How to Make Starbucks Iced Coffee at Home

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Are you a coffee lover who can’t get enough of Starbucks iced coffee but wants to enjoy it without leaving the comfort of your home? You’re in luck! This comprehensive guide will walk you through everything you need to know to make delicious Starbucks-style iced coffee at home. From choosing the right beans to mastering the brewing process, we’ve got you covered.

Why Make Starbucks Iced Coffee at Home?

Before we dive into the steps, let’s discuss why making Starbucks iced coffee at home is a fantastic idea:

  1. Cost-Effective: Frequent trips to Starbucks can add up quickly. Making your iced coffee at home is much cheaper.
  2. Customization: When you make coffee at home, you can customize it to your exact taste preferences.
  3. Convenience: Enjoying your favorite iced coffee without leaving your house is a luxury worth having.
  4. Environmental Impact: Reduce waste by using reusable cups and avoiding single-use plastics.

Essential Ingredients and Equipment

To get started, you’ll need a few essential ingredients and pieces of equipment:


  • High-Quality Coffee Beans: Starbucks uses medium roast beans, so aim for something similar.
  • Filtered Water: Quality water can make a big difference in the taste of your coffee.
  • Ice: Essential for a refreshing iced coffee.
  • Milk or Creamer: Optional, for those who prefer a creamier texture.
  • Sweeteners: Simple syrup, sugar, or flavored syrups to sweeten your drink.


  • Coffee Grinder: If you’re using whole beans, a grinder is essential.
  • Coffee Maker: A drip coffee maker, French press, or cold brew maker all work well.
  • Pitcher: For storing your brewed coffee in the refrigerator.
  • Glass or Tumbler: For serving your iced coffee.
  • Reusable Straws: Optional, but eco-friendly and convenient.

Step-by-Step Guide to Making Starbucks Iced Coffee

1. Choose Your Coffee Beans

The quality of your coffee beans plays a significant role in the final taste. For a Starbucks-style iced coffee, aim for a medium roast with balanced flavors. Starbucks uses their Pike Place Roast for their iced coffee, so you might want to try something similar.

Tip: If you’re unsure which beans to buy, ask your local coffee shop for recommendations or look for beans labeled specifically for iced coffee.

2. Grind Your Coffee Beans

If you’re using whole beans, you’ll need to grind them. For iced coffee, a medium-coarse grind works best. This grind size allows for optimal extraction, resulting in a well-balanced flavor.

Tip: Invest in a good quality grinder to ensure consistent grind size, which is crucial for flavor extraction.

3. Brew Your Coffee

There are several methods to brew coffee for iced coffee. Here are the two most popular methods:

Method 1: Drip Coffee Maker

  1. Measure Your Coffee and Water: For a standard brew, use about 1 to 1.5 tablespoons of ground coffee per 6 ounces of water.
  2. Brew the Coffee: Follow your coffee maker’s instructions for brewing.
  3. Cool the Coffee: Once brewed, let the coffee cool to room temperature before transferring it to the refrigerator to chill.

Method 2: Cold Brew

  1. Combine Coffee and Water: In a large pitcher, combine coarsely ground coffee with cold, filtered water. Use a ratio of 1 cup of coffee to 4 cups of water.
  2. Steep: Cover the pitcher and let it steep in the refrigerator for 12-24 hours.
  3. Strain: Use a fine-mesh sieve or coffee filter to strain the grounds from the liquid. Store the cold brew concentrate in the refrigerator.

Tip: Cold brew coffee is concentrated, so you may want to dilute it with water or milk when serving.

4. Prepare Your Glass

Fill your glass or tumbler with ice cubes. Using large ice cubes will keep your coffee cold without diluting it too quickly.

Tip: For an extra touch, use coffee ice cubes made from leftover coffee.

5. Pour the Coffee

Pour your chilled coffee over the ice. If you brewed hot coffee, ensure it’s completely chilled before pouring it over ice to prevent it from becoming watered down.

6. Customize Your Drink

This is where you can get creative! Customize your iced coffee to your liking:

  • Milk or Creamer: Add a splash of milk, almond milk, coconut milk, or any creamer of your choice.
  • Sweeteners: Stir in simple syrup, sugar, or flavored syrups like vanilla, caramel, or hazelnut.
  • Toppings: Top with whipped cream, a drizzle of caramel, or a sprinkle of cinnamon for an added treat.

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7. Enjoy!

Give your iced coffee a good stir, pop in a reusable straw, and enjoy your homemade Starbucks iced coffee.

Tips and Tricks for Perfect Iced Coffee

  • Experiment with Ratios: Adjust the coffee-to-water ratio to find your perfect strength and flavor.
  • Freshness Matters: Use freshly ground coffee beans and filtered water for the best taste.
  • Batch Brew: Make a large batch of coffee and store it in the refrigerator for quick and easy iced coffee throughout the week.
  • Keep It Cool: Use a thermal tumbler to keep your iced coffee cold for longer.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

1. What type of coffee beans should I use for iced coffee?

For a Starbucks-style iced coffee, use medium roast coffee beans. Look for beans with balanced flavors and low acidity.

2. Can I use instant coffee for iced coffee?

Yes, you can use instant coffee, but the flavor may not be as rich as using freshly brewed coffee. Dissolve the instant coffee in hot water, let it cool, and then proceed with the recipe.

3. How long can I store brewed coffee in the refrigerator?

Brewed coffee can be stored in the refrigerator for up to a week. Cold brew concentrate can last even longer, up to two weeks.

4. Can I make iced coffee without a coffee maker?

Yes, you can make iced coffee without a coffee maker. Use a French press or try the cold brew method, which requires only a pitcher and a fine-mesh sieve.

5. What are some flavor variations I can try?

Get creative with flavorings! Try adding vanilla extract, almond extract, or flavored syrups. You can also experiment with different types of milk or creamers.


Making Starbucks iced coffee at home is easier than you think! With the right ingredients, equipment, and a little know-how, you can enjoy a refreshing and delicious iced coffee whenever you want. Plus, it’s a cost-effective and customizable way to enjoy your favorite coffee drink. So grab your coffee beans, start brewing, and savor the satisfaction of a homemade Starbucks-style iced coffee. Cheers!