How should we make iced coffee at home? We only have a French press.


7 Answers 7


French presses work pretty well for cold brewed coffee. Just put the coffee and the water in and let it "brew" for a long period of time, then press it down to remove the grounds. Recipe for cold brewed coffee from the New York Times.

  • This is the recipe we're using now; thanks for the link.
    – Rebekah
    Commented Jul 22, 2010 at 14:27

Do you like it cold-brewed? The absolute best thing to do from my perspective is to stir half a cup of grounds into a quart of water and let sit overnight; you can then filter it using your french press or a regular plastic filter the next day to get a low-acid coffee concentrate. Mix one part of this with 1-2 parts of water (hot or cold, adjust for strength) to get coffee. The concentrate keeps well in the fridge too.

The only problem is that the coffee you get will be very low acid; if you like your iced coffee more acidic, this won't help. For my palate it's great, but YMMV.

  • I haven't yet tried cold brewing; I probably will soon. I was hoping for some faster methods to try, too.
    – Rebekah
    Commented Jul 19, 2010 at 19:28
  • +! because you're so right. Wish I could +eleventy hundred!
    – goblinbox
    Commented Jul 19, 2010 at 19:31

First of all, I highly recommend you buy an Aeropress. I have no affiliation, I'm just a fabulously happy customer, and my french press is now gathering dust.

I haven't tried the cold-brewed methods above, but I if you don't want to do them, you are looking at a two step process with a french press:

1) Make ice coffee cubes: make some coffee, put it in ice cube trays, and freeze it.

2) For iced coffee, make coffee regularly, put a few oz of the hot fresh coffee in a cup, and fill up with coffee cubes.

This is probably the lowest-acid method I have done using only a french press.

  • I read LOTS of great things about the Aeropress on www.coffeegeek.com, and I bought one too. I think it is a great "coffee toy", and I use it to make both hot coffee and iced coffee. I can take the AeroPress and coffee with me to brew great coffee when I travel - no more hotel coffee woes.
    – Rick G
    Commented Aug 21, 2010 at 1:54

I always just take old coffee, add sugar then ice. Its just iced coffee, not rocket science.

  • Does the addition of ice water it down at all?
    – Rebekah
    Commented Jul 19, 2010 at 19:27
  • Leftover coffee, then cooled, does NOT make a good tasting 'iced coffee', in fact, it tastes horrible. Try the cold brew method, way better.
    – user10008
    Commented Apr 22, 2012 at 18:22
  • If your coffee is terrible, then yes, your leftover refrigerated coffee will also be terrible. But if your coffee is good, it's still good served cold with ice and milk and sugar!
    – goblinbox
    Commented May 18, 2015 at 22:20

There was a New York Times article from 2007 on cold-brewed iced coffee. I've used their method ever since it was published. Essentially, it is Dennis's version from above, but it makes a more concentrated brew that you can dilute with water or milk. I typically use about 3 parts concentrate to 1 part milk and sometimes stir in a Splenda packet.


  1. In a jar, stir together 1/3 cup ground coffee (medium-coarse grind is best) and 1 1/2 cups water. Cover and let rest at room temperature overnight or 12 hours.

  2. Strain twice through a coffee filter, a fine-mesh sieve [my preference] or a sieve lined with cheesecloth. In a tall glass filled with ice, mix equal parts coffee concentrate and water, or to taste. If desired, add milk.

Yield: Two drinks.

NOTE: To make hot coffee, dilute concentrate one-to-one with water and heat in the microwave.


Try using some additional flavoring syrups, such as vanilla or caramel.


If you don't want to cold-brew, you can make coffee as you normally would and refrigerate before using. This works better than adding ice cubes to hot coffee, since the melting ice dilutes the coffee.

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