There’s nothing quite like an iced coffee on a hot summer’s day. It’s a great treat to order at your local café, but certainly not a cheap one. If you have a Keurig machine at home, you can make iced coffee on your own for just a fraction of the cost.
Read on for our easy guides.
WHAT YOU NEED
- Keurig coffee maker – any model
- 1 K-Cup pod
- Ice cubes or coffee cubes
- Milk or creamer
- Sweetener of your choice
- Mug or heatproof glass
Iced coffee is often served with milk and sweetener. You can try any brewing method to make an iced coffee. In this case, it’s a Keurig machine, but you could use a French press, pour over, or any espresso maker.
Which coffee should you use?
While you don’t need special coffee to make this drink, some K-Cups are explicitly designed for iced coffee, such as Green Mountain.
If you don’t have this brand, go for anything with a dark roast.
When food or drink is served cold, we don’t taste it, and when it’s served hot (1). The ice in the drink will also dilute the flavor as it melts so that a dark roasted coffee will make up for that. To add to this, Keurig coffee isn’t as strong a brew as other methods.
Hot water in a Keurig spends less time touching the grounds, so if you’re using a light roast, you might as well just buy water.
People might recommend dark roasted beans to get the most full-flavored iced coffee. But don’t let that put you off trying this recipe with your favorite K-Cups – even if they are a lighter roast.
While you can use any Keurig machine for the recipe we’ve included below, the K-Elite model does have an iced coffee function. Truth be told, there isn’t much difference in how this works, as the coffee is still brewed hot before being added to ice.
This function simply brews a stronger coffee with less water to counteract the dilution caused by the ice (2).
If you want to elevate your Keurig iced coffee to a truly full-flavored drink, try using coffee ice cubes instead of regular ice. This means that as the cubes melt, they add more coffee to your drink instead of water that would dilute the taste.
To make coffee ice cubes simply pour brewed coffee into an ice cube tray and freeze.
If you’re not planning to use them immediately, pop them out into a resealable freezer bag to maintain the flavor.
You can take things to the next level by making your coffee cubes from cold brew rather than regular coffee. If you don’t know how to make it, we also have a guide on cold brewING. You’re welcome.
Cold-brew coffee ice cubes are less likely to negatively affect the dairy in your drink.
This is particularly useful if you like your Keurig iced coffee with a healthy slug of milk. The lower acidity levels in cold brew coffee make it a better match with dairy products (3). The only downside to this is that you’ll have to allow time for both the brewing process as well as freezing.
So, How do you Make Iced Coffee with Keurig?
Making iced coffee with Keurig is nice and easy. You just have to keep a few things in mind. But if you follow these steps, you’ll have a delicious iced coffee at home in no time!
Step 1: Set up your machine and prep your cup
You don’t have to do anything different to your machine if you already set it up for regular coffee. Just make sure there is a K-Cup in the compartment, and there is enough water to brew.
Start with your favorite mug or glass. If you want to use a glass, make sure it’s heatproof, or it may shatter with the addition of hot coffee. Fill with ice cubes or coffee cubes, and you’re ready for the next step.
Pro tip: An alternative method is to use two cups or glasses. You can brew into a smaller cup, then pour the coffee into a tall glass that’s filled with your ice cubes. This allows you to serve in any glass that might not fit under your Keurig spout.
Step 2: Time to brew
When your machine shows that it’s ready to brew, push the button for the smallest cup size. Depending on the device, this will be anything from 4-8 oz. You might be tempted to select a bigger cup size to get more coffee, but this will only add extra water to the mix. If you want a stronger taste or use a taller glass, brew two shots instead of the smallest setting using two K-Cups.
Pro tip: If you decide to use shots of coffee, brew into a separate cup before adding to the ice. The time between brewing two shots would allow the ice to start melting.
Step 3: Add your cold milk and sugar
Here’s where you add that café touch for the perfect iced coffee. There are no hard and fast rules about what goes in here, whether you want regular old dairy milk or prefer vegan options such as almond milk. Or, of course, you can drink it black, likewise, with the sweetener. Sugar is a classic, but add agave or stevia if that’s what you prefer.
Step 4: Mix it up
Once you’ve perfected the basic Keurig iced coffee, it’s time to try out some variations. Add chocolate syrup instead of sweetener for an iced mocha coffee, or switch it up with caramel syrup. Foam some extra milk for the top to create an iced latte, or add a scoop of ice cream for an Australian take on the iced coffee.
If you have a Keurig at home, this recipe is a great way to get a little more out of your machine. You might not want to swap your daily brew for an iced mocha, but learning how to make a cup of iced coffee at home gives you the opportunity for the occasional sweet treat.
Try experimenting with different kinds of milk or sweeteners, or see if you can taste the difference between coffee types by drinking it black.
You can’t use Nespresso capsules in a Keurig. Compared to Nespresso capsules, K-Cups are larger and also a different shape. As well as this difficulty, there is also another extraction method involved, so the two are not interchangeable (4).
You should not use a K-Cup twice. While there is technically nothing to stop you, the coffee you get out of the second extraction will be weak and watery. If your reasons for wanting to do this are environmental ones, invest in a reusable K-Cup that you can fill with your grounds. The coffee will be fresher that way too.
To descale a Keurig, you need to add a bottle of descaling solution to the reservoir, then fill to the top with cold water. Run the brew cycle until the tank is empty, then leave to sit for 30 minutes. Finally, run the brew cycle ten times using clean water. For detailed instructions, check out our descale guide.
- Rao, N., & Fuller, M. (2018, October 30). Acidity and Antioxidant Activity of Cold Brew Coffee. Retrieved from https://www.nature.com/articles/s41598-018-34392-w
- Heller, L. (2005, December 19). Food temperature affects taste, reveal scientists. Retrieved from https://www.beveragedaily.com/Article/2005/12/19/Food-temperature-affects-taste-reveal-scientists
- Keurig® K-Elite® Single Serve Coffee Maker. (n.d.). Retrieved January 21, 2021, from https://www.keurig.com/Home-Coffee-Makers/p/K-Elite-Single-Serve-Coffee-Maker
- Campbell, J. (2020, May 18). Can You Use Espresso Capsules in a Keurig? (Yes, if you do this!). Retrieved from https://kitchenappliancehq.com/can-you-use-espresso-capsules-in-a-keurig/