How To Perfectly Craft Iced Coffee With Instant Coffee: An Easy Recipe

Chris Clark

Chris Clark is the co-founder and chief content editor of With a passion for all things java, Chris has been a coffee blogger for the past 3 years and shares his expertise in coffee brewing with the readers. He's a hands-on expert, loves testing coffee equipment, and has written most of the in-depth reviews featured on the site. When he's not whipping up delicious drinks or experimenting with the latest coffee gadgets, Chris is exploring the local cafe. You can reach him at [email protected].

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I get it; you’re a coffee enthusiast, always searching for the perfect brew. But sometimes, you want something quick, refreshing, and utterly delicious. What if I told you you could achieve the perfect cup of iced coffee and a few other pantry staples? Trust me, this is going to be a game-changer.

The Simplicity and Appeal of Instant Iced Coffee

Instant iced coffee offers the ultimate in convenience and taste. Forget the long brewing times of cold brew coffee and the complicated setups of other machines like semi-automatic espresso machines or even the best fully automatic espresso machines.

With just a few minutes and simple ingredients, you can make a cold drink that rivals anything you can get at your local coffee shop. Iced instant coffee often tastes smoother than a typical cup of hot coffee, presenting myriad possibilities for your taste buds.

Things you need to make better iced coffee with instant coffee

Key Ingredients for the Perfect Brew

  • Instant Coffee: The key ingredient here is 1-2 tablespoons of instant coffee. Yes, ground coffee purists may balk at this, but when done right, instant coffee can yield a flavorful espresso shot in your iced coffee.
  • Cold Water: Use eight fluid ounces of cold water for an ultra-refreshing base.
  • Ice: A generous handful should do the trick, though you can adjust this handful to your taste preference.

Optional Ingredients:

  • Milk: This could be dairy or non-dairy milk like almond or oat. The milk system is all up to you!
  • Creamer: Add the rich, creamy texture and flavor that milk frothers often achieve. You can use a flavored creamer for additional taste complexity.
  • Sweetener: Anything from coffee syrup to maple syrup or brown sugar works here.
  • Hot Water: Yes, you read it right. You can use hot water to dissolve the instant coffee granules for a more concentrated brew. This mimics the espresso drinks you make with super-automatic espresso machines or other espresso makers.

Step-by-Step Guide To Making Instant Iced Coffee

Ready to plunge into the world of instant ice coffee? Let’s walk through the simple yet effective steps to craft a glass of deliciousness. Think of this as the simplified brewing process without needing a fancy super-automatic espresso maker or a manual steam wand.

Basic Recipe for Instant Iced Coffee

  1. Add Instant Coffee: Add 1 ½ tablespoons of instant coffee into a glass. No need for ground coffee or freshly ground coffee beans here; instant does the trick!
  2. Pour in Cold Water: Add ⅔ cup of cold water to the glass. Just fresh cold water will do.
  3. Stir It Up: Use a spoon to stir constantly for 1-2 minutes until the coffee granules are completely dissolved.
  4. Ice, Ice, Baby: Toss in a handful of ice to chill the drink.
  5. Creamer Time: Lastly, stir in your choice of creamer to taste. Unlike specialty coffee drinks that require a milk frothing system, you control the milk temperature and froth consistency here.

Perfecting Your Instant Iced Coffee Recipe

  • Flavored Creamers: You can experiment like a true coffee connoisseur. Swap out the regular creamer for something flavored like hazelnut or French vanilla. The options are endless.
  • Sweeteners: Make your drink as sweet as you’d like. Whether you prefer classic sugar, natural honey, or a modern sugar substitute, the choice is yours.
  • Toppings: Take a page from the latte art book and garnish your iced coffee. Whipped cream, chocolate shavings, or a dash of cinnamon can elevate your drink to coffee shop standards.

And there you have it! You’ve mastered the art of making instant iced coffee. Who needs a fully automatic espresso machine with a built-in grinder or an integrated milk frothing system when you can achieve a perfect cup with minimal equipment? Enjoy your delicious, refreshing iced coffee!

Variations To Enhance Your Coffee Experience

So, you’ve mastered the basic instant iced coffee. It’s time to elevate your coffee experience by playing with variations. Using instant espresso as a base, you can create specialty coffee drinks that could rival the creations of your local coffee shop. Here are the iced coffee recipes:

Instant Espresso

  1. Add Instant Coffee to Glass: Measure 1 ½ tablespoons of instant coffee into a glass.
  2. Pour in Hot Water: Add just 2 fl. oz of hot water to the glass.
  3. Stir: Give it a good stir until the coffee completely dissolves, creating instant espresso.

Previously I shared a recipe and tips for making espresso with instant coffee, check it out for more detailed instructions.


Iced Americano With Instant Coffee

  1. Mix With Cold Water: Pour the instant espresso into a mug. Add 6 fl. oz of cold water.
  2. Ice it Up: Add some ice cubes to chill the coffee.

This method’s beauty is similar to brewing a traditional iced Americano, minus the hassle of a semi-automatic espresso machine or the need for an espresso shot from an expensive super-automatic espresso machine.


Iced Latte

  1. Mix With Milk: Pour the instant espresso into a mug and add 8 fl. oz of chilled milk, whether dairy or non-dairy.
  2. Chill With Ice: Toss in some ice cubes to get the ideal milk temperature without using an automatic steam wand or milk system.

Iced Caramel Macchiato With Instant Coffee

  1. Prep Your Glass: Grab a tall glass to begin this coffee preparation.
  2. Caramel First: Drizzle about a tablespoon of caramel syrup at the bottom.
  3. Pour in Milk: Fill half the glass with chilled milk.
  4. Froth Away: Use a handheld milk frother to froth the milk until the coffee foam reaches 3/4 of the glass. Yes, a manual milk frother works just as well here!
  5. Add Ice: Toss in a handful of ice cubes if you like cold coffee.
  6. Pour the Espresso: Finally, pour the instant espresso into the frothed milk.

And voila! Admire the stunning layered look before adding a dollop of caramel cream as the cherry on top.

So there you have it! Instant coffee is a versatile base whether you’re looking for an iced Americano, a classic latte, or a luxurious caramel macchiato. It allows you to be your barista without needing the best fully automatic espresso machines or a built-in grinder. The possibilities are endless; your only limit is your creativity. Happy brewing!

Choose the Right Coffee and Ingredients 

Now that you know the different iced coffee variations, it’s time to find the right coffee and additional ingredients. 

Best Instant Coffee Brands for Iced Coffee 

Nescafé and Starbucks VIA are the two popular options for making iced coffee with instant coffee. 

When looking at these instant coffee brands, you should purchase a medium or a dark roast. These roasts have a more distinctive coffee flavor that doesn’t dull when combined with other ingredients. 

starbucks via instant coffee

Also, freeze-dried instant coffee is an option when learning how to make iced coffee with instant coffee. Freeze-dried instant coffee preserves the coffee aromas better than other instant coffee brands. In addition, it’s easier to dissolve in water when you’re ready to make iced coffee. 

Creamers and Sweeteners: Making the Right Choice 

Hundreds of creamers are available to add flavor to your iced coffee. Making the right choice involves choosing a flavor you enjoy. Also, many brands offer options like: 

  • Sugar-Free 
  • Lactose-Free 
  • Vegan 
  • Keto-Friendly 
  • Non-dairy creamers

In addition, you can add coffee syrups to embolden your desired flavors. 


Milk Option 

It’s important to use what you like in your instant iced coffee.

Half-and-half and whole milk are the two most popular milk options for iced instant coffee. However, you can use plant-based milk if that’s your preference. 

Additional Tips and Tricks

Your journey to the perfect cup of iced coffee continues beyond merely mixing ingredients. You can consider a few more nuances to elevate your coffee experience.

Adjusting Proportions for Taste

Ah, the beauty of homemade coffee: total control. You can tweak your brew to be as strong or light as possible. Whether adding more coffee for that extra kick or diluting it with water for a lighter feel, your perfect cup is just a few tweaks away. Remember, you’re the artist, and your coffee is the canvas.

The Role of Ice in Your Iced Coffee

Ice is more than a chilling agent; it’s an integral part of your coffee experience. If you’re not careful, melting ice can water down your drink, turning your delightful coffee into a diluted mess. 

One workaround is to use coffee ice cubes. This way, as the ice melts, your coffee stays flavorful and robust, making every sip a pleasure.

The Milk Texture

There’s something utterly satisfying about the creamy milk in a professionally made latte. A secret weapon in many coffee shops is the steam wand, used to froth milk to velvety perfection. 

But don’t worry if you don’t have one; a handheld milk frother can create a similar texture. Frothing your milk before adding it to your iced coffee can transform the mouthfeel entirely. A quick froth can take your homemade brew from good to gourmet in seconds.


Conclusion: Enjoying Your Refreshing Instant Iced Coffee

So there you have it—a complete guide on how to make iced coffee with instant coffee tailored just for you. From selecting the best brands to the nitty-gritty of creamers, milk options, and even the ice you use, every element has a role in crafting your perfect sip. 

With this knowledge, you may make every cup of iced coffee a little paradise. Cheers!

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Chris Clark

Chris Clark is the co-founder and chief content editor of With a passion for all things java, Chris has been a coffee blogger for the past 3 years and shares his expertise in coffee brewing with the readers. He's a hands-on expert, loves testing coffee equipment, and has written most of the in-depth reviews featured on the site. When he's not whipping up delicious drinks or experimenting with the latest coffee gadgets, Chris is exploring the local cafe.