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Stop Paying for Starbucks. It's Easy to Make Iced Coffee at Home

This DIY iced coffee recipe will save you some cash while still fueling your caffeine habit.

a glass of iced coffee on a yellow table
It's easy to make iced coffee at home.
Sarah Tew/CNET

This story is part of Home Tips, CNET's collection of practical advice for getting the most out of your home, inside and out.

On a scorching summer day, nothing hits the spot like a big iced coffee. But if your Dunkin' or Starbucks habit is starting to stretch your wallet and you want to save some money, know this: 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

Read more: Best Coffee Subscriptions and Clubs for 2022

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 summer to save on AC costs.