You’ll never need to hit the drive-thru before work again.
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Credit: Photo by coryz via Getty Images

There’s something about warm weather that seems to provide an excuse to spend money on coffee. When it’s hot out, you definitely don’t want the totally free hot coffee from the office Keurig or the already paid for hot coffee from your kitchen. No, you’d rather wait in line and spend $5 on an refreshing iced coffee. And I don’t blame you.

I did that too, until I remembered an old trick my roommate from college used for delicious iced coffee every morning. Now I can roll out of bed, fill my to-go cup with perfectly brewed iced coffee, and hit the road on time. I save money and time, and still get to enjoy a caffeinated, refreshing morning beverage.

The key to making iced coffee in the comfort of your own kitchen is not brewing hot coffee and pouring it over ice, resulting in a watered down, lukewarm liquid. It’s also not freezing coffee into ice cubes and pouring hot coffee over those (though, that will yield somewhat better results). The secret to iced coffee is in your French press. Yes, the magical French press. My roommate had one in college, but I was eternally wed to my Keurig coffee machine and expensive K cups at the time. But once I snagged a French press of my own, I understood that using it to make iced coffee was everything I had ever hoped for.

The first step to perfectly brewed iced coffee is to buy coffee beans you love. Either ask your barista to grind the beans for a French press or coarsely grind them yourself. French press beans are typically ground coarser than the average pre-ground coffee you’ll find at the grocery store. This brews a better coffee, and you’ll avoid the risk of potentially damaging your French press with a too-fine grind.

Next, place two heaping tablespoons (or however much coffee you would typically use) into the French press. Then, pour about a cup of cool or room temperature water and give it a quick stir to incorporate the grinds into the water. Lastly, cover the French press with the lid, with the plunger up, and store the French press in your refrigerator overnight. If your fridge shelves aren’t tall enough to hold the French press with the plunger up (or your worried it may spill), you can always cover it with aluminum foil instead.

Now comes the glorious iced coffee reveal. When morning comes, fill your to-go mug, large glass, or coffee mug about two thirds full with ice (or your frozen coffee ice cubes, if you desire). Then, use the French press plunger to push down all of the coffee grinds and pour your deliciously clean iced coffee over the ice. Jazz it up however you like with cream and sugar, and you’re ready to hit the road with velvety smooth, absolutely energizing iced coffee.