Savebucks! How to make incredible iced coffee at home

One taste of this and I promise you’ll think twice about dropping $6/cup for iced coffee.

This all started when I stumbled upon this article about cold brewed coffee. “Cold brewed” just sounded… odd. How does that work exactly?

Turns out: pretty well. It further turns out that it’s likely what you’ve been drinking from the mermaid all this time. AND it turns out that you can so easily make this at home!

Like all good drinks at my house, it starts in a Mason jar:

It’s like moonshine, but for morning.

Okay, write this down — it gets complicated:

  1. In a one quart Mason jar, pour in 2/3 cup of coarsly ground coffee
  2. Fill jar with cold water
  3. Let sit for 12 hours at room temperature

Oh. Hmm. Not really that complicated, is it?

After 12 hours, strain the coffee. I strain it through a paper filter into another jar, but you can use a sieve or cheesecloth, too. Now you have coffee concentrateStrong stuff. Keep it in a jar or container in the fridge; mine has lasted up to three weeks still tasting great.

For hot coffee: mix 1/2 concentrate with 1/2 water (or part water part milk, depending on how you take your coffee) and microwave.

For iced coffee: mix half concentrate, half milk and pour over ice. If you want to get super fabulous, shake your milk and concentrate in a cocktail shaker with ice, which makes a nice little foam on top. I do this, and add a spoonful of sweetened condensed milk, too; this makes it a little sweeter and a little thicker.

Also fun for iced: make an tray of coffee ice cubes! Use half coffee ice cubes, half regular ice cubes and your drink will never be watered down.

Some notes:

  • If you want your iced coffee sweeter add some simple syrup (sugar will never dissolve in there — go with the syrup)
  • Go crazy with the add-ins! Vanilla? Caramel? Cinnamon? Chocolate syrup? Whipped cream? It’s yours. Go nuts
  • Like it blended? Throw your concentrate and milk in a blender with ice and a little powdered milk to thicken it up
  • Be sure to stop and snicker periodically at how much money you’ve saved

45 thoughts on “Savebucks! How to make incredible iced coffee at home

  1. I am not much for hot coffee, but iced coffee is something I do enjoy. Now I will have to dip into my husband’s stash of simple syrup (on hand for Mojitos, of course) to sweeten it. Even the idea of making a coffee concentrate is genius! (Because he does drink hot coffee every morning.)

    I found you on TasteSpotting and am writing to say that if you have any photos that aren’t accepted there, I’d love to publish them. Visit my new site (below), it’s a lot of fun! I hope you will consider it.

    Thank you!

  2. Oh wow Im so glad I spotted this! Im going to book mark you and make it this weekend:) I really like iced coffee but never really thought to make my own. Plus living in the netherlands people tend to like theirs only hot. Im so excited! Thank you!!
    You’re welcome! Let me know how you like it!

  3. The hubby was just complaining that it is too hot for coffee. Maybe I will make him some iced coffee for something different. I don’t think he has ever had it before actually.
    Let me know if he likes it!

  4. Oh great ideas! 🙂 How do you store the coffee concentrate? (if there is extra…) In the fridge? I’d love to whip this up and have on hand for iced coffee…yum!
    Yep, in the fridge! Keeps surprisingly well. 🙂

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  6. OMG! You’re my hero!!!!

    I never would have thought to cold brew coffee like tea. My coffee maker is packed away because there is so little counter space. This is perfect!

    Thank you for sharing the instructions & your tempting photos! ;o}
    Does this mean I get a pink cape? 😉 You’re so welcome! I hope you love it as much as I do. And I HEAR ya on the counter space!

  7. Any tips for a delicious cup of java, whether it be hot or cold, are quite greatly appreciated. Thank you my domestic guru! Now, Monkey would love a wonderful banana bread recipe!

    Love, Monkey

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  9. Just tried this and it came out great. I did iced coffee using a shaker, just drinking it straight up concentrate + skim milk.

  10. Brilliant! I usually just make my hot coffee 2x-3x stronger than usual and try to save it afterward, I didn’t think to actually let the beans soak for 12 hours. You would think I would’ve picked this up at Starbucks when I worked there 😛

    Anyways, I let mine sit, rule of thumb, try to mix the jar before straining, I made a mess all over my kitchen floor – haha. So I’m making another batch 🙂

    Thanks for sharing!

  11. I’m re-posting your wonderful recipe on my little blog but I’m giving you the full credit. I don’t have any true followers, just my family and friends so i doubt you’ll get more traffic because of it but I hope my undying gratitude is enough.
    Ooh undying gratitude! I’ll take it! 😀

  12. I left a comment above about wanting to make it last weekend? Well I didnt but made it today and WOW this was so so so good! Seriously I caught myself laughing over how easy this was to thank you so very much:)
    LOL! I’m glad you loved it!

  13. I have had this socked away in my favorites on foodgawker for a while now and finally got around to making this weekend because we had guests for breakfast yesterday. It was a hit! Thanks so much!

  14. Ooooh! I pretty much only drink iced coffee, but I do it the unimaginative way – just brewing regular coffee and pouring it over ice with creamer or milk and syrups. This sounds SO much better! And I don’t have to keep the coffee maker out, and I have a use for that french press I never use, LOL! has a non-fat latte recipe that uses non-fat sweetened condensed milk and non-fat milk, and is REALLY good. I’ve had it in their tea shop plus made it at home – the recipe makes quite a bit, but it lasts a week (but never actually lasts that long 🙂 ). I’m guessing it would be really good with coffee as well as tea!
    I put condensed milk in my coffee every single morning. YUM. I’ll have to check that recipe!

  15. This is how we made it at a coffee shop I used to work at. Exactly the same thing. 😀 Thanks for sharing the recipe!

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  18. I totally starred this in GReader a while back, and have been meaning to make this. I actually have a machine that makes iced coffee for me, so I did that (double strength) and followed this recipe, using chocolate syrup for flavor. OH MY GOSH! Never going to a coffee shop again!

  19. I was pretty happy with how this turned out… I just learned from my sister in law that works at Starbucks that you can buy the pump syrup online like on Ebay, and certain stores will let you purchase them in the actual store, I’ve heard it just depends on the Barista. That could take this coffee to the next step..

  20. Really neat idea, but I needed to make iced coffee at the moment. I followed what you said about using a strong coffee, brewed it, added in the suger and milk (I used vanilla soy milk, because it’s sweeter and thicker than usual milk), then I threw it in the freezer for about 15 minutes. It was slightly colder than room temperature, so I dumped it in the blender, added three ice cubes, and there you go!

    I’ll definitely make some concentrate for later, but I’m indebted to the points I took from your recipe for my need-it-now version.

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  22. How many ounces of water to the 2/3 cups of coffee grounds? The jars I have at home (used to can tomatoes or store fresh syrup) are 28 oz and 40 oz respectively. I’m very interested in this method. We have a lot of people here at home that LOVE iced coffee.

    Thanks for posting!

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  24. Holy Cow!! I can’t believe I made this!!!! It turned out perfect!! I used a vanilla flavored creamer and some almond milk and it was delish!!!! Why waste your money at these coffee shops when you can make this at home!!

  25. Hope you don’t mind that I pinned this recipe. You have tons of great stuff here. I will be using a lot of your recipes. Thanks!

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