever. It doesn’t hurt that my husband has an affinity for coffee, too. I’m not lying when I say a huge part of our Saturday morning ritual is brewing the perfect cup of iced coffee to welcome the day. Things seem off when said coffee doesn’t taste just right.
As you can imagine, I’ve conducted quite a bit of testing, tweaking, and tweaking some more until I came up with the perfect iced coffee base that doesn’t take too long (I’m looking at you, cold brew), leave me hanging when it comes to getting my caffeine ASAP (AKA, chilling hot coffee in the fridge for way longer than I’d care to wait to get my fix), or require me to spend $5 a pop (now I’m referring to iced lattes at Starbucks. I do love you, though, Starbucks).
That’s why I’m sharing my go-to, foolproof recipe for iced coffee: you can easily brew any old cup of coffee, but this cup has the ratio of coffee grinds to water down-pat and primed for you to simply add ice cubes, your favorite sweeteners or flavorings, and consume immediately. Not sure what to add beyond ice? I’ve got you covered:
- Vanilla Creme: Half and half or milk of choice + 1 teaspoon vanilla extract + a tiny pinch of stevia
- Cinnamon Coconut Milk Macchiato: Add 1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon and 1/2 teaspoon unsweetened cocoa powder to the coffee grinds before you brew. Top iced coffee with vanilla coconut milk, a pinch of stevia, and a pinch more cinnamon.
- Island Coconut: Add half and half and a few drops of coconut extract.
- Bulletproof: Add 1 tablespoon butter to the hot coffee after you brew it; stir until it melts in. Add half and half, milk, or creamer of choice.
- The Classic: Add half and half or creamer of choice and sugar or stevia
Now onto that cup of joe…
Best Iced Coffee. Ever.
[Makes 2 16-ounce glasses of iced coffee. Feel free to double or triple to fit your needs!]
15 ounces water
4 tablespoons ground coffee
Creamer of choice
Add the ground coffee and water to your coffee machine and brew as you normally would.
As the coffee is brewing, fill two large glasses to the brim with ice cubes. Don’t be shy—we’re brewing the coffee double strength so it tastes perfect when watered down just a bit.
Pour half of the coffee into each glass over ice. Stir well and add several more ice cubes (about 2-4 depending on how cold you like your coffee) to each glass.
Add creamer to taste. You can pick your favorite: almond milk, coconut milk, regular milk, half and half, flavored coffee creamer, etc. Stir vigorously. Enjoy!
+ As far as coffee brewers go, I have and absolutely love the KitchenAid Custom Pour Over Brewer. It’s a little pricey, but it’s honestly the best coffee maker we have ever used. I swear the coffee tastes absolutely amazing! So smooth and flavorful. FYI: We use the Dark Roast setting. This recipe will work well in any brewer, however. It’s all about the ratio of water to coffee grinds.
+ I know there are much healthier options out there, but full disclosure: my vice is flavored coffee creamer. I highly recommend this CoffeeMate Butter Pecan creamer if you like all things nutty and sweet!
+ This recipe would work well with full-caffeine grinds, full decaf grinds, or half caffeine and half decaf grinds.
+ I normally buy this Starbucks ground coffee (Caffe Verona dark roast) from Target, but I also recommend checking out Home Goods for an assortment of interesting flavored coffees (if that’s your thing). I also like the Cafe du Monde chicory coffee, which I first sampled in New Orleans! It’s definitely different but quite good.
+ Check out The Coffee Maven to access another great recipe for Double Brewed Coffee (looks delicious!). Brian’s blog also offers a variety of extremely detailed coffee maker reviews so you can find the perfect fit for your caffeine needs.