Iced coffee is hot coffee’s sundress-sporting spunky little sister. When it switches from hot coffee to cold coffee season, you know summer’s truly arrived. And there’s nothing quite like sipping an ice-cold, creamy and refreshing iced coffee on a sweltering day. It’s easy to swing by Norbucks and purchase a fresh-brewed Venti, but it gets old after a while – especially when you realize you could make a much better version all on your own, and for roughly the same relative price.

To go rogue while really saving time, you could follow in Starbucks and other coffee franchise’s footsteps by essentially machine-brewing really strong hot coffee – 4 ounces of coffee per 4 cups of water—and then waiting for it to cool in the refrigerator before pouring over ice. But this method, while straightforward, results in a drink that’s underwhelming once you’ve tried iced-coffee made the real way: using the cold-brew method.

Though it sounds intimidating, the cold brew is simple and saves you both time and money. The process, which creates an iced coffee concentrate, also doesn’t result in the bitterness of hot-brewed coffee, further accentuating the sweet, creamy aspect of iced coffee. Simply put, if you want to experience the iced coffee done right, cold brewing is the way to go. Here’s how to make your very own Ultimate Iced Coffee using a cold brew right in your own apartment/kitchen/dorm room.


Prep Time: 5 minutes
Chill Time:
8 hours
Total Time:
8 hours, 5 minutes

Servings: 2 glasses

2 ounces ground coffee
4 cups cold water
Milk, half-and-half, creamer, sugar, etc.

1. Start by pouring two ounces of ground coffee in a large bowl or pitched.
2. Add four cups of cold water and stir. 3. Cover the container and let the concentrate sit for eight hours or overnight.
4. After that, get another large container and place a strainer on top. Line the strainer with paper towels. 5. Slowly pour the coffee concentrate through the paper towel/strainer and into the other container. 

6. Fill a glass or jar with ice.
7. Fill the glass about ¾ of the way with coffee… …splash in some milk or half-and-half, top it off with more coffee, stir in as much sugar as desired and enjoy!


•For an extra-creamy and sweet variation, mix in two tablespoons of sweetened condensed milk after filling the glass halfway with coffee. Top that with a tablespoon of milk or half-and-half, stir, and fill the remainder of the way with coffee.

•To make pre-sweetened iced coffee, make a simple syrup by bringing two cups of sugar and one cup of water to a boil, letting it cool, and then mixing it straight into the concentrate before letting it sit. Add as much syrup as you want – the more syrup, the sweeter the coffee!

•Use leftover coffee (hot or cold-brewed) to make coffee ice-cubes that you can throw into iced coffee to keep it from getting watered-down when ice melts, or toss into a glass of cold milk for a slight coffee flavor and a quick caffeine boost.