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A chilly glass of ice cold coffee is a wonderful thing but what happens when that ice starts to melt? Well, if you’re anything like us, you’ll probably end up drinking some watered down coffee.
But thanks to these awesome coffee ice cubes, we no longer have to worry about this problem. All you need is some good quality coffee beans, water and an ice cube tray.
Now, how to make coffee ice cubes should be a no brainer so after briefly going over how to make them, we’ll look at different ways you can use them.
When Might You Need Coffee Ice Cubes?
How to Make Coffee Ice Cubes
1. Brew your regular strength coffee using whatever method you prefer. The amount of time you spend brewing your coffee will vary depend on whether you are making cold brew or hot brew coffee.
How much coffee you should make depends on how many ice cube trays you have available, and what their capacity is.
For a standard ice cube tray, the average capacity of a single well is 1 ounce (just shy of 30 ml if you prefer metric units). There are typically 12-16 wells. So, a 16 oz. cup of coffee would be the perfect amount to brew.
This can easily be accomplished using a pour over cone, or with a Keurig for hot brew, or by using a little over 2 cups of water when making cold brew.
2. Let the coffee cool completely in the fridge.
Unless you happen to have one of those stainless steel ice trays, you don’t want to melt your tray by pouring hot coffee into it.
Plus, from a food safety standpoint, it’s never a good idea to put something hot directly into the freezer as it can raise the temperature of the freezer briefly.
3. Pour the cooled coffee into an ice cube tray and pop it in the freezer until solid, usually 4-6 hours.
Can I use cold brew coffee to make ice cubes?
Absolutely! If you use cold brewed coffee, you can skip the cooling step since your coffee will already be cool enough to go straight to the freezer.
Cold brew coffee has less bitterness than hot brewed coffee, so I recommend using cold brew for ice cubes if cold brew is what you usually drink, and hot brewed coffee if you want these for iced coffee.
Not sure about the difference between cold brew and iced coffee? We explain it here.
Can I use any kind of coffee for ice cubes?
You can use any kind of coffee you’d normally enjoy. Coffee made from beans from different regions as well as different roasts will have different flavor profiles.
If you have a favorite coffee that you usually drink, you may want to use that same type of coffee for cubes.
Or be adventurous and mix and match your coffee. You may end up with a blend combination you like!
Ideas to add some pizazz to your cubes:
1. Add a sweetener to your coffee before cooling it.
Sugar doesn’t dissolve as readily in an icy beverage as it does in a hot one, so if you like a little sweetness in your coffee, dissolve sugar in your coffee while it is still hot, then cool and make cubes as usual.
Be sure to give your coffee a good stir before pouring it into trays just to make sure the sweetener is evenly distributed.
Calculate how much sweetener to add
- Write down how many ice cubes you will typically be using in a single drink
- Write down how much sugar you normally add to a single drink
- How many ice cubes does your tray make?
Here’s an example:
If I add 3 ice cubes to a glass of coffee, and I like 1 tsp. of sugar in my coffee I want to add 1 tsp. of sugar for every 3 cubes.
So, if my tray holds 12 cubes, I want to add 4 tsp. of sugar to 12 oz. of coffee before making my cubes. This is assuming each cube is about 1 oz. of coffee.
You can also use a simple syrup, or even a flavored coffee syrup to jazz things up even more.
2. Add milk or a creamer to your cubes.
If you like to add a little dairy (or non-dairy alternative) to your coffee, consider adding it to your coffee cubes.
The advantage of this is that freezing will prolong the life of your creamer (you should still use frozen dairy within 3 months). Dairy in the fridge only lasts about a week after opening.
The other advantage is coffee/milk cubes are also perfect for homemade frappes. With the addition of dairy, your cubes will freeze up a little less solid than coffee alone and blend up nicely.
3. Add coffee cubes to other drinks.
Add coffee cubes to lemonade or a glass of milk to create interesting and pretty drinks.
What’s the best ice cube tray to use?
The one you already have is just fine. If you have an ice maker in your fridge and need to purchase an iced cube tray, consider one with a silicone bottom that allows you to easily pop out one or two cubes at a time like this one:
Or an old fashioned stainless steel one with the lever that helps release the cubes like this one:
How should I store my ice cubes?
To keep your coffee cubes tasting their best, once frozen I recommend removing them from the tray and storing in a freezer bag or plastic freezer container with a lid.
Be sure to work quickly so they don’t start melting even a little, otherwise they will stick together when you put them back in the freezer.
You can also store them in the tray. If you do this, I recommend using an ice cube tray with a lid.
Making coffee ice cubes is the perfect thing to do with any leftover coffee you may have in your carafe. Every time you have a little extra, make a few more cubes.