Coffee & Tea

How to Make Your Own Iced Coffee

It’s that time of the year we can’t face Old Joe

Ian Vince
4 min readJul 15, 2022


Photo by Thomas Vimare on Unsplash

Every now and then in summer, the sun shines bright, everything warms up nicely then, bit by bit, not nicely at all. Pretty soon, it gets so warm that any enclosed space feels like a fan oven. A hot, steaming cup of coffee is about the last thing on your mind. You need a cold drink. You need iced coffee.

In times like these, it’s tempting to get a tin of cold joe from the shop — most of the High Street coffee chains have their own, dreadful takes on iced coffee — but it’s not fresh and who knows what, exactly, is lurking in those cans? Chemical slop and more E numbers than the Exeter telephone exchange. It’s time to make your own.

The best advice for homemade iced coffee?

Start Yesterday

The biggest disadvantage to making your own cold brew iced coffee is that the initial brew takes quite a bit of patience. Typically, the concentrate you are making is the base for tomorrow’s cup of iced coffee.

But it’s well worth the wait. The perfect iced coffee has a smooth, round texture and taste and far less of the bitter notes. You will be steeping your ground decaf for up to a day in the fridge and that gives plenty of time to develop the complex concentrate that gives iced coffee its amazing full body. Slow and steady wins the race.

Photo by pariwat pannium on Unsplash

Steep Time: Managing the Iced Brew

Coffee that has been standing for a whole day in a cafetiere will be stewed and over extracted and about as pleasant to drink as diluted vinegar. We’ve all steeped fine ground in a French press and regretted it 3 minutes later, imagine how grim that would be in 24 hours. The trick — as with a regular cup of hot coffee — is in the grind.

For iced coffee, you should use a medium-coarse ground to prevent your brew ending up full of oily acid. If you only have fine ground, you should reduce the brew time up to 50%. You’ll get your coffee quicker, but you’ll lose…



Ian Vince

Quick precis: Author, writer, ghost, online DJ, hopeless optimist, lapsed cynic, curios and bric-a-brac.