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Coffeehouse Iced Coffee at Home

I started drinking coffee out of necessity when I was working third shift to help pay for college, but somewhere along the line I developed a love for the simple taste of it — dark and strong, sweetened with sucanat and a splash of cream, hot in the winter and icy cold in the summer.

I’ve got the hot coffee thing down pat, thanks to my Jura Capresso Impressa, but homemade iced coffee has been my nemesis until recently. Like many others, I was under the impression that it was as simple as dumping some leftover extra strong brewed coffee over ice, but I was left with a bitter cup of coffee that quickly became watered down with melted ice.

And really it is a super simple process, but the secret to making a great glass of homemade iced coffee is in cold brewing your coffee. Now you might be thinking, “But that will take forever for a glass!” Well, yes, it does take longer to brew, but once you make a big batch, it stores nicely in the refrigerator so you can enjoy a tall glass of iced coffee any time!

Landmark French Roast Coffee

Start with a good quality strong coffee, like a French roast or espresso. Note that if you use a whole bean coffee, as I did, you’ll need to grind it coarsely for brewing.

I used Landmark French Roast Coffee for this batch — I just love the strong, full-bodied flavor. Plus I appreciate that Landmark is a small, family-owned business that believes in producing expert, small batch roasted, high quality coffee. And you can’t beat the price at just $14.78 for a giant 2-lb. bag at Walmart!

Brewing Homemade Iced Coffee

As I mentioned before, I like a strong cup of coffee, so I mix 1 1/2 cups of coarsely ground Landmark French Roast Coffee with 2 quarts of water, give it a good stir, and let it brew for about 12 hours. How strong your cold brewed coffee is depends on how much coffee you use and how long you let it brew, so if this is too strong for you, play around with those factors a bit.

I should note at this point that I used filtered water for cold brewing because I prefer the taste, but tap water will work just fine!

Straining Homemade Iced Coffee

After the designated time has passed, simply filter the mixture through a strainer lined with a coffee filter. You may need to use a spoon to give the mixture a little stir in the strainer every once in awhile.

Iced Coffee Recipes

Transfer your cold brewed coffee concentrate to a container that will fit in your refrigerator. I like these Weck carafes, but a large container with a spout at the bottom would be another great choice for easy dispensing.

Sweetening Homemade Iced Coffee

When it comes to sweetening homemade iced coffee, you can certainly just stir in your desired amount of sugar, but stirring granulated sugar into a cold beverage can leave annoying sugar crystals in the bottom of your glass. Instead, I recommend making a batch of this double strength simple syrup to stir in. Or you could stir in some sweetened condensed milk for a real decadent treat a la Pioneer Woman.

Iced Coffee Recipe

Whichever sweetening method you choose, preparing a perfect glass of homemade iced coffee is easy. Just fill a tall glass with ice (or even better, coffee ice cubes!) and then pour in the cold brewed coffee up to about 3/4 full. Stir in your favorite sweetener, add a splash of half and half, and enjoy!

Homemade Iced Coffee

Homemade Iced Coffee

Yield: 6 cups
Prep Time: 3 minutes
Additional Time: 12 hours
Total Time: 12 hours 3 minutes


  • 1 1/2 cups coarsely ground French roast or espresso
  • 6 cups filtered water
  • 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon


  1. In a large container, stir together coffee and water.
  2. Cover and brew for 12-24 hours, to taste.
  3. Filter the coffee concentrate through a strainer lined with a coffee filter into a clean container, and refrigerate.
  4. Covered and stored in the refrigerator, this cold brewed coffee should last 3-4 weeks.

To make a perfect glass of homemade iced coffee:

  1. Fill a tall glass with ice (or to keep your iced coffee stronger, use coffee ice cubes!) and pour in cold brewed coffee to about 3/4 full.
  2. Stir in your favorite sweetener. I like to use this double strength simple syrup for cold beverages. Drizzling in sweetened condensed milk is another decadent option.
  3. Add a splash of half and half and enjoy!
Nutrition Information:
Yield: 4 Serving Size: 12 oz.
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 7Total Fat: 0gSaturated Fat: 0gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 0gCholesterol: 0mgSodium: 23mgCarbohydrates: 2gFiber: 0gSugar: 0gProtein: 0g

Nutritional information is based on third-party calculations and should be considered estimates. Actual nutritional content will vary with brands used, measuring methods, portion sizes and more.

Have you tried this recipe?

Leave a comment below and share a photo on Instagram. Tag it @unsophisticook and hashtag it #unsophisticook!


Monday 22nd of July 2013

I really need to try this!


Saturday 20th of July 2013

1 1/2 coarsely ground French roast or espresso

1 1/2 cup? carafe? Tblspn?

Tara @ Unsophisticook

Saturday 20th of July 2013

Oops, that would be cups. Thanks for catching that!

Daniel Jackson

Friday 28th of June 2013

Hey, awesome recipe, definitely helped. So you know, a useful tip is to pour black coffee into your ice cube trays and use the coffee cubes so that instead of watering your coffee down as it melts, it gets stronger. :)


Monday 3rd of June 2013

I am going to have to share this recipe with my daughter. We're vegan, but she could substitute soy milk and this would be a tasty treat for her. Thanks!

Miss @ Miss in the Kitchen

Saturday 1st of June 2013

I am a total coffee addict, this looks wonderful!

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