The Secret To The Best At-Home Iced Coffee Is Almost Too Easy

Many Americans are dependent on coffee for their focus each morning. Even for those who aren't, coffee has become an aesthetic — it's common to scroll through TikTok and see beautiful iced coffee pours and cute coffee shops. However, money spent on coffee every day can quickly add up. The easiest way to save some cash is to make your brew yourself. However, it can be difficult to make your home coffee taste good, especially for those without an espresso machine.

One solution to good-tasting at-home coffee is cold brew, but it's not for everyone. First of all, it needs to brew overnight, taking anywhere from 10-20 hours. This can result in quite the pickle when you wake up on a hot morning and don't have any ready to go. Second, cold brew is more expensive to make because it requires double the number of coffee beans as a conventional cup of joe, which isn't ideal for anyone on a budget. Plus, cold brew simply tastes different – it's mellower and takes on less of the complexity of the coffee blend that's used. Those who prefer the flavor of hot-brewed coffee face a challenge when making iced coffee that tastes good and isn't too watered down. Luckily, there is a simple trick for making great-tasting iced coffee: simply shake it with ice.

For great tasting iced coffee, simply shake

The key to great-tasting iced coffee is to take a page out of Starbucks' book, and it's so simple to do at home. If you have access to an espresso machine, start by brewing the desired amount of espresso. For any other type of coffee maker, use the normal amount of grounds for the total amount of coffee you're aiming for, but use less than half (around ⅖) the water. This will result in an extra-strong brew that won't over-dilute when added to ice. America's Test Kitchen recommends combining the coffee with ice and your milk of choice in a cocktail shaker, then shaking it until it feels cool on the outside. After that, strain the coffee into a cup with ice. Shaking the coffee aerates it and makes it froth up, resulting in a delightfully textured and aesthetically pleasing cup.

If you don't have a cocktail shaker, you can easily use any other container with a tight-fitting lid, such as a mason jar. In addition, this method can easily be adapted with whatever add-ins you'd like. Try it with simple syrup, sweetened condensed milk, cinnamon, caramel, or any other flavors you like by adding them to your container before shaking it up.

Origins of shaken iced coffee

Italy is well-known for many of its coffee creations and traditions. Therefore, it shouldn't be too surprising that we have Italians to thank for shaken iced coffee. The concept of shaking coffee with ice originated in Italy with a drink known as the shakerato. The reason cold coffee is prepared by shaking rather than pouring over ice is because of a widely held belief in the country that consuming ice in drinks causes digestive problems. Therefore, traditional shakeratos are poured into an empty glass after they are strained, rather than adding fresh ice.

The shaken method is a quick way to get frothy and great-tasting iced coffee that isn't diluted, whether you reserve it for the summer months or drink iced coffee year-round. Next time you crave iced coffee (or want a picture or video for social media — no judgment!), grab your favorite add-ins and try this trick for easy iced coffee with minimal equipment.