Homemade Iced Coffee

Iced coffee recipeUntil recently I wasn’t a big believer in homemade iced coffee. I’ve tried out a few recipes (some I found, some I made up) and found a few variations I like OK. But nothing that really compared to good barista made iced coffee. Plus, making single serving iced coffee at home is sort of a pain. It is a paint to steep coffee that long for only one mediocre cup. But then I tried out this recipe. And life changed. I’ve tried a few variations since then and I found what works best for me. Here’s my favorite homemade iced coffee variations.

Iced Coffee, makes about 5-6 servings

Needed: 2 1/2 quarts water to 5 ounces ground coffee, 2 tablespoons any combination of spices. Milks and sweeteners as you like (I share my favorites below).

Iced coffee spicesIn a large pitcher combine the water (cool or lukewarm), spices, and ground coffee. I currently like to use all cinnamon. But you could try a little cinnamon, cloves, ginger, and nutmeg. Try different combinations for the seasons! Give the mixture a stir and let it sit for about 8 hours. I usually mix this up at before bed. After it’s set strain the coffee through cheesecloth or a funnel and coffee filter in to another pitcher. Now you have your iced coffee base. This size will usually last me a few days to up to a week.

Fill a glass with ice and pour in your chilled iced coffee. I love it plain with a few generous tablespoons of cream.

Ice coffee with creamAnother great variation is to try adding a few spoonfuls of sweetened condensed milk. Try it! Just add a spoonful or two at first and adjust the sweetness level as you taste.

Ice coffee condensed milkYou can always add more cream, milk or sugar; but taking out sweetness is much more difficult. Taste and find your perfect iced coffee combination!

Homemade ice coffeexo. Emma

Iced Coffee


  • 2 1/2 quarts water
  • 5 ounces ground coffee
  • 2 tablespoons any combination of spices
  • milk and sweeteners optional


  • In a large pitcher combine the water (cool or lukewarm), spices, and ground coffee. I currently like to use all cinnamon. But you could try a little cinnamon, cloves, ginger, and nutmeg. Try different combinations for the seasons! Give the mixture a stir and let it sit for about 8 hours. I usually mix this up at before bed. After it's set strain the coffee through cheesecloth or a funnel and coffee filter in to another pitcher. Now you have your iced coffee base. This size will usually last me a few days to up to a week.
  • Fill a glass with ice and pour in your chilled iced coffee. I love it plain with a few generous tablespoons of cream.
  • I’m currently living in Cambodia, which has opened my eyes to the glory of iced coffee..for 50c you can get delicious iced coffee with condensed milk from most street vendors. Have tried making my own but with little success so I’m thrilled to have found this recipe and will be trying it out tomorrow:)I’m excited about the cinnamon addition, it’s is one of my favourite flavours at the moment.

  • The only problem I had with this recipe was straining the grounds and the cinnamon. I tried cheese cloth but that stopped straining pretty quickly…and was pretty messy. I ended up using a very fine tea strainer but it could only handle about a cup at a time. Still, totally worth the time, so delicious…especially with almond milk!

  • Have to try! Yummy! 😀

    backtofive.blogspot.combacktofive.blogspot.combacktofive’s twitter
    xoxo backtofive

  • This is such a great idea!! I can’t wait to try it..looks delicious!! Thank you so much!

  • Making this right now! I agree with the comment about almond milk, I personally use light Silk soy milk in very vanilla. It has just enough sweetness that I dont need to add any additional sweeteners (or calories :P)! You guys are wonderful, love your blog!

  • Hi!
    I’m from Brazil and i saw your blog on signature9 and i’ll be really glad and honor if you check my website and give your opinion! I’m on this blog thing for 3 years.
    Congrats for your blog btw, it’s awesome!

  • hi Emma thx for sharing. These pics are amazing. I want to try this:)

    xx chris

  • That takes iced coffee to a whole different level! great post. love that glasses, that would be great for guests at the beach.

    Fashion illustration, trends and techniques

  • I love iced coffee on a hot dsy…i will definetly try this.


  • this is amazing, i’m such a massive iced coffee fan, but like you say, can never make it as good at home. I’ll have to try this, it looks fab 😀

    Mel x

  • I love ice-coffee! I make it all the time. I just tried Starbucks instant ice-coffee packs (I do NOT like instant coffee) but their iced ones are soo good! I highly recommend them if you’re on the go.
    P.S. Where did you get those straws?


  • i love this idea so much. and the pictures that illustrate are just so lovely. thanks for a great post!!

    xx rae


  • Great idea! I have also felt that at-home iced coffee is never as good. Any coffee recommendations?

  • Looks like a great recipe for the summer… I’m going to give it a try!

  • That recipe looks amazing. I am definitely going to give this a go. Thank you!

  • loove! i just made some with cinnamon for tomorrow morning. soo good for summer and easy 🙂

  • Oh my goodness, the new layout is sooo much better!!! Simple is sometimes so soothing.

  • After being lazy and thinking it looked like too much work for a long time, I finally tried this recipe for iced coffee last night. And it really is so delicious!

  • I use this one, found it a while back. things I changed …I use a shot of a coffee creamer called natural bliss, they have a sweet cream that is this flavor dead on! I usea very good dark coffee (starbucks dark roast etc.)because the cold brew method rids it of the bitterness! yeah!I drink Ice coffee all summer and this summer even more so thanks to all these delightful variations! Thanks for one more “keeper”!

  • Thank you soo much! I’ve been looking for a good iced coffee recipe and it seems like i got it! i will try it! 😉

  • I need to do this. It is so much healthier and cheaper to make your own at home!

  • WOAHHH! amazing!!

    Check out my blog! What do you think? Let me know! I’d love some feedback. Maybe we can follow each other?



  • Unrelated to iced coffee, I didn’t even realize you were from Springfield. For pity’s sake I’ve been to Red Velvet…
    I guess I didn’t imagine anything cool could come out of this state.

  • omg must try!! and doesn’t everything just taste much better in a Mason jar?

  • Bye the way I love the new look of your blog and I really enjoy all the creativity you both share. Thanks!

  • I never used to like sweet iced coffee until I moved to Cambodia. They make the best iced coffee…a really strong base so you only have to put about 1/4 into the glass.Its best when it is thick. I do like the idea of adding spices so will give that a go! Thanks for posting

  • Wow this looks delicious! I tried to make my own iced coffee the other day and failed miserably! I will definitely be trying this recipe out!


  • Yum! I have recently started experimenting with this myself. These look delicious!

  • That looks delicious.
    I use one of these to make a full pound overnight:

    I find it works best with dark roast. I like Community Coffee’s French Roast.

  • I don’t take cream or milk in my coffee, but my favorite sweeteners for iced coffee are pure maple syrup or cardamom simple syrup. Mmmm! I am a barista lifer too… in Seattle. 🙂

  • Thank you so much for this post! I’m currently enjoying mine – evaporated milk included 🙂 Perfection!

  • Yay! I just did this recipe, – any spices, and it is amaaaaaazing! I used to just brew a cup of coffee and let it sit, and add ice cubes later. This is definitely going to be a must-have for the next few months, thanks soo much for sharing! 😀

    PS- Just a thought to anyone out there who needs to strain, if you have a frech press, BAM. Life is much easier 😀

  • hi emma.
    love the way you display your delicious looking drinks. am trying to buy these kind of vintage and stripy straws. are yours made of paper or plastic?
    lots of love from germany.

  • Instead of using filters and cheese cloth, I put it in my glass french press coffee maker (got it for $18 at Target)and let it sit overnight. When I press it in the morning, I don’t have to filter it, the press does it for me.

  • giving it a go right now! can’t wait to try it tomorrow. 🙂

  • I tried this with cloves and ginger and it turned out fabulous! Thanks so much you guys!

  • wow emma…thanks for sharing 🙂 definitely gonna make one for myself!

    btw, where did you get that lovely jars?

  • I am a coffee addict and this looks perfect for those hot days! YUMMY! I’m going to make this tomorrow!

  • I knew before I clicked it that your recipe was going to be the pioneer woman’s! I found her recipe a while ago, and it really is amazing! I can’t believe I ever tried making iced coffee any other way. I love leaving it in the fridge for a lot longer than 8 hours though, so it gets good and strong 😉 I haven’t had any in a while though, so your post has inspired me to go make some.

    Btw, if you live with a bunch of non-coffee drinking people like I do, you can make smaller amounts. I like to just toss the coffee into a water bottle. I do a minimum of 1 heaping tablespoon per cup of water.

  • Typo: “It is a paint to steep coffee that long for only one mediocre cup.” Paint should be pain.

  • I will definitely try this one. Looks yum esp with hot weather. Thanks guys, another awesome post from you!


  • I’ve been making the Pioneer Woman’s iced coffee recipe for a few months now. I’m excited to try your variation and add the spices.

  • Looks so delish! Definitely going to have to try this recipe. Last week I made coffee ice cubes and I think that might be the perfect addition to your tasty drink. 🙂


  • I never knew iced coffee could look more delicious but the mason jar takes it to a whole new level! Could use one of those right now in 100 degree Texas. Congrats on the new look!

  • I love iced coffee and I recently bought the Toddy brewing system and it’s very similar to this but makes things a lot easier if you get super addicted to making iced coffee at home is a great investment! It brews very strong coffee for when you need some extra energy for the day!


  • Looks delicious and perfect for summer! Just found your blog not that long ago and I am HOOKED! 🙂


  • i worked at sbux for 5 yrs, quit to move to another job and vowed not to become a $5-daily-coffee-drink-drinker. then i did become one of those… so i’ve been contemplating trying different things like this to save the mullah and the time but i’ve not actually moved past contemplation until i saw this! oh yes! thank you! i will definitely give these a go!

    and your new layout looks wonderful! you ladies have super fantastic flare!

  • I know this isn’t really the best place to comment on this, but since I couldn’t find another….. I just wanted to let you know that I LOVE the change to the blog! You guys make such a great team together, but it’s also so nice to read your personal blogs and get to know you both a little bit better. Now instead of just reading one awesome blog, I get to read 3 all on one site! Great job ladies!

  • Nice new layout!


  • My best pal and I are gonna try these tonight! I’m really looking forward to it (:

    -Tara Joy


  • This looks delicious! Homemade iced coffee is definitely a challenge. Can’t wait to try it!


  • Love what you’re doing with the blog and how you’ve created personal spaces for yourselves! Have a great summer!

  • Looks delicious! I Make iced coffee at home all the time! I just make it in my french press, let it cool down completely then keep it in the fridge. The addition of spices sounds awesome though!

    try pouring some of your coffee in an ice cube tray and making coffee cubes! This ways as your ice coffee melts it wont get watery 🙂


  • Hello ! I’ve discovered your blog three weeks ago, and I completly share your point of view about “creating a beautiful life”. And I’m very found of your outfits !

  • This is awesome! A cool new way to do iced coffee. I am making this tonight because it’s supposed to be in the high 80’s here tomorrow and I don’t want hot coffee in the morning! Thank you for sharing! 🙂

  • People think I’m crazy because even in the dead of winter, with cold rains and frozen fingers, I’ll still be at the Peet’s Coffee and Tea getting my large iced coffee (sweetened with bit of soy milk!). Without fail, in the morning, no matter what — iced coffee.

    Definitely going to try this at home — Cinnamon all the way! And I love Pioneer Woman’s iced coffee “dispenser.” 🙂

    Kayla ☆ http://www.kaylanaut.com

  • yay, it’s true – so delicious! I blogged about the same recipe too, back in April: http://whoreders.blogspot.com/2012/04/adventures-in-iced-coffee.html

  • Very cool new blog layout. I love the idea! Success to both of you. You two are fab!

  • My husband and I were just talking about how we should have iced coffee in our fridge at all times. And Ange, yes! Coffee ice cubes make it so much better because it’s always coffee. Yum!


  • I make my coffee in a French press. As it sits it gets stronger and stronger. Leftover cool French press coffee 24 hours later + half and half + ice = a very delicious iced coffee!

  • Yum! I love these cute straws too. 🙂




  • This is amazing and may have seriously just changed my life…. lol thanks for sharing 🙂

  • yay! Ive been looking for an easy iced coffee recipe. I will be trying this one very soon

  • omg..i know! i tried a ton too but hers was the best, i use the extra to make ice cubes..keeps it coffee-licious! must have iced coffee now. haha

  • Can’t wait to try this with adding the spices! I have a toddy maker to make cold brewed coffee. Same basic concept as yours but a bit easier as it does the straining for you…best $30 I’ve ever spent!

  • My favorite is fairly similar. I brew one pot of strong, hot coffee and add one can sweetened condensed milk along with whatever spices & flavorings I want (usually cocoa powder and a dash of cinnamon). I pour it all into a pitcher, stir, and chill. Instead of serving over regular ice cubes, I serve it over unsweetened coffee iced cubes which cuts down on the sweetness of all that sugared milk without diluting the coffee taste. Sometimes I’ll mix that up in my Ninja for a slushy-like frozen coffee.

  • and you could take this to go- I just got these: http://cuppow.com/

    and can’t wait to try them out!!

  • I actually freeze cold coffee too! Can’t wait to try the condensed milk trick…

  • wow. that’s a lovely variation to traditional iced coffee. Going to try it for sure with cinnamon and nutmeg. I’m not so sure about ginger but i’ll try to be brave about that too =) Amazing share as always. thanks xx <3


  • Mmm… I’ve got such a craving for iced coffee now. Love the new simple layout, I barely recognized the site xo

  • I love iced coffee! Now I just have to wait until the summer arrives at Hamburg finally to try it! Thanks for sharing!


  • Iced coffee isn´t for me. I need coffee to be so hot that it nearly burns my toung when I drink it. But still these versions of iced coffee look really good. 🙂

  • Hello! I love coffee! I really enjoyed your recipe!
    Here in Brazil we love to use condensed milk in sweet recipes. We have the “Brigadeiro”, they are perpetual favorites with children and adults alike. I don’t think I’ve ever seen a Brazilian birthday party without them.

  • This is one amazing recipe Emma, I’m such a coffee freak!
    Thanks for sharing, I will try to mix some tonight 🙂



  • Can I add; make a batch of coffee to make a batch of coffee ice cubes. Helps to not water down the drink on a hot day!

  • I loooove iced coffee. Have to try this out!


  • Fun take on Vietnamese Iced Coffee… But in the general science of cooking, there is something to adding hot coffee to sweetened condensed milk.

    The simplest way to make killer iced coffee is to fill a french press with your normal amount of coffee (But PLEASE! not Bustelo, NEVER Bustelo, unless you’re making Cuban coffee aka cortado… per my abuelita) and filtered tape H20. Stick the french press in the fridge over night and you will have perfect iced coffee the next morning. No mess. No stress. Little work. BAM!

  • I don’t think I will be able to make this recipe as I love condensed milk so badly that by the time I open the jar it’s already finished…ouch!

  • Emma. I made myself a Vietnamese Iced Coffee from a magazine it and was awesome. Ever since that, I’ve never gone out to get Iced Coffee. It’s in my blog 🙂


  • I didn’t know you can put spice in coffee interesting thanks for sharing

  • Nutmeg, ginger and cinnamon? Oh gosh I didn’t know it could work with coffee! Cool 🙂


  • I’ve had this when I ‘ve been on holiday in various European countries but sadly they’ve always been a bit rubbish when I’ve tried them here. When the rain stops, I think I’ll give this a go, I wonder if it works with de-caff?Rx


  • I love this new blog design! Very neat, polished and still personable! Iced coffee is the best for a summer morning! Yum!

  • I was trying to make ice coffee a few days ago and it came out fine, but this sounds sooo much better! thanks for sharing!


  • Not sure if you enjoy coffee regularly (besides the iced version), but I use an Aeropress at home. It is a cheap-o, but oh-so-very-brilliant, contraption that makes the best coffee, or espresso, or latte…. and I have become quite the caffeine snob. And it makes it very easy to make yourself a single coffee. My favorite coffee at the moment is Stumptown “Hair Bender”. After having a baby, I NEED my coffee to get moving — and I now actually prefer my homebrew over visiting my favorite cafe.

  • This is my latest daily craving! Well done!


  • I’m having problems converting the 5 oz of coffee to tablespoons/cups/whaterver…I don’t have a kitchen scale…that was my problem when I tried to scale down the other referenced recipe. I’m trying not to feel too frustrated, it just seems like the age old question. Does anyone have a quick answer? I tried to do an internet search but didn’t come up with an easy answer. Help!? I was making it 2 quarts water to 1 3/4 cups coffee. I found that searching through the comments of the other referenced recipe. I guess I need to invest in a kitchen scale!

  • Yum, yum, a hundred times yum! Sounds delicious.


  • This layout is a lot easier on the eyes for me..=)

    Oh, it almost sounds like Thai iced coffee. Make a strong brew and use cardamom pods and vanilla essence!

  • I make coffee ice cubes as well (in the ikea heart and star shaped silicone molds) that way it doesn’t dilute the drink down too much.
    Love your blog!!!

  • Sounds absolutely yummy! I haven’t personally tried to make iced coffee at home, but I may just give it a go sometime in the near future! Awesome! <3

  • Looks yum!

    LOVE the new blog layout, it goes so well!


  • Love the new layout, and this awesome recipe! I’ve been craving real iced coffee lately, so thanks for this 🙂


  • Mmm these look delicious! I love making anything with cofee. 🙂


  • ah, i had already been pining over PW’s and this sealed the deal — i’ve gotta try it! thanks for sharing your modifications. xo! http://blog.tarapolly.com

  • Yes! I made The Pioneer Woman’s iced coffee recipe recently and was pleasantly surprised. I too had been skeptical, but was blown away by how delicious it was! I hadn’t tried mixing in spices yet, but I’ll definitely be trying it soon. One thing I did learn is that only certain coffees taste as good. The one she recommends, Cafe Bustelo, was great, but I tried another random brand (can’t remember the name), but now I’m not straying from that brand.

  • Love the new layout and can’t wait to try out some of these tips! Thanks, Emma! 🙂


  • MMmm yum! I love homemade coffee.

    xO, vicky

  • Wow, this looks delicious!! I too have tried a lot of variations on home made iced coffee, so I’ll have to try this! Have you ever tried freezing the left over coffee so when the ice cubes melt your coffee doesn’t get watered down? I’ve tried it and it works like a charm 🙂


  • Yummy yum! Iced coffee is pretty much my favorite treat in the world.


  • Love love love iced coffee! I’ve been looking for a good recipe to make it at home so I’m pretty happy about this post. Thanks for sharing Emma!

  • this looks so good, especially if it’s made on a hot summer day. yummy~


  • This looks so delicious! Perfect for my coffee obsession to last during the summer and coffee with sweetened condensed milk is the best!

  • mmm I can’t wait to try this. My husband got me a Mr.Coffee cafe frape machine for mother’s day and my goodness I use that daily it’s fantastic. Maybe if I make some iced coffees too, I can give the ol’ machine a break every once and a while!

  • I don’t know why I’ve never thought to add some spice like cinnamon or nutmeg!! Sounds absolutely perfect! Cannot wait to try this with my next batch!

  • Looks delicious! I use a “toddy” that most coffee shops use to make their iced coffee concentrate.


  • Yummy! I never would have thought to put sweetened condensed milk in my iced coffee. I wonder how it would be blended…?

  • I halved the pioneer woman’s recipe too! I couldn’t imagine having so much on hand!

  • Iced coffee may be the perfect afternoon beverage (though I’m probably biased since I was a teen in the Pacific NW US in the 90’s when coffee was not only tasty but trendy as well). I am so going to try sweetened condensed milk.

  • Sounds delicious! I am loving the new blog layout. Very accessible.

  • I can’t wait to try this! I usually brew hot coffee and then just stick it a pitcher in the fridge to use for the week, but this sounds way cooler, and I love the idea of adding spices!

    Another good way to flavor iced coffee: original almond milk (it’s sweeter than milk but has fewer calories) with flavored agave sweetener- the vanilla flavor reminds me of creme brule! I can’t wait to try sweetened condensed milk, though! Sounds like a treat.

  • I’ve been making her iced coffee since last year but have never thought of adding spices! Definitely trying some cinnamon with my next batch!

  • I also like to brew my coffee in the morning and use my premade coffee cubes to blend with the coffee + half and half and flavors and sugar to make “frappuccinos”. I got the idea for coffee cubes from you guys!

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