Everybody knows that a watered down iced coffee is the farthest thing from refreshing on a warm, sunny day. Rather than pushing the iced coffee aside and settling for a steaming cup of joe, use your leftover brew for frozen coffee cubes. Liven them up with added flavorings, milk, and sugar, and your next iced java is sure to be bold, full of flavor, and extra chilly.
favored iced coffee cubes

You want to know what’s awesome and delicious? A refreshing, crisp iced coffee on hot day. You want to know what’s not awesome and not delicious? A watered down, meh iced coffee on a hot day. As we move into the warmer months, there still remains a large portion of the java-drinking population that prefers to keep on keeping on with their hot coffee, and to me, this is infuriating. A steaming cup of joe is the last thing anybody should be drinking if it is above 70°. The only justifiable reason to avoid drinking iced coffee when it’s warm and sunny outside is because you’re trying to avoid the inevitable watered-down iced coffee. This, my friends, is where I introduce you to the coffee ice cube.

Not only does this genius trick allow you to put the leftover coffee from your morning pot to good use, but it takes your homemade iced coffees to the NEXT LEVEL (all caps!). Say goodbye to that unattractive, mucky layer of watery coffee that forms from your ice melting too quickly and say hello to a uniformly bold iced beverage that you can enjoy at a leisurely pace. Stop playing “Beat the Clock” to slurp your coffee down before it becomes watery and tasteless. Instead, savor every last sip, while your coffee cubes bath in a creamy vessel of caffeinated delightfulness, as they slowly become one with the java around it.

Muddled Mint Iced Coffee
Credit: Sara Tane

Sara Tane

Okay, so here’s how the magic happens:

1. Put your cooled coffee into a large measuring cup. Use whatever coffee you’ve got lying around. Whether it’s leftover or a fresh brew, both will work just fine.

2. Add your dairy or alternative milk of choice, if you so desire. A good rule of thumb for this addition is to keep your mixture at an 8:1 coffee to milk ratio. Remember, we want these babies to be ultra-sturdy and frozen after they’ve sat in the freezer for a couple of hours, and too much milk is going to prevent that from happening. As long as you err on the side of caution, and your coffee mixture is a medium-pale brownish color, you should be juuuuust fine. Remember, you can always add more milk to your actual beverage, these cubes aren’t your only source of cream—just a little creamy boost.

3. You also have the option to mix in sugar or a simple syrup to the cube; however it’s just as well to sweeten your coffee drink when you’re making it.

Okay, here’s the really fun part. By taking this aspect of your coffee-consuming life into your own hands, you’re also giving yourself some additional creative liberties when it comes to constructing your drink. Once your mixture is divided among ice trays, customize the flavor of your cubes. You can add torn mint leaves, a sprinkle of cayenne, a dash of cinnamon, or a splash of coffee liqueur (go easy now, killer, we still want these to freeze) to some of the cubes for an extra punch of flavor. Or, before the mixture hits the trays, go ahead and whisk in some cocoa powder for a rich, chocolatey mocha cube. Now go forth—your coffee destiny awaits you! The rest is still unwritten!

By Sara Tane and Sara Tane