Three ways to make iced lattes at home


On our recent trip to Chicago, I got a wee bit hooked on a daily iced latte from Starbucks every morning. However, once we got home, I came to the sad realization that we didn’t have a live-in barista and unless I wanted to start shelling out $5 a day on a more permanent basis for my chilly cuppa joe, I’d need to learn how to make it at home.

Luckily, the hubby is something of a coffee connoisseur.  We’d already been buying really great coffee–whole bean, organic, fair trade, locally roasted–in fact, it’s the same stuff all the independent local coffee stores are using, and we just buy it from the source.  Turns out if you start with a great product, making a fantastic drink does not require special barista training: there are three easy ways I’ve found to make an iced latte at home. Click “continue reading” to see more!

The first, and perhaps the most obvious, is to simply make coffee ice cubes with leftover drip coffee.  Freeze it overnight, and then the next day, use it to cool down your warm drip coffee without watering it down.  Add your preferred sweetener and some half and half, and bam, you’ve got yourself an iced latte.

(You may need to experiment with the amount of coffee ice vs. drip coffee for it to reach the right temp, but otherwise, this is pretty straightforward.)

The second method is perhaps the most work, but I think yields the most consistent results. For this, you use a grinder to create a very, very fine grind, then mix your grounds with hot water.  Allow the coffee mixture to steep, like you would hot tea, overnight in the fridge.  In the morning, run your water + grounds through the filter in your drip coffee machine, but without turning the machine on, and voila, in a few minutes you have the cold full-strength coffee to which you need add only half and half and sweetener.

Finally, the easiest method of all, is to simply buy concentrated cold-brew coffee.  In Austin, we have Chameleon Cold Brew, which you can purchase by the jug at Whole Foods or other local grocery stores. Store it in your fridge, add your fixins, and bam – you’ve got a delicious cold treat to start your day.

A couple final things: what’s the difference between iced coffee and an iced latte, you may ask?  Two main points: first, iced latte is concentrated or full-strength coffee, not coffee watered down by ice. Secondly, a traditional latte is part steamed milk – so an iced latte has milk in it as well.

And if, like me, you prefer your latte on the sweeter side, remember that sugar doesn’t melt as well in cold beverages, so you’re better off making yourself some simple syrup (in a saucepan, melt 1 cup sugar in 1 cup water, store in the fridge up to a month).

How do you like your coffee?  Tell me in the comments!

Header image photo credit: Flickr user kwl under a Creative Commons license.


  • Iced coffee is the only way I drink it. I like the concentrated coffee from trader joes, and like you, with lots of sugar!