Iced coffee is a beverage that can really hit the spot, no matter the weather. However, having a barista pour you an iced latte or iced mocha on a daily basis, at an average of between $3-$5 per drink, can get a bit pricey pretty quickly. If you’ve got a Keurig coffee maker, you can make delicious iced coffee drinks for just a fraction of the cost.
That said, a Keurig isn't the ideal machine for making truly great iced coffee. But if it's any consolation, neither is our top-rated $300 Moccamaster coffee maker. Keurigs and drip coffee makers are just optimized for hot coffee. Yes, you can let it cool and pour over ice, but the flavors and aromas will probably go a little flat.
For the most flavorful cup of iced coffee, we recommend cold brewing, which is cheap but requires advance planning. Our favorite cold brewer is only $18 and will last forever. For faster results, you might also try the Japanese method, which is simply a pour-over coffee maker set directly over a cup of ice.
If you just want to stick with your good ol' Keurig, that's fine with us, too. Here's our recommended method for making iced coffee with a single-serve coffee maker.
A word on the Keurig K-Elite Coffee Maker
Keurig now offers a dedicated “iced coffee” button on its Elite model coffee maker that brews a smaller, stronger cup of hot coffee so that the flavor doesn’t get diluted when you pour it over ice. It’s a fun option to have, but following our how-to recipe with any Keurig machine will give you the same result: a tasty glass of iced coffee that will keep you going all day long.
What You Need:
- Keurig machine, any model
- Tall drinking glass (12oz-16oz)
- Ice cubes (Optional: coffee ice cubes. See recipe below.)
- 2 K-Cups, preferably extra bold, dark roasted
- 8-oz measuring cup
- Optional: sugar, stevia, chocolate syrup, caramel syrup, half and half, any type of milk
- Long spoon or stirrer, if needed
Step 1: Prepare your machine
Turn on your Keurig machine and choose to brew the smallest cup size available. 4oz is ideal, but 6oz is nice as well: brewing two smaller cups of coffee rather than one large cup will start you off with a stronger flavor to combat any dilution from the ice.
Step 2: Prepare your glass
Fill a tall glass with ice cubes. Optional: use coffee ice cubes instead. Ice cubes made with coffee instead of water will take your iced coffee to a whole new level. (We’ll talk about how to do this in a second.)
Step 3: Choose a K-Cup
We suggest an “extra bold” dark roasted coffee to ensure a rich flavor after the ice is added. Of course, if you prefer a lighter-tasting coffee then choose a milder roast. Not sure which coffee to brew? Some K-Cup suggestions for a good strong brew include:
- Green Mountain Dark Magic
- Warrior Select Combat Roast
- Keurig Barista Prima Coffeehouse Italian Roast
- Peet’s Major Dickason’s Blend
- Death Wish Coffee
Step 4: Brew your coffee
Insert a K-Cup and place an 8oz measuring cup (for easy pouring) onto the tray. Press “brew.” Once the brew is complete, insert a new K-Cup, and brew again. You should now have 8oz-12oz of coffee, depending on the size of cup you brewed each time.
Step 5: Flavor to taste
Stir any desired add-ins into your hot brew: sugar, stevia, chocolate syrup, caramel syrup, milk, half and half, almond milk, soy milk, etc. Mixing it in now while the coffee is still hot will ensure that the sweet stuff dissolves nicely (sugar and cold liquid don’t mix as well), and cold milk will also help cool the coffee down before the final pour.
Step 6: Pour your coffee
Pour your coffee over the ice and give it a quick stir. It’s time to drink up and get your buzz on.
If one glass of iced coffee for the day doesn’t do the trick, brew a pitcher’s worth. Start by brewing the largest cup size available and pour it into a pitcher without ice. Repeat this step until your pitcher is full. Now, stick the pitcher of coffee in the fridge. Whenever you have a coffee craving, scoop some ice into a glass, take out your pitcher, and pour yourself a cold one!
And a bonus how-to: Make yourself some coffee ice cubes
Coffee ice cubes are the perfect way to prevent your iced coffee from losing its kick: when the cubes melt, they’ll be adding more coffee, rather than water, to your coffee drink.
Step 1: Brew a batch of coffee using your Keurig. If you use the 12oz setting, you should be able to fill up a whole tray with one K-Cup (each ice cube in your typical tray is made with about 1oz of liquid). However, if you want the strength of your cubes to match the strength of your drink, use the same ounce setting for both. This might take a few K-Cups to do.
Step 2: Pour the coffee into your ice cube tray.
Step 3: Stick the tray in the freezer for at least 6 hours. If you plan ahead of time by prepping the cubes the night before and freezing them while you sleep, your coffee ice cubes will be ready whenever you want them the next day.