iced coffee

iced_coffee_2There are few things in this world that I enjoy more than coffee.  The smell, the feel, the taste, the smell (seriously, we all know it’s about the smell more than anything else).  Most of the time I prefer a hot cup of coffee but if we are traveling and it’s steamy outside I go for iced.  It’s always so creamy, smooth and luscious – how on earth do they do that?  In the last 10 years I have haphazardly tried to make my own iced version which could only be described as watered down and boring.  I naively thought one would simply brew their regular coffee, allow it to come to room temp and then pour it in a glass filled with ice.  I could not have been more wrong if I tried.  Thank goodness for Pinterest, The Pioneer Woman and this blog because if it weren’t for those three things I may not ever know the pure bliss of having luxurious iced coffee in the comfort of my own home.

iced_coffee_5We are a french press household which means we purchase our beans whole.  This recipe calls for ground so I decided to purchase a bag instead of torturing my dog with the unending hum of the coffee grinder (he is also scared of the vacuum, which I don’t use often to spare him of course).

iced_coffee_6You’ll need a large container with a lid to hold your delicious brew.  I’d be lying if I didn’t say I sniffed the jar repeatedly before closing the lid.  (Just one more hit.  And another.  This is the last one, I swear.)

iced_coffee_4The original recipe calls for cheesecloth.  Trying to find cheesecloth at Walmart is basically like trying to find an ice cube on the surface of the sun.  I am sure a true coffee snob would turn up their nose at my alternative of the coffee filter but it did the job and my coffee tasted fantastic.

iced_coffee_7Unfortunately you have to wait at least 8 hours to take your first sip of iced heaven.  This gives you plenty of time though to decide on your favorite glass, ice, creamer and/or sweetener.  When filling your glass do not forget to leave room for the yummy extras (you know, the other half of the reason iced coffee is so very good).

iced_coffee_3When it comes to creamer I rarely sway from plain old half & half.  The way it cascades down the ice cubes like a volcano slowly oozing rich deliciousness is mesmerizing.  What hot coffee has in the warm feel of holding it, iced coffee has in special effects.

iced_coffee_1And then I did this.  And smiled.  A lot.  Ree suggests something I have never put in coffee before – sweetened condensed milk (insert guilt here).  If there was a law against eating sinful things I would be in a jail cell as we speak.  I’d be grinning with satisfaction but I’d be in there for sure.  The coffee with just the half & half was incredibly good but this sent it to an entirely new level of velvety, not too sweet, icy perfection.  It’s a must try.

iced coffee
Cook time
Total time
  • 1¼ Cup Ground Coffee (good, Rich Roast)
  • 2 quarts Cold Water
  • Half-and-half (healthy Splash Per Serving)
  • Sweetened Condensed Milk (2-3 Tablespoons Per Serving)
  1. In a large container (with an airtight lid), mix ground coffee with water. Stir mixture well to make sure all grounds have made contact with water. Cover and allow to sit at room temperature eight hours or overnight.
  2. Line a fine mesh strainer with a coffee filter and set over a pitcher or other container that has an airtight lid. Pour coffee/water mixture through the strainer, allowing all liquid to run through. Use back of spoon to aid in squeezing at every last drop of liquid. Discard grounds.
  3. Place coffee liquid in the fridge and allow to cool. Use as needed (brew will keep in the fridge for at least 2 weeks, some say longer).
  4. To make iced coffee, pack a glass full of ice cubes. Fill glass ⅔ full with coffee liquid. Add healthy splash of half-and-half. Add 2-3 tablespoons sweetened condensed milk and stir to combine. Taste and adjust half-and-half and/or sweetened condensed milk as needed.
Can Use Skim Milk, 2% Milk, Whole Milk, Sugar, Artificial Sweeteners, Syrups - whatever you enjoy in your coffee!

recipe from the pioneer woman

Cheers to the weekend, iced coffee and sinful sweeteners!


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31 Responses to iced coffee

  1. Libby says:

    Holy YUM! I have to say that this was a love/hate post for me. It left me drooling because I love coffee! But I am currently on the cleanse….so no coffee for another 5 days! But I’ll be sure to try this as soon as I’m finished!

    • prettyplainjanes says:

      Thanks Libby! Hope you have a batch waiting for you post cleanse. And good for you for doing the cleanse – it is a nice pick me up in a totally different way. 😉 – brandy j

  2. Renee says:

    Oh…my…gosh! Sounds yummy! Thanks for posting….

  3. Cindy Amweg says:

    Oh holy cow! I am an iced coffee fan since watching my mom make it when I was young, but this is over the top! I don’t usually sweeten but I think in this case I could make an exception 🙂

    • prettyplainjanes says:

      Hi Cindy! I do not usually sweeten mine either but just a bit of the sweetened condensed milk makes it so smooth and perfect. Absolutely love it! – brandy j

  4. Katie says:

    There’s nothing like creamy iced coffee on a hot summer day!

  5. JIll says:

    Oh my!! I am going to try this. I think I will make mine tonight in the french press & have iced coffee tomorrow. I have half & half (a rarity) on hand right now. Can’t wait 🙂

  6. Linda says:

    I absolutely LOVE iced coffee. And since we always have something left in the percolator I pour that over ice!! I bring it on the bus with me to work. I could very happily live on iced coffee for the entire summer!! It’s so easy to make too and you can make it the way you want!

    • prettyplainjanes says:

      Hi Linda! I am with you on living on it during the summer! So yummy and refreshing. Thanks for stopping in to check mine out! 🙂 – brandy j

  7. Heather says:

    Oh my goodness. The way you described it and the pictures had me hooked! I can’t wait to try this! I may have to workout a little extra, but it will be worth it!

    • prettyplainjanes says:

      Hi Heather! Totally worth the extra workout minutes. Trust me! 😉 – brandy j

  8. Danielle says:

    This absolutely sounds worth the wait! And you’re so right…sweetened condensed milk in coffee is a heavenly guilty pleasure!! I use canned, whole organic coconut milk in mine which is also a guilty pleasure! Is there anything Ree can’t do??

  9. Pam S says:

    I get cheesecloth 10 yards at a time from a seller on Amazon at a really good price. I make this all the time and have for at least 3 years. I like to cold brew in the fridge. I use milk to avoid extra calories, but you have me thinking I should treat myself to half and half every now and then.

  10. Barbara says:

    If you freeze some of the coffee in ice cube trays, your coffee won’t get diluted. I can’t wait to try the sweetened condensed milk. Genius!

  11. LeAnn Brown says:

    This is exactly how I make my iced all the way down to straining it with a coffee filter and mesh strainer (like you did) to the sweet condensed milk! Yummy! 😛 I add chocolate syrup tho cause I like mine to be Mocha flavored! 🙂

  12. Jenni says:

    wow lovely website you have here! The pictures are great! Thanks for this recipe, I’ll be sure to make it asap!

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  14. jeannette says:

    I use Pioneer Woman’s recipe too, which is awesome. I was reading a few other recipes, and one suggested mixing a can of the sweetened condensed milk with a can of evaporated milk and using that as the creamer. I tried it, and I’ll never go back to plain old half and half. Unless I gain 20 or 30 lbs, then maybe…

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  19. ariel says:

    ohmygoodness thank you for making this blog entry. my coffee is now steeping in the water and i’m so excited to make my iced coffee tomorrow! i’ve been addicted to iced capps from tim hortons and i wanted to try something different, cheap and homemade…. then I found this! not only you’re making me save money but you made a happy person!

    i’m thinking of adding chocolate soy milk with a little bit of 2% milk instead of half-and-half =)

  20. Lola says:

    Hi ! Oh my god, thank you for the recipe ! But I have a question : where did you found this kind of “glass” you use ( the big glass or jar ) or what is the name of this “glass” ( sorry if I had make mistakes, I am not English ^^” )

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