Iced Coffee

- Merrill

Every year, usually around this time, I feel the strong urge to make the shift from hot coffee to iced -- and once I switch, I usually stick with it until fall rolls around. It's a bit of a coffee conviction. And I happen to be more particular about my iced coffee than my lattés and drips. To me, it's important that the coffee be strong enough to stand up to a generous ration of milk, but there should be enough ice to ensure that the coffee stays cold, and the sides of the cup dewy. The solution to what seems like an insurmountable challenge? Espresso ice cubes, of course!

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With just an ice cube tray and a little planning, you too can soon be sipping a frigid, rich iced coffee in the comfort of your own kitchen.

Iced Coffee

Serves 1

  • 1 to 2 cups brewed, cooled espresso
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 1 cup coffee, cooled
  • Milk to taste
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A New Way to Dinner, co-authored by Food52's founders Amanda Hesser and Merrill Stubbs, is an indispensable playbook for stress-free meal-planning (hint: cook foundational dishes on the weekend and mix and match ‘em through the week).

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I'm a native New Yorker, Le Cordon Bleu graduate, former food writer/editor turned entrepreneur, mother of two, and unapologetic lover of cheese.


womanofgod44 May 11, 2013
What do you think about adding strawberry ice cream to your cold coffee? I tend to enjoy liquid flavored creamers. Just thought this might be good.
Gerd October 2, 2011
Iced coffee as I know it from Germany is much more a dessert/treat than here in the US. The iced coffee I'm used to is cold coffee, a scoop of vanilla ice cream and whipped cream on top. A lot more calories than the version here in the US but also a lot more delightful!
Gerd October 2, 2011
Coming from Germany it's funny to see the US version of iced coffee being basically cold coffee. In Germany and many other european countries, iced coffee is just a little coffee, one scoop of vanilla ice cream and a lot of whipped cream on top. That's really something to look for as a delicious afternoon treat...
Merrill S. October 2, 2011
Wow, sounds like Germany does it right!
Baconist April 24, 2011
Cold brew coffee is amazing. The best part is that you have ready-to-use concentrated coffee in your fridge at all times. I can make a latte in about a minute and a haIf. I even, on occasion, use high quality blends like Intelligentsia Black Cat and it is fantastic. Right now I like the Sumatra blend at Whole Foods. I have served cold brew prepared as regular hot coffee to coffee fans and they always love it. It is smooth and rich. The Toddy Brewing system makes it easy.
mark_sikes April 24, 2011
Honestly once you switch to cold brew there is no going back. Another fun thing to try is switching hotchata for milk. Horchata Latte!
jaredpaventi April 24, 2011
Don't rule out the cold brew process. (Shameless self-promotion)
Merrill S. April 25, 2011
I'm a big fan of the cold brew -- it would be a great combo with the espresso ice cubes.
Michelle C. June 19, 2014
I will be trying out your method! :) THanks for the link.
met0813 April 20, 2011
I do the same thing every year. Being Greek, though, my summer iced coffee is a Frappe made with Nescafe instant, which starts cold, but does get watered down a bit. Thanks for the ice cubes trick...I'll definitely start doing it once I make the switch!
Merrill S. April 25, 2011
Sounds great!
nannydeb April 19, 2011
A little retaurant trick is to pour the hot coffee over a metal spoon into the glass. It removes some of the heat and doesn't melt the ice cubes as much. Or you could use luke warm or cold coffee!
Merrill S. April 19, 2011
Great trick, thanks. But don't you find that even with the coffee starting cold, regular ice cubes eventually melt and dilute the coffee?
ddemos April 24, 2011
that really works to stop the glass from breaking from hot liquid...
Corkage April 19, 2011
What a great idea! I'm so trying this with my iced tea (I'm not a coffee drinker).
deanna1001 April 19, 2011
Another idea is to make lemonade ice cubes for iced tea...kind of like an Arnie Palmer without too much fuss.
Corkage April 19, 2011
I love that! Thanks! I'm thinking some pureed strawberry cubes in lemonade too.
Merrill S. April 19, 2011
deanna1001, I actually wrote about that very thing last summer!
Bobbyespecial April 19, 2011
I will have to try this! My coffee blog in Austin will be hearing about this refreshing coffee recipe.
Merrill S. April 19, 2011
jlsm April 19, 2011
If you have a Chemex and scale, the process is much faster. For a quarter of coffee, put 16 ounces of ice cubes in the Chemex and 16 ounces on the stove to boil. Fill the filter with 64 grams of coffee, and pour the boiling water over as you normally do. Swish everything around a bit, and pour a very, very cold cup of ice coffee.
mrslarkin April 19, 2011
Very nice, Merrill. What is that cool machine you're using?
Merrill S. April 19, 2011
It's a Nespresso machine -- Amanda and I both have them and love 'em.
Kitchen B. April 19, 2011
I could just have the photos, forget the recipe. You make rusty, old steel look gorgeous Sarah S.
Merrill S. April 19, 2011
I know, right?
mem April 19, 2011
I use a french press to make coffee at home and usually just 'eyeball' it, which tends to result in a very strong brew. I'm curious about the ratio of coffee to water you prefer-- the usual heaping tsp. per 6 oz. water? Also, what is your favorite everyday priced coffee to purchase and what grind is best for this recipe? Thanks!
Merrill S. April 19, 2011
I'll admit I usually buy my coffee locally -- or I just make espresso. Not an aficionado when it comes to supermarket brands. My ratio for the French press is a bit stronger than yours, though: I use a rounded tablespoon of coffee, coarsely ground, for every 8 oz. water.
aargersi April 19, 2011
You forgot the 5:00 pm step - add rum :-)
Bevi April 19, 2011
Or a triple threat with kahlua...
wssmom April 19, 2011
Merrill S. April 19, 2011
You said it, sister.
Bevi April 19, 2011
I second jotarz - we have a way to go before the iced coffee comes out of hibernation. When it does, I'll need that ice cube tray.
Sagegreen April 19, 2011
Beautifully illustrated steps:Thanks!
Merrill S. April 19, 2011
All thanks to the lovely Sarah Shatz...
jotarz April 19, 2011
Love it! The coffee ice cubes are a great idea! I am only wishing it were time for iced coffee here is chilly Chicago! Thanks for the post.
Merrill S. April 19, 2011
You're welcome! It's still on the edge here in NYC too.
Helen's A. April 19, 2011
You could pretend you're in Vienna and have an Eis Kaffe - add a scoop of your best vanilla ice cream... you'll be in heaven!
Merrill S. April 19, 2011