Coffee Grinds and Water Ratio for Iced Coffee

Good morning!

Q and I were up at 3:00 AM this morning, so I have been go-go-going ever since. We finished eating/burping/pooping (him, not me) at almost 5:00 AM, which I figured was a reasonable hour to start my day, so I made breakfast and got right to work… well, after a quick, early-morning adventure.

Breakfast

I made myself a delicious breakfast, but, unfortunately (or should I say fortunately?), I ran out of iced coffee, so I went to Marylou’s to buy one.

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After starting my day at 3:00 AM, I needed an iced coffee. Even though I drink decaf 95% of the time (because of colitis, pregnancy, and now breastfeeding), it just makes me happy… the taste of cold, creamy iced coffee gets me going and starts my day off on the right foot. (The sticker on the handle of the coffeepot in the photo above says “decaf,” since Mal and I brew two different pots and we don’t want to get them mixed up.)

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At Marylou’s, I ordered a Hawaiian Chocolate Nut (also known as “Almond Joy”), which is a new favorite of mine. Well, actually, I re-discovered my love for it. It used to be one of my go-to flavors back in the day, but I kind of forgot about it until recently. Breakfast was eggs, toast with mashed avocado, cantaloupe, and blueberries.

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Speaking of iced coffee, I received a great question from a reader the other day, so I thought it might be helpful to share my response with you guys.

Hi Tina!

I had a quick question for you: how do you make your own iced coffee?  I mean, I obviously can brew a cup of coffee but was wondering if you put a different grounds vs. water ratio than regular coffee.

Thanks!

I actually learned this little tidbit from a Starbucks event last summer…

So, when I make my iced coffee, I just brew a regular pot of coffee in an automatic drip coffeemaker (like I would for hot coffee) and then I add ice to it. (Well, now I’m adding chocolate and vanilla almond milk iced cubes to my iced coffee, which is the most delicious thing ever. Really, you need to try it. Trust me. Do it. You’ll love it.) Anyway, the only difference is that I pick a REALLY strong and flavorful type of coffee. When you brew iced coffee (and hot coffee), it’s all about the strength/boldness/flavor of the coffee beans, so adding a ton of coffee grinds to your coffeemaker won’t make the coffee any stronger. You’ll just have a lot of grinds in there, and it’ll probably make a mess. For a pot of iced coffee, I use 12 cups of water with 12 tablespoons of strong coffee. Basically, a 1:1 ratio, and it turns out great!

Side note: Mal and I know all about cold brew coffee, but we prefer our method in our automatic drip coffeemaker. We think it’s easier and we like how it tastes. We also drink A LOT of iced coffee, so brewing a big pot and drinking it within a few days works great for us. And Mal is a weirdo and generally doesn’t like cold brew coffee, which I don’t understand at all. How can you not like cold brew coffee?! (He thinks it’s weak and watery. I disagree.) Anyway, that’s why we make iced coffee the way we do.

Questions of the Day

Which do you prefer: Hot coffee or iced coffee?

What do you like in your coffee?

P.S. My juice and smoothie book comes out today!!!!!

76 Comments

  1. I’ve always been a hot coffee girl…there’s just something great about curling up with a warm cup. Since moving to DC this summer however, it’s been iced coffee ALL THE WAY. Like buckets of it.

  2. Thanks for the tip on making your coffee stronger! I drink hot in the cold months and iced in the warm..or depending on my mood. My add ins totally change depending on the time of day, my mood, what I am about to go do, etc. In the morning it is usually black. But if it is iced, I always add in almond milk, I’ll have to try the almond milk cubes, too!

  3. Iced coffee everyday! I have a Keurig, so I normally let the machine do the work. But I also have a personal baristo. My boyfriend worked at Starbucks for several years so I generally let him handle the coffee making, especially when I want to make a whole pot.

  4. I sometimes prefer iced or hot but lately choose hot over iced but now I am making iced because you put me in the mood for it…I make it the same way you do. I actually sampled Trader Joe’s Cold Brew the other day and didn’t love it. I don’t know why but just didn’t.

  5. That’s really interesting that more coffee doesn’t make a stronger brew, is that from the Starbucks event? I make my hot coffee 1:1 plus an extra scoop or two, so I thought I needed to half the water for iced coffee. I could’ve sworn dunkin makes iced coffee double strength so the ice doesn’t water it down. (I was an assistant manager in college)
    I love cold brew, but the best brew ratio is something like 1:4 and it makes a huge mess, even in a French press.
    Almond milk ice cubes is the best idea I’ve heard lately, definitely planning on trying that. I love coffee!

  6. That’s some stamina there waking up at 3am and powering on starting your day at 5am! How do you manage to stay awake those night hours – do you need a snack at 3am or does adrenalin keep you going? I can’t imagine being able to do that without coffee!!

  7. Great tips! That sounds like the easiest way to give the homemade cold brew a try. I prefer hot coffee in the morning, but on hot days, I love having a cold coffee for a bit of a treat. I will definitely give your way a try and also, the idea of using chocolate almond milk ice cubes.

  8. Those weird 3/4am wakeups kill me. Lol. I can never go back to sleep either. I have been up since 4 due to a diaper change (for my son, not me haha). Oh I feel a day of bad jokes coming.

  9. I drink iced coffee every single day. I don’t even like hot coffee. I know, what a *weirdo*. Your iced coffee looks delicious and I’ve been inspired to vary my flavorings after reading your blog. Yummy!

  10. I prefer iced coffee, but it’s such a pain to remember to make. I keep thinking I need to revisit Ree Drummond’s (“The Pioneer Woman”) iced coffee recipe, and keep a big pitcher of it in the fridge at all times. Love it! Especially with Coffee Mate or International Delights Creamer. <3

  11. Hopefully Q sleeps tonight so it’s not another 3am deal – oh boy!!

    I mostly drink hot coffee but if it’s hot outside and I want something at McDonalds or Starbucks, I’ll go for an iced. I love it either way. 🙂

  12. Congrats on your book coming out!! So exciting!

    I love hot coffee in the winter and iced coffee in the summer. When I go to the gym in the mornings though, it’s easiest to just bring my iced coffee in a jar for when I get to my desk, so I brew french press hot coffee on Sundays for iced coffees for the week and add milk before leaving the house.

  13. That iced coffee flavor sounds so incredible! Since I make my own I usually do hot coffee in my to-go mug but I used to be a big iced coffee addict in the summer! Since I stopped sweetening my coffee I’ve found I like the richer flavor of the coffee when it’s hot and haven’t found a way to make it taste good iced.

  14. I looooove iced coffee! But in the winter I switch to hot, because, Minnesota. We’ve been making cold press at home recently, and it’s delicious. I usually add just heavy cream to my coffee (hot or cold), but I’m on a Whole30 so right now it’s coconut milk, straight out of the can!

  15. I do both but typically hot in the morning. Love both! But, I use peppermint mocha creamer, which I can’t get away from. Any suggestions? I’ve tried almond milk but just not the same.

    1. Try this: Mix your creamer with almond milk and add it to your iced coffee. The next week, do the same thing, but use less creamer. Keep reducing the creamer amount each week until you’re just using almond milk. You can also try vanilla almond milk!

    2. @Cindy: @Tina: @Cindy: Cindy, another suggestion for a non-creamer would be to try chocolate soy milk with a little peppermint syrup. I sometimes find the almond milk nuttiness overpowers the coffee flavor too much, but the chocolate soy milk seems like it has a more neutral flavor. Gotta say I love using my french press for cold-brewing!

  16. I have started drinking cold coffee, I have a keurig, so in order to have enough cold coffee I have to do the overnight soak thing, and filter it into a couple of mason jars for the fridge. I just have it with milk, same as hot coffee. I tried all the fancy flavours, but so far I guess I am just a plain jane kinda girl. I find the mason jars work pretty good, it lasts about a week, if it’s just me drinking them.

  17. Hot coffee in the winter, iced in the summer! I make my iced coffee the exact way you do. Each 12 cup pot lasts about 4 days between my husband and I. I definitely need to try those almond milk ice cubes!

  18. When I make iced coffee at home, I usually just take the extra from the pot that I made hot and stick it in a pitcher in the fridge. Then I add iced coffee cubes to it (+ a few regular iced cubes) and almond milk when I’m ready to drink it. It’s perfect! The coffee shop I’ve been going to lately just switched over to cold brew and I’m LOVING it!!

  19. I like both hot and cold coffee. I definitely prefer iced coffee in the summer months so I’ll get it if I got to a coffee shop, otherwise at home I’ll just have hot coffee. So aside from adding the almond milk ice cubes to your coffee do you add anything else when you drink it? Like sugar or cinnamon or more almond milk…

  20. I need to make a pot to keep in the fridge. I always have to have hot in the morning, but I like to have iced other times during the day.

    Also, thanks for the reminder about your book! I totally just ordered it using your link. I have a juicer that I bought from someone at work and just haven’t really known what to make. Can’t wait until I get it on Thursday. I have a feeling we will be doing some juicing this weekend!! I’ll have to remember to take photos and blog about it.

  21. I love hot coffee on chilly days and cold coffee on hot ones. I’m also all about cold brewing…I use 1/3 cup coarse grounds and put that in the bottom of a pint mason jar, then fill the jar with filtered water, cover and let it steep overnight. Then the next morning I double filter it…first with a small fine mesh sieve and then with a standard coffee filter straight into a large cup. The double filtering is kind of a pain but the first filter is quick and it makes the second filter a lot quicker too.

  22. I love hot and iced coffee. I am caffeine sensitive so I try to do decaf. What brand types of decaf do you like? I find some to be tasteless or bitter. Totally going to try the almond milk ice cubes!

    1. I’ve been digging the Marylou’s lately! The decaf Allegro Coffee from Whole Foods is good and New England Coffee makes some good flavored decafs.

  23. I really need to start making a big batch for the week rather than making it each morning as the craving strikes. I’m a big proponent of the 2:1 ratio for iced coffees, though (2 scoops coffee for every cup of water). I’ve tried 1:1 and I just think the flavor is much stronger with 2 scoops (I HATE watery/weak coffee). But, maybe I’ll give it a whirl again, or try with a different kind of coffee.

  24. That “Depresso” sign is the best thing I’ve seen in a long time. I haven’t experimented much with homemade iced coffee but I feel like I should because I really do enjoy it! I used to go to Dunkin Donuts a lot when I lived in Philly and just get their iced coffee but we don’t have many of them in Colorado 🙁 I do think chocolate almond milk cubes would make an epic iced coffee though!

  25. I drink hot coffee all year long. But in the summer I may enjoy some ice coffee during the day. I have my coffee with a few drops of stevia and some canned coconut milk. Delish!

  26. I’ve always loved the smell of coffee but have never liked the taste. I wasn’t into hot beverages at all until the last year or so when a friend made me a cup of tea that I actually enjoyed. Then I went to Scotland and fell in love with the electric kettles and morning cup of tea and kept it up when I came home. Now I can’t imagine my morning routine not including a cup of tea!

  27. I just had what I call an iced coffee this morning! Though instead of adding frozen almond milk ice cubes to the cold coffee I used coffee ice cubes in my mix of chocolate and unsweetened vanilla almond milk! Took a bit for the coffee flavor to come through but when it did it was fantastic!

  28. I know that it’s already been stated, but the Pioneer Woman’s recipe for iced coffee is great. It’s incredibly strong and I think her original recipe is for a huge batch of coffee. I usually have to divide it into a much smaller batch.

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