How to make the best iced coffee at home

I love iced coffee. Here’s how I make it at home.

As someone who isn’t really a fan of hot drinks, discovering iced coffee was a game changer. It’s refreshing yet energising, and the perfect drink for warmer weather. However, it’s not the easiest thing to make at home.

Not living in close proximity to a coffee shop means I’ve tried loads of different methods over the years: instant coffee with ice, Moka coffee refrigerated, whatever. But the coffee never quite matched what I could buy in Costa – or, better still, what I could find in the odd independent cafe that actually serve iced coffee.

Living just minutes away from Costa Coffee at the end of 2019 meant I could finally bask in daily iced coffee glory – but it also meant that I was spending a pretty penny on getting caffeinated.

Reflecting on my spending between October to December in January 2020 – new year, new me! – I realised that a large chunk of my food budget was actually being spent on coffee. So, in an effort to make a change, I started researching how I could make Costa-level coffee at home.

I went into Costa and watched with a beady eye how they were making my iced coffee: A double shot of a espresso shaken with ice, and milk. Simple. But how do I make double espresso at home? I had no idea. But, having received an Amazon voucher for Christmas and looking for something substantial to spend it on, I was willing to invest in a solution.

The best (read: easiest) solution I could find online directed me to coffee pod machines. Coffee pod machines have been around for a few years now, and a lot of people have them. I didn’t realise until now, but Tassimo machines have been around since 2004, and Nespresso filed to patent their capsule system in 1994. So they’ve existed long enough to find reviews online regarding how good they are.

After some research, I discovered that Nespresso sell double espresso pods. Their pods are also recyclable. Perfect. Voucher in hand, I took to Amazon.


Here’s the machine I bought. I got it from Amazon because of my voucher, but the prices do fluctuate a lot so it’s worth keeping an eye on it if Amazon is the route you’d like to go down. Alternatively, going directly through Nespresso, you can find some good prices, and they often have capsule deals when you buy a machine directly through them. If there’s anything I’d recommend most, it’s research your options.

Also, browse the colour options! White is currently the cheapest option, as it was when I purchased my machine, but I have seen red be the cheapest before. Black is pretty consistently more expensive, I assume because it’s a bit more of a versatile colour. If you’re not too fussed about matching your machine to your kitchen, I’d pick (and I did pick) the cheapest option.

So, I got my coffee machine and I was delighted.

Here she is in all her glory! When I brought my coffee machine home with me from university, I noticed that it does actually match our microwave and kettle.

And I finally figured out how to make the best iced coffee at home.

Here’s how I do it.

Forewarning: This is how I make iced coffee with a Nespresso Vertuo machine. However, the method can be used for any other machine that makes espresso coffees.

First, I grab a glass. I choose to use a 1/2 pint glass, which is the equivalent to about 285 ml.

I add 3 ice cubes. This is enough ice to make the coffee cold without leaving any ice behind. If you prefer your coffee a little icier, add more! I know at Costa they add lots of ice – most of the cup is actually ice. It really depends on your preference. However, adding more ice does make the end of the coffee much more watery.

I used flash so you could see the little capsule hole but I realise now that this was a bad idea. This photo is so ugly.

I load up my pod. I use Nespresso’s Double Espresso Scuro pods. Nespresso Vertuo also make the Double Espresso Chiaro pod which is less strong but still makes a nice coffee. You can also use single espresso pods to make a smaller coffee and require less ice and milk – so adjust accordingly! Or you could use two single espressos to make a double.

Press go, and watch the coffee flow! It smells so good!

Next, taste!

I like vanilla lattes, so I use a coffee syrup. 2 pumps of Monin’s vanilla syrup is nice, 3 pumps makes the coffee richer and chocolately – perfect when I’m feeling a little more indulgent. Alternatively, you could use a different flavour syrup – Monin sells sugar free versions! – or add whatever sweetener you prefer to the coffee when it’s pouring.

And milk! I drink oat milk, and my favourite for coffee is Oatly Barrista.

Oat milk is a great alternative to cow’s milk for coffee as, in my opinion, it doesn’t change the taste as much as other dairy alternatives. But, with whichever milk you prefer, add to taste!

Pour, and mix!

And we’re done!


So that’s how I make the best iced coffee at home.

Stay tuned, because Nespresso have just released their iced coffee pods in the UK and of course I have to try them. I’ll be adding them to my next order…

Published by Liv

My name’s Liv, I’m 20 years old, and I’m currently studying English at Jesus College, University of Cambridge. I'm a journalist alongside this blog. Visit my home page or for more.

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