Save money and stay away from Starbucks by making iced coffee better than the Seattle giant. Freeze leftover coffee in ice-cube trays, and toss the frozen coffee cubes into your next batch of iced coffee. The result: rich, delicious iced coffee that never becomes watery.


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  1. Maulleigh says:

    Wait a second….do you NOT want us to consume? I is confused!!!

  2. Christy says:

    I’ve still had poor luck with this method, because the coffee becomes bitter as it cools down. BUT- You can purchase a Toddy cold brew system from Amazon for about $30 and brew your own coffee concentrate, and it’s still way cheaper than going to Starbucks every morning. It brews about a pound at a time, and is used one part concentrate to three parts water, which means one batch lasts for a couple of weeks. Most of the local coffee places around here use it in the store, and I’m pretty sure that Sbux uses a similar method. The coffee comes out tasting incredibly smooth. It’s the only way I’ve found to make good iced coffee.

    And no, Consumerist, I don’t work for Toddy.

  3. Teira says:

    You don’t even need to buy anything special to brew awesome cold coffee. Make coldpress! You could make it in a french press, but when I was working at Caribou we just did it in pitchers and strained it through a metal filter. You need 1 part coarse ground coffee and 3 parts ice cold water, stir it up and let it sit for 12 hours, strain, and serve for up to 48 hours. Crazy smooth.

  4. legerdemain says:

    I am currently sipping a rather large iced mocha. I have a $30 pod coffee maker that came with something like 75 pods. I’ve been playing with the process for the last week or so, and I’m pretty happy with the result.

    You’ll need:
    A mug with two shots of fresh, hot espresso.
    A tall glass.
    One tray of ice cubes.
    A soup spoon.
    Milk. (soy or otherwise)
    Chocolate Syrup.

    Put all the ice cubes in the tall glass. Pour milk into the glass until roughly half of the cubes are submerged. Add two spoons of chocolate syrup to your hot espresso and mix throughly. Pour the espresso into the glass and mix throughly. Sweeten to taste.

    Note: Pond machine users: don’t try to get two shots out of one pod, or your result will be very weak. Put the milk on the ice first, or you’ll melt more ice when the hot espresso is added.

    Anyhow, total time is about two minutes. Cost is well under a dollar. The size is larger than a Venti and is enough for two people. Enjoy!

  5. Tauno says:

    I have a particular way of drinking my coffee in the morning.

    First, I brew it before I go to bed. Then, I let it sit in my thermos overnight and let it cool to the point of dead cold. When I awake, I chug it down, like a man! Saves lots of time.

    I buy that Yuban sustainable development stuff (My dad calls it “Rain forest Crunch), which costs about 12 bucks for 3 pounds. Far less expensive then any Starbucks or coffee bar drinks.

  6. Brie says:


    1/3 cup soy milk
    2/3 cup coffee

    Combine the two in a glass measuring cup and nuke for 20 seconds if you just made the coffee or 90 seconds if it’s been sitting.

    Put six large ice cubes in a pub glass. Now pour a three-count of chocolate Torani syrup over the ice. Optional: a four-count of another kind of syrup like caramel.

    Pour the heated coffee/milk mixture over the ice cubes. Stir, or not. Drink.

  7. Jhobbit says:

    Mine: I add 2 tsp. powered milk/soy milk, it thickens the coffee and as the ice melts it dilutes the powder, not the coffee, then i add my Torani syrup. ahh good to the last drop. Most stores add pectin to thicken, I like the dry milk better.

  8. bohemian says:

    Hmm. I have some extra decaf that someone gave me. Coldpress frozen in cubes to use in iced coffee sounds like a good use.
    You can do something similar to coldpress by putting ground coffee in a clean glass jar, cover with distilled water and refrigerate overnight up to two days. Then strain through a coffee filter in a colander. Decaf would be better than plain old ice cubes.

    I make iced coffee at home all the time. We have an espresso machine at home, make two shots. Use a heavy pub glass that can handle the heat. Two tablespoons of home made chocolate syrup,the espresso, organic milk and then the ice cubes. If you use good coffee it is as good at anything you get at starbucks.

    We make chocolate syrup and it is WAY better than hersheys. Ghirardelli has a recipe to make it with on their website and using their cocoa powder you get a syrup as good or better than at the coffee shop. A small bottle of their brand of chocolate syrup at the gourmet store was about $7. I make enough to fill a wine bottle for about $3.

  9. TheDude06 says:

    Their site ( is awful now, but a long time ago I picked up an awesome recipe for homemade frappuccino. sadly, learning the recipe reduced my intake of the stuff to almost zero, but it DOES taste great!

    (by volume)
    50% Espresso*
    25% Sugar
    25% Whole milk
    pectin to thicken

    Pectin is a thickener used in fruit canning, and is the key to duplicating the texture.

    *Poor-mans-espresso can be made by running coffee through your automatic coffee machine two or three times.

    Home-made frappuccino for a buck a gallon. enjoy!

  10. embean says:

    Actually, I work for Starbucks. We don’t do anything fancy. We brew the coffee double-strength (HOT) and then put cold water in it. If you put ice in it right away, you shock the coffee and that’s why it tastes bad.

  11. RebekahSue says:

    When I get home from work, I rinse out my 22 oz thermos coffee cup and half-fill it with coffee. Add creamer to taste, and put it in the freezer. In the morning, I add fresh hot coffee and a little creamer and put on the lid. By the time I get to work, the frozen coffee is floating and chilling the hot coffee. By the end of the day (because of dr orders, I work an abbreviated 5 hr work day), I’ve still got a few sips left of icy cold coffee.

    I figure I’m saving $500+ by not going to Dunkin before work (not to mention the gas from the detour) – and, since I don’t have an extra $500/year, it works nicely.

    (the 22 oz mug was $10 at the supermarket. I’ve been using it for about four years. There’s a scrape on the lid from when I started to drive to work with it on the roof, and stopped at a stop sign – but it’s otherwise in great condition and it was a worthwhile investment.)

  12. Rusted says:

    I’m a caffeine addict, so quality is not near as important as the “hit”. Iced coffee after a long nasty hot day banging on a house…, water, ice, sugar, blender set at max…..ahhhhh.

  13. Scott says:

    @embean: How exactly do you shock coffee?

  14. OnceWasCool says:

    “Freeze leftover coffee in ice-cube trays”

    One problem I thought of. Leftover coffee is the coffee at the bottom of the cup. Any backwash goes to the bottom, hence ends up in your cubes. After a while, you just a backwash cubes that would taste like morning mouth.

    Just a thought! ;)

  15. MeOhMy says:

    Why wouldn’t you just brew the coffee with half the water you would use for hot coffee and then dilute it with the cold other half? That’s how you make iced tea…

  16. BII says:

    I work in a coffeehouse and have previously worked for starbucks, there’s nothing special to iced coffee. Simply brew it stronger (so it doesn’t dilute the flavor in water).

    Starbucks has to 2X brew theirs, ours is so flavorful, we don’t really have to do anything to it to prepare it iced.

  17. BII says:

    @Troy F.:

    You could actually. That’s essentially what starbucks does.

  18. pestie says:

    @scribebytrade: Holy crap, yes! I bought a Toddy system not long ago and it makes the smoothest-tasting coffee I’ve ever had in my life. The end result of brewing a pound of coffee never lasts me two weeks, though. I use my Toddy brewing system about twice a week.

  19. @MissedTheExit:

    Combining your method with the method above: I wonder if you can freeze soy milk?

  20. Trackback says:

    Since it’s Sunday, I thought I’d throw a fun hack out there for all you coffee lovers.  Instead of tossing your old coffee, take an ice cube tray and freeze it as cubes.  The next time you want iced coffee, plunk a couple of cubes into the glass and enjoy.