Skip To Content

    The (Really Good) Iced Coffee Recipe That's Fueled Me All Through Quarantine

    Tried and true.

    Coffee! I need to consume it daily. ☕️

    Drinking iced coffee year-round
    Adam Ellis / BuzzFeed

    And if you're reading this, chances are you probably do too.

    In pre-pandemic times, I'd grab an iced coffee every morning before hopping on the train for work — then re-up at the office again later in the day.

    Living in Brooklyn, I'm lucky in that my neighborhood is packed with cafés and coffee shops — most of which serve really good coffee. Because of this, I never felt the need to purchase a coffee maker for my apartment.

    But then quarantine hit.

    HBO

    And the reality of not being able to pop across the street to grab a cup to help kick-start the day hit even harder.

    So I quickly hit up Google and started searching for two things: 1) my favorite coffee brews that I’ve tasted over the years and 2) a solid percolator.

    my body: WATER please I need it me: you - you want iced coffee??

    Twitter: @lainekchapman

    Brews: I ordered a few and prepared for a bit of trial and error. But I didn’t even make it beyond the first round — with Cafe Du Monde's Coffee and Chicory ($7 on Amazon) — before I found my new at-home fave. The chicory adds a smooth, creamy texture to the rich, chocolaty base, and it makes for an amazing cup of coffee, cold or hot.

    For percolators, I landed on one similar to this Hamilton Beach version, which had good reviews, a decent price point, and a sleek design that went with the rest of my kitchen.

    After some tinkering, I landed on a recipe that I've been drinking each morning for the last several months — and I wanted to share it!

    Because in ~these times~ when we're all looking for little ways to make our at-home lives a bit easier, cheaper, or better in some way — I'm happy to say that my new coffee routine has done all of the above for me. 😊

    Hulu

    Taste-wise, the DIY version beats what I was picking up in my neighborhood. It's velvety, chocolaty, creamy — it feeds my soul, tbh.

    And cost-wise, I'm saving a lot. Pre-quarantine, I was probably dropping $30 or $40 a week to cover my morning transit coffee, plus any extra cups that I drank socially or on the weekends. Now, if I break down my cost per cup at home, I spend less than $1 per cup.

    Don’t get me wrong! I’ll still grab an iced coffee if and when some normalcy comes back. But in the meantime, of all the ways quarantine has made us rethink our daily routines or habits — this is one instance where I'm really glad it did.

    Now the recipe. ✨ Since the coffee needs time to chill, I'll actually make everything the night before — so it's all ready for me in the morning. Here's how:

    First I brew a full pot of extra-strong coffee. I’ll typically do 12 tablespoons (or ¾ cup) coffee to 10 cups water:

    Canister of Cafe Du Monde coffee and a Hamilton Beach coffee percolator
    Zoraya Smalley / BuzzFeed

    Again, I like my coffee really strong, but you can adjust the ratio as you see fit.

    While that’s going, I'll make vanilla simple syrup. I only need to do this once a week — but here's how, just to show:

    Sugar, water, and vanilla extract to make simple syrup.
    Zoraya Smalley / BuzzFeed

    Combine 1 cup sugar + 1 cup water + 2 or 3 tablespoons vanilla on the stove top. Bring it to simmer, whisking every now and then, until the sugar dissolves. Then turn off the heat and let cool.

    Once made, simple syrup will last up to a month in a sealed container in the fridge, and you can make bigger or smaller batches depending on what you want.

    If you've never made simple syrup before — do it! It's incredibly easy. Just water + sugar + any extra flavoring (if you want). The stove does all the hard work, and you can use the final product in coffee, cocktails, etc.

    After the coffee and syrup have cooled, I'll pour both into containers and refrigerate them overnight.

    I'll also save some coffee to make frozen coffee cubes. It's the best way to chill future drinks without watering them down. And caffeine cubes >>> ice cubes.

    Highly recommend.

    In the morning, everything's all set. Just need to pour in the coffee and cubes:

    Zoraya Smalley / BuzzFeed

    And any extras:

    Zoraya Smalley / BuzzFeed

    For me, that's usually almond milk and simple syrup.

    (PS: Of course there’s no Baileys or Kahlúa involved during the workweek, but since I snapped these over the weekend…everybody in the pool! 😉)

    Then just mix it up and start your day. Cheers!

    Zoraya Smalley / BuzzFeed

    What's something (big or small) that's made your at-home routine a bit easier, better, or cheaper in some way? Tell me in the comments!