How to Make Refreshing Cold Coffee

Three Methods:Chilling Regular CoffeeCold-Brewing CoffeeVariations

Cold coffee is the perfect drink for hot summer mornings, an afternoon pick me up, or a refreshing drink for anyone who loves a cup of Joe but doesn't want the heat. There is a variety of ways to make refreshing, cold coffee, from simple iced drinks to delicious overnight cold-brews.

These recipes make one drink.


  • 1/3 cup ground coffee
  • 1 1/2 cups room-temperature water
  • Sugar, to taste
  • Chilled milk, to taste

Optional Ingredients

  • 1/4 teaspoon vanilla or almond extract
  • 1 scoop ice cream
  • Ice cubes
  • Orange zest
  • Cardamon Pods
  • 1/2 cup condensed milk
  • Chocolate, caramel, or peppermint syrup, to taste.
  • Sea Salt, Cinnamon, or cocoa powder, to taste.

Method 1
Chilling Regular Coffee

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    Know that pouring coffee over plain ice cubes often leads to watery, unappealing coffee. The reason why most coffee shops use cold brewing to make iced coffee is that it prevents your coffee from losing flavor to the ice. However, there are several ways to get delicious iced coffee without waiting 12 hours for a cold brew.
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    Brew your coffee double strength and pour it over a full glass of ice. The simplest way to get great tasting, refreshing cold coffee is to brew it twice as strong and let the ice dilute the coffee. Simply brew your coffee like normal, using twice as many grounds (or half as much water) as you normally would. Let the coffee cool for 2-3 minutes before pouring it over a full glass of ice.[1]
    • You may need to add more ice to the drink to keep it cool, as some of it will melt quickly.
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    Make coffee ice cubes and add them to hot coffee. These marvelous little cubes will keep your coffee cold without diluting it. You should consider getting a new ice tray, or dedicating one to coffee cubes, as it will leave a faint coffee flavor in the tray.[2]
    • Brew a fresh pot of regular strength coffee.
    • Let it cool to room temperature.
    • Pour the coffee into an ice tray and freeze overnight.
    • Use the coffee cubes to chill your hot coffee.
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    Chill a pot of coffee in the fridge. The simplest, easiest way to get cold coffee is to take a fresh pot of coffee, pour some in a mug, and place the mug in the refrigerator. Make sure the top is covered to prevent the coffee from picking up other smells in the fridge and ruining the taste. While this is may not get your coffee cold enough to call "iced," you can add some coffee ice cubes to help make your drink refreshingly chill.
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    Add any sugar while the coffee is still hot. Sugar dissolves best in hot liquids, so add it before chilling your drink to get the best results. You can add milk or cream at any time, but it is usually best to add it right before serving.

Method 2
Cold-Brewing Coffee

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    Know that cold-brewing is the best way to get flavorful, undiluted cold coffee. When you make cold-brew, you avoid diluting your coffee with ice cubes or letting hot coffee sit out and get cold, which ruins its flavor.[3] Cold brewed coffee has less acidity than traditionally made coffee, and less bitterness.[4]
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    Mix the ground coffee and water together in a pitcher. Stir them until there are no lumps left in the coffee. You should aim for roughly 4.5 times more water than coffee, so if you want 8 cups of coffee, use 8 cups water and 1.5 cups of grounds.[5]
    • If you grind your own coffee, grind it as finely as you can. This is best for cold-brew.[6]
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    Add any sugar before chilling your coffee. The sugar will dissolve better in warm water and will stay in the drink as it chills. If you try to add sugar to cold coffee the chances are good that you will be left with undissolved sugar at the bottom of your cup.
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    Cover the pitcher with plastic wrap. If the pitcher has a top, you can also use that instead.
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    Chill the coffee in the refrigerator for at least 12 hours, or overnight. This is when the coffee actually brews. Because there is no heat involved, it takes much longer to brew than a normal cup off coffee, but the taste is worth it.
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    Place a coffee filter in a mesh strainer and rest it over a medium bowl. A combination of a filter and mesh strainer should get rid of most grounds in your coffee. Set up the strainer above a bowl, or another pitcher, to catch the coffee.
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    Slowly pour your cold-brew through the strainer. The coffee will slowly trickle out the bottom of the strainer and the grounds will remain on top. Pour slowly, and never try to force or press the coffee through the filter. When you are done, throw out the coffee grounds and serve.[7]
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    Alternatively, make cold brew in a French Press instead of a pitcher. Simply mix the water and coffee grounds in the pot and put the lid on. Do not push down the plunger. Refrigerate the coffee overnight, then push down the plunger and serve in the morning.[8]

Method 3

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    Blend your coffee with ice for a quick frappe. A frappe is a whipped, frozen coffee drink invented in Greece and made popular by Starbucks as a "Frappuccino."[9] Simply toss your coffee in a blender with 6-8 large cubes of ice, 1/2 cup of milk, and blend until there are only small chips of ice left in the drink. Consider adding:
    • Chocolate syrup or cocoa powder.
    • Caramel syrup.
    • Vanilla or almond extract.
    • Crushed cookies[10]
    • Condensed or chocolate milk.
    • Kahlua, brandy, or Irish Cream.
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    Add spices to your iced coffee for a new flavor. You can add them before chilling your pot of cold-brew or right before serving. Spiced coffee goes well with 1/2 cup condensed or regular milk as well. Some suggestions include:
    • 1-2 teaspoons of orange zest with 2-3 crushed pods of cardamon.[11]
    • 1 teaspoon of cinnamon, ground cloves, and nutmeg.[12]
    • 1 tablespoon honey and 5-10 crushed, chopped mint leaves.
    • Sprinkle of sea salt and 1-2 teaspoons cocoa powder.
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    Pour hot espresso over a scoop of ice cream for a delicious affogato. This dessert treat is a wonderfully sweet take on refreshing, cold coffee. Brew a pot of espresso. Place one scoop of ice cream at the bottom of a coffee cup and slowly pour the espresso over the top. Enjoy with a spoon.


  • Plan in advance -- cold-brew coffee is best when it can steep for at least 12 hours.
  • Modify the recipes to your desire. Like stronger coffee? Add more grounds. Want sweeter refreshment? Add vanilla, sugar, and chocolate to make a cafe style blended drink.


  • Cold brew coffee, in general, has more caffeine than traditionally brewed coffee.

Article Info

Categories: Coffee