Perfect Iced Coffee without a coffee maker required! It’s made from a concentrated homemade cold brew, then finished with creamy half and half, sweet sugar, a hint of vanilla and plenty of ice. It’s such a refreshing drink on a hot day!
Homemade Iced Coffee
Making iced coffee at home is such an easy process and you only need a few ingredients. The key is just using robust, richly roasted coffee beans and allowing a generous soak time.
When you make at home you get to make it as mild or intense in flavor as you’d like, and adjust it to be as sweet or creamy as you’d like as well. You’ve also got the option to make it with regular or decaf coffee as well.
No need to leave the house early to take the extra time to stop by the coffee shop when you can make it at home in minutes (just plan some extra time to let the ground beans soak overnight).
Plus you don’t need any fancy equipment here. You have the option of using store-bought coarsely ground coffee beans or grinding whole beans on your own.
Then from there you just need a sieve, and cheesecloth or a coffee filter to strain it.
It’s a delicious iced coffee that’s equally as good as you’ll get at any coffee shop and you can make it for a fraction of the cost!
Iced Coffee Recipe Ingredients
- 4 cups prepared coffee (chilled) or cold brew (I like medium roast here but any will work)
- 1/4 cup sugar
- 1 tsp vanilla extract
- 1 cup half and half, divided
- Plenty of ice
Possible Substitutes and Variations
- Creamer: Heavy cream or whole milk will work in place of half and half. If using whole milk though I recommend reducing water added to the coffee brew (in step 5) then using 1/2 cup milk per serving so it’s creamier).
- An excellent non-dairy substitute for half and half is to use canned coconut cream or canned coconut milk (you may need to melt slightly if it’s solidified).
- Sweetener: Raw sugar, white sugar, brown sugar, honey, or maple syrup will work for the sugar option. You could also use sugar substitutes such as stevia, though you’ll need to adjust amount according to it’s equivalent (with Stevia you should only need about 1/4 to 1/2 tsp here per serving.
- Coffee: Use fresh brewed coffee (I just use a Kuerig and brew pods like these). Or make cold brew with fresh ground coffee beans. You can use pre-ground coffee beans if you don’t have a coffee grinder or food processor. Purchase coarse ground beans so it’s not too difficult to strain the finer grind.
- Flavors: If you’d like you can add various flavors to the coffee such as cocoa, cinnamon, pumpkin spice, almond or hazelnut extract, or natural caramel flavor.
- A vanilla bean is a great substitute for vanilla extract, just stir the seeds in after you’ve strained the coffee. You could even steep the pod with the coffee concentrate.
How to Make Iced Coffee
- Prepare coffee: Prepare a batch of homemade cold brew or regular coffee. Chill it through.
- Stir in sugar and vanilla until dissolved.
- Add plenty of ice to four serving cups. Pour coffee over ice.
- Add creamer: Pour in 1/4 cup half and half over each serving. Stir and serve.
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- Stir sugar and vanilla in with the coffee until sugar is dissolved.
- When ready to serve fill four cups with plenty of ice. Pour 1/4 of the mixture over each cup of ice.
- Pour in 1/4 cup half and half. Stir and serve.
- *If you don't have a coffee grinder you could use store-bought coarsely ground coffee such as gevalia brand which is good in this recipe. Another option is to use whole beans and to try blending a food processor to a coarse consistency.
- **Raw sugar, white sugar, brown sugar, honey or maple syrup will all work well. Even 1/4 to 1/2 tsp stevia blend could be substituted per serving.
- ***Whole milk or heavy cream can be used in place of half and half. If you'll want to add about 1/2 cup whole milk per serving. Another good option would be to use canned coconut cream or canned coconut milk. You can make it a bit healthier and use almond milk, just dilute with almond milk instead of water.
Making Iced Coffee with a Coffee Maker
- Another option to making iced coffee is just to brew a standard cup of coffee in your coffee maker, using something like a Keurig and pods (I like this one and brew pods like these).
- Let the hot coffee chill thoroughly in the fridge. Then sweeten as desired, stir in plenty of ice, a small splash of vanilla, and half and half or cream.
- For the ratios you'll want about 1 cup dark or medium chilled coffee, 1/4 cup half and half, 1 Tbsp sugar and 1/4 tsp of vanilla. And don't forget the ice of course.