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Three iced coffee recipes to keep you cool this summer

Tackle the heatwave with our refreshing recipe ideas for a chilled caffeine fix

Summer is here to stay, and if you’ve spent yet another night tossing and turning due to the heat, you’ll probably need a cup of coffee to keep you going once that hazy afternoon stupor sets in. 

But do you really want to drink a steaming mug of the brown stuff in this weather? Instead, try making your own iced coffee drinks for a refreshing caffeine hit. We’ve found three cool brews you can make at home that will rival the creations at your local coffee shop – and they will be cheaper, too.

Watch our quick video guide to making iced coffees below, or read on for the full recipes and variations to try. You can use either instant coffee or espresso from your coffee machine for all three recipes.

Three ways to make iced coffee

Need a new coffee machine? Check our independent coffee machine reviews to find the best.

Here’s the full list of ingredients and things you’ll need to make the recipes shown in the video, plus tips and flavour variations to try:

1. Basic iced coffee

This easy treat takes only moments and is a great way to get your caffeine fix without breaking a sweat.

What you’ll need:

  • Ice cubes
  • A shot of espresso (or instant coffee – see ‘Try these hacks’)
  • Milk

Method:

  1. Make an espresso, if you want to add sugar or sweetener do it while the espresso is still hot
  2. Chill the espresso in the fridge or freezer. If you can’t wait for it to cool then you can get away with using it hot.
  3. Fill a glass with ice.
  4. Pour in milk or a substitute such as almond or soya milk.
  5. Top with espresso, stir and enjoy.

Try these hacks:

  • Use coffee ice cubes instead of plain ones. This prevents your drink from becoming too diluted when the ice melts. To do this, make an Americano, fill up your ice cube tray and freeze it. 
  • Use instant coffee made up with a couple of tablespoons of cold water if you don’t have an espresso machine.
  • If you have a Nespresso machine, you could try the brand’s limited-edition Iced Coffee capsules. Nespresso says the Intenso and Leggero iced pods are specifically designed to taste good with ice. You can use the Nespresso Aeroccino frother to froth cold milk to add to the mix too.

Need help? Find out how to make an espresso, Americano and more with our video guide.


2. Greek frappé

The story goes that this popular foamy iced coffee drink was invented accidentally by a Nescafé representative in Greece in the 1950s when trying to make a quick coffee for himself on a busy afternoon.

It has since become a classic outdoor refreshment for those trying to keep cool on baking Mediterranean afternoons. Traditionally it’s made with instant coffee, but you can substitute this for a shot of espresso.

What you’ll need:

  • 1 tsp instant coffee and 3 tbsp water (or an espresso)
  • 1 tsp sugar
  • Ice
  • Milk and/or water
  • Jar with tight fitting lid or a shaker

Method:

  1. Shake the coffee and sugar mixture vigorously in the jar or shaker.
  2. Fill a tall glass with ice and pour the mixture in.
  3. Top up with water and milk to taste. 

To make the truly frothy-topped Greek version, opt for instant coffee. Frappés made with espresso will fall flat faster as the oils in the coffee disperse the bubbles more quickly.

The more you shake it, the better your foamy top will be, so it depends how energetic you’re feeling.

Try these hacks:

  • We’ve spotted some variations including adding cola in the mix, or ice cream, to make a sweeter drink.
  • You can also use evaporated milk instead of fresh, or a milk substitute such as almond milk.

Up your coffee game with our guide to useful coffee-making gadgets.


3. Blended iced coffee

Recreate your favourite coffee-shop iced drink creations at home for an indulgent and satisfying pick-me-up. You’ll need a blender that can crush ice for this one.

What you’ll need:

  • 1-2 espressos/instant coffee
  • Handful of ice cubes/coffee ice cubes
  • Cup of milk
  • Chocolate or toffee sauce (optional)
  • Blender

Method:

  1. Add the espresso, ice, milk and, if you like, a drizzle of chocolate or caramel sauce, to a blender.
  2. Blend until smooth and enjoy.
  3. For pure indulgence, pour more sauce down the sides of a tall glass, add the blended coffee and top with whipped cream.

Try these hacks:

  • You can add some hot chocolate powder to your coffee mix or a flavoured syrup for a twist on the original.
  • Add a dash of coffee liqueur for a evening upgrade.
  • If you like a chai latte, try this blended with ice and milk for a summery alternative.

Remember to check whether your blender can handle ice cubes first, as not all blenders can. If not, and you’re keen to make regular icy treats, check out our ice-crushing blender reviews.

Choosing the best coffee machine for you

Whether you like if hot or cold, if you’ve developed a taste for a nice strong espresso, or the milky embrace of a smooth latte, a coffee machine can help you recreate these coffee-shop staples at home.

There are three main types to choose from:

  • Capsule coffee machine – eg Nespresso or Tassimo machines. These use coffee pods to make quick and effortless espressos. Some come with milk frothers or milk pods for making milky drinks, too.
  • Ground coffee machine – these traditional machines require you to measure out and prepare the ground coffee before making your espresso. They come with either steam pipes for manual milk frothing, or automatic frothers.
  • Bean-to-cup coffee machine – these machines grind whole beans on demand for a fresh brewing experience. Again, there are versions with manual or automatic milk frothing.

What type you choose depends on how hands off you want your coffee-making experience to be, the type of coffee you like and how much you want to spend. For advice on choosing the right machine for your lifestyle and budget, check our full coffee machine buying guide.

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