What Do You Need to Know Before Making Iced Coffee at Home?

Iced coffee is a great way to start your day, but it often only tastes good at the cafe. Trying iced coffee recipes at home can be tricky – how strong should you brew the coffee? How much ice should you add? Do you need to double-strain?

Here are things to consider and understand before you start making iced coffee at home.

Coffee Brew Ratio

According to reports, the global cold brew coffee market was valued at $339.7 million in 2018.

For a standard 12-ounce serving of coffee, most recipes suggest 2/3 cup ground coffee per one quart of water. Depending on your tastes and how much ice you add to the mix, use this as a starting point and adjust from there.

Ice Amount

If you prefer a lot of ice in your iced coffee, brew with 1/2 cup ground coffee per one quart of water. If you want the purest taste from every ounce of liquid, use as much as 4 cups of ground coffee per one quart of water. You can also experiment to see what strength you prefer best.

Ice-to-Coffee Ratio

The amount of ice can also affect your iced coffee’s flavor, so keep that in mind as you’re experimenting with brew strength and ground coffee amounts. Keep the ice-to-coffee ratio at about 1:1 or even 2:1, depending on how strong you like it. If you add a lot of ice to your glass, you’ll have a weaker coffee flavor.


If you don’t want gritty coffee in your iced coffee, it’s essential to double-strain the brew. That means when you’re ready for that first sip of cold and creamy coffee goodness, there won’t be any coffee sediment in your cup. It’s an extra step but worth it for the best-tasting iced coffee recipes at home.

Equipment You Need to Make Perfect Iced Coffee

If you want to brew iced coffee at home, you’ll need a few things. Depending on how much time and effort you want to make your favorite cold drink, here are some suggestions for what equipment to use.

French Press

Using a French press is the way to go for a quick cold-brewed iced coffee. To do this, add the standard coffee-to-water ratio to your French press on top of the ice and let it steep for 10 minutes or so before pushing down on the plunger.

Using a French press stops the need for double-straining, which makes cleaning up quick and easy.

Pour-Over System

A pour-over system is another simple way to make iced coffee at home without having to mess around with hot water or extra equipment. You can find pour-over methods in nearly any price range, and they are mostly inexpensive.

Cold Brew System

If you’re considering a more advanced way of making iced coffee at home, consider investing in a cold brew system. While the initial price point might be higher, these systems are more straightforward and come with all the bells and whistles you need.

You can find a lot of hot brewing systems that offer a “cool” option for iced coffee or even carafes that keep your brew ice-cold. If you wish to make iced coffee at home easily, choosing the right system will give you delicious cold drinks every time.

Tips for How to Make Iced Coffee at Home

If you’re starting with making iced coffee at home, here are a few tips to help you get the most out of your cold-brewed beverage.

Firstly, you should know that freshly roasted coffee beans make excellent iced coffee. Go with lighter roasts for better flavor, or choose a dark roast if you want more substantial and robust iced coffee.

When you make your iced coffee, don’t add ice right away. Instead, add the ice after you’ve poured your hot coffee into a glass and let it cool for about two minutes. It will help decrease the iciness of your finished drink.

Try cold-brewed concentrate instead of brewed coffee if you want something similar to cold brew but with more caffeine and flavor. Get the same caffeine boost you want with less brewing time, and dilute with water or milk before adding ice. You can even use this concentrated brew to make cold-brewed coffee popsicles.

Final Thoughts

Making iced coffee at home is the perfect way to save money and skip waiting in line for a drink.

If you want to make your favorite cold brew beverage from scratch, keep these tips in mind as you experiment with different ice-to-coffee ratios and equipment until you find the winning combination that works best for you.

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