For many people, coffee acts as a pick-me-up that you so desperately need at various points in your day. The rush of caffeine fills you with energy and there is often a comfort factor associated with drinking coffee. Coffee lovers typically reach for a couple of cups a day, but that doesn’t mean it always has to look and taste the same. Sometimes it’s fun to shake things up and try something different while still enjoying a coffee.
If you own a Keurig machine and you haven’t yet tried an iced coffee using your machine, you’re missing out. Keurig iced coffee is convenient, affordable, quick and easy. You can become an at-home barista and not have to worry about visiting an expensive coffee shop for iced coffee. And let’s point out that iced coffee isn’t just a summer beverage; it’s enjoyable all year round.
Here’s everything you need to know about how to make iced coffee with K cups.
Equipment/Items You Need to Get Started
Just like with any recipe, you must have all the ingredients or, in this case, tools and items on hand. The good news is that a Keurig iced coffee recipe only requires a few items, which is part of the beauty and convenience. Here’s what you’ll need:
- A K-cup (any flavour, decaf or regular)
- Cream or milk (this is optional, since you may prefer it black)
- Sweetener, if desired
- Large coffee mug
- Water in the machine
As you can see, it’s a very short list, and the only thing that changes is that you’re going to be using ice for an iced coffee.
Does Your Keurig Machine Have an Iced Coffee Setting?
Depending on the Keurig machine you have, it may also come with an iced coffee setting. Take a look at the display screen to look for a button that says “iced”. If you don’t see it, you can always refer to your user’s manual. Don’t have your manual anymore? Try searching online as you’d be amazed at how many manuals you can find.
The iced setting just makes the process a little more efficient but it’s not 100% necessary to have. So, if your model doesn’t have it, that doesn’t mean you’re out of luck.
Follow These Simple Steps
Now for the big question - how do you make iced coffee with a Keurig? The steps are so simple you’re going to wonder why you haven’t tried it sooner. So, let’s break them down.
- Make sure you have water in the Keurig machine reservoir
- Fill your cup full to the top with ice cubes (cubes work better than crushed ice)
- Place your K-cup in the machine
- Brew on your regular setting, or use the "iced" setting if applicable
- After brewing, you can add cream and/or sugar if desired
- Add more ice, as a lot will have melted while the coffee was brewing into the cup
- Give it a good stir and enjoy
As you can see it, isn’t much more work than a standard coffee from your Keurig, so it won’t add extra time to your routine.
Did You Know the Cup You Choose Will Have an Impact?
Here’s something you may not know, but the cup you choose for your iced coffee will have an impact on how much you enjoy it. Ideally, you want to use an oversized coffee cup that is insulated – reusable insulated cups with lids are perfect. The insulation will keep the beverage cold so that you can enjoy it from start to finish and not have to worry about the ice melting.
This is especially important when using your Keurig machine to make an iced coffee as it’s still going to be a little warm as it brews. The ice is what cools it down, so giving it a vessel that encourages a steady temperature will help.
You may want to have a couple of insulated mugs on-hand so you’ve always got a clean one ready to go. Be sure to read the cleaning instructions on your insulated mug, as many are hand wash only.
Shake Things Up with These Fun Mix-Ins
Once you have mastered the basics of how to make iced coffee with Keurig, why not shake things up a bit, and make the iced coffee a bit more interesting? Just like they do at coffee shops, you can start to play with additional ingredients.
Some ideas can include:
- Adding whipped cream to the top of the iced coffee
- Sprinkle cinnamon on the top, or pop a cinnamon stick in the iced coffee for a stronger flavour
- Add chocolate shavings on top (white, milk or dark)
- Sprinkle coconut flakes in the beverage
- Use flavoured syrups such as caramel, vanilla, maple, pumpkin, cinnamon dolce and so on
- Use a sauce (thicker than syrup) such as chocolate or caramel
- Use flavoured K-cups
- Use flavoured coffee cream
- After brewing the iced coffee, transfer it to a blender for a thick milkshake consistency
- Use crumbled biscuit on the top
Each of these mix-ins will change the flavour quite a bit, so it may take some experimenting before you find the perfect items for you. And because they take a little extra work, this probably isn’t ideal when you’re in a rush and trying to get out of the house.
How About a Spiked Iced Coffee?
This particular tip gets its own category thanks to the many pairings out there. If you're in the mood for a spiked iced coffee and want to add alcohol, you can try any of these. There's bound to be a new favourite for you on this list.
Alcohol to mix in can include:
- Bailey's Irish Cream
- Grand Marnier
- Chocolate liqueur
And this is just a small list as the options are unlimited. Coffee pairs beautifully with so many different alcohols, so you can be as creative and daring as you want. Spiked Keurig cold coffee could also be a great option to serve guests. It’s something unexpected, sophisticated, tasty and fun.
What If the Coffee Tastes Too Weak?
One complaint that people can sometimes have when making iced coffee with their Keurig machine is that it tastes too weak. Perhaps you don’t get a lot of that coffee flavour that you are craving. This can be because the ice waters it down, making it weaker. There are a couple of ways you can get around this and fix the problem. Here are some solutions you can try:
- Make a pot or a few cups of coffee and then pour it into an ice cube tray. Individual coffee iced cubes can then be added to your iced coffee to boost the flavour.
- If your Keurig machine has a "strong" setting, be sure to use it for iced coffee.
- Use a darker roast for your K-cup (dark roast or even espresso).
- Try brewing two small iced coffees, using separate K-cups, then pour them both into one large cup – it will be much stronger.
- Brew your coffee in advance, without ice, and then pop it in the fridge for at least a half-hour. At that point, it will have cooled down significantly. You can then take it out and add ice. This means less ice will melt in the coffee, which means it will be less watered down.
Again, there will be some trial and error here so that you can get the exact right taste. As mentioned above, the cup you choose can also make an impact as a stainless-steel insulated mug is going to do a much better job at keeping a consistent temperature, so less ice will melt.
When Is the Best Time to Enjoy Iced Coffee?
As for when the best time to enjoy iced coffee is, the answer is simple – anytime. If you’re in the mood for a coffee, then iced coffee could be an option. Of course, with that said, there are some instances where this beverage can be an especially good choice. These include:
- On a hot summer morning - start the day with an iced beverage
- After a long walk and you want something refreshing that will fill you with energy
- Enjoying your back garden with friends and you want to serve them something more sophisticated than a typical cup of coffee
- While browsing through shops and you don’t want to be carrying a hot beverage
- To take with you on the go in the mornings
There are no rules when it comes to iced coffee and when you should and shouldn’t drink it. And don’t forget, if you’re craving one in the evening but don’t want to risk the caffeine keeping you away, just use a decaf K-cup instead. The taste will be the same, and you’ll still satisfy that craving but you don’t have to worry about the caffeine.
Iced Coffee in the Keurig Couldn’t Be Simpler
So, when it comes to the question of "how to make good iced coffee with a Keurig", all of these tips and advice should answer any of the questions you had. It’s no more laborious than making a regular cup of coffee in the Keurig; it’s just a matter of adding ice, using the right cup and then you are free to experiment from there.