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Forget Starbucks. This Iced Coffee Recipe Is All You Need on International Coffee Day

Put down that pricey pumpkin spiced latte and make some DIY iced coffee to save some cash.

Alison DeNisco Rayome Managing Editor
Managing Editor Alison DeNisco Rayome joined CNET in 2019, and is a member of the Home team. She is a co-lead of the CNET Tips and We Do the Math series, and manages the Home Tips series, testing out new hacks for cooking, cleaning and tinkering with all of the gadgets and appliances in your house. Alison was previously an editor at TechRepublic.
Expertise Home Tips, including cooking, cleaning and appliances hacks Credentials
  • National Silver Azbee Award for Impact/Investigative Journalism; National Gold Azbee Award for Online Single Topic Coverage by a Team; National Bronze Azbee Award for Web Feature Series
Alison DeNisco Rayome
2 min read
a glass of iced coffee on a yellow table

It's easy to make iced coffee at home.

Sarah Tew/CNET

It's nearly October, but warm afternoons still mean one thing: iced coffee (plus, Saturday is International Coffee Day). But if your Dunkin' or Starbucks habit is starting to stretch your wallet and you want to save some money, you're in luck. It's actually really easy to make iced coffee at home, with the same basic ingredients as your regular hot coffee. 

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Iced coffee isn't the same as cold brew coffee -- it's less concentrated, and it has less caffeine. But while cold brew often takes a whole day to, well, brew, and requires a specialized cold brew maker, iced coffee is far more convenient, and also retains more of the subtle flavor notes of the coffee than cold brew does. 

Here's how to make your own iced coffee at home. We've also got tips on how to make ice cream in your food processor, and how to make a viral Dirty Shirley cocktail. You can also check out our picks for the best coffee maker and the best coffee grinder

What you need to make iced coffee

It might seem obvious, but here's what you'll need to make iced coffee at home:

  • Brewed coffee (this can be from your Keurig, an automatic coffee pot, a pour-over or any other method you prefer)
  • Ice
  • Extras (sugar, simple syrup, flavored syrups, cream, milk, etc.)

How to make iced coffee

Here's the easiest way to make iced coffee. 

1. Let your fresh brewed coffee cool. You can either let it sit out until it reaches room temperature, put it in the freezer for a few minutes, or if you're thinking ahead, refrigerate it overnight so it's ready to pour in the morning. 

2. Fill a glass with ice, and pour the cooled coffee over it. (If you impatiently pour hot coffee over ice, you just get weak, lukewarm coffee.)

3. Add any of your preferred extras, like cream and sugar. 

Extra tip: Freeze some of your brewed coffee in ice cube trays. Next time you make an iced coffee that you want to keep cold without watering it down so much, drop some in. 

It's really that easy. Now go enjoy it for the rest of the summer. 

For more money-saving tips, check out whether it's cheaper to buy groceries online than in the store, and what temperature you should set your thermostat to this winter to save on heating costs.