We can all appreciate a refreshing iced coffee every now and again. Unfortunately, they can run you about $5 a pop at a coffee shop, which gets out of hand pretty quickly if this is your go-to. So is it possible to make iced coffee with a Keurig in the comfort of your own home? Yes! Stay tuned to find out how.
For Convenience’s Sake
Most people opt for a Keurig because their primary concern with coffee is speed and convenience. These machines, and other pod brewers like them essentially sacrifice some elements of quality brewing in exchange for these features and (sometimes) a lower price point than their higher end competitors.
We get it, sometimes you just need to get the job done. And the Keurig method can definitely handle this job with minimal hassle on your end. Plus, sometimes single serve machines can come in handy if your other options can only brew in larger batches.
However, just in case you are interested in getting a stronger or smoother brew, we are also going to include some alternative iced coffee methods at the end of this article.
How to Make Iced Coffee With a Keurig
What You Need:
- Any K-Cup* of your choice or My K-Cup Reusable Filter
- Thermos or glass**
- Ice or frozen coffee
- 2 tbsp Milk or other creamer (optional)
- 3 tsp sugar (optional)
* We recommend going for something dark, with intense, rich flavors, like Maud’s “Tall, Dark, and Handsome” Dark Roast. The ice will water down your drink over time, and if you adding milk, that will also dilute the coffee taste.
**If you are brewing directly over ice, do not use a glass cup. It may shatter due to the temperature difference between the ice and the fresh brew. Also, use a larger cup than you usually would for the brew size you use.
Let’s Brew It!
Set up the Machine
Prep for this method is pretty simple. All you need to do is turn on your Keurig, make sure you have enough water, and pop in your K-Cup or My K-Cup. If you are using the latter, you will need to put grounds into it before putting it into the machine.
Prep the Cup
There are two different variants for this bit. You can fill your cup with ice first and brew directly over it. Or, you can brew into one mug and put ice in a separate glass. Then, when it is done brewing, you would slowly pour the hot coffee over the ice.
We prefer the first method because as long as you use an appropriate sized glass, there is less chance of making a mess. Plus, you end up cleaning one cup instead of two. However, if this is your first time and you aren’t sure of how much ice to use or if your glass is going to cut it, go for the second method.
Once you’ve decided which cup method you want to use, go ahead and select your cup size and start the brew. This step is usually pretty quick, so you can go ahead and grab your milk or creamer of choice out of the fridge and putter around a bit while you wait.
Lastly, you will put the finishing touches on your Keurig Iced Coffee. That is, you are going to pour in some milk. We recommend using cold milk to help cool down your drink faster. This will also help prevent your ice from melting excessively fast.
Keurig Machine for Iced Coffee?
Now, you can use whatever Keurig machine you want. Seriously, iced coffee is so easy that you could use just about any brewing tool you want. However, Keurig does offer one machine that has an iced coffee brewing option, so we thought we should talk a little bit about it here. Meet the K-Elite.
Keurig K-Elite Single Serve
Keurig K-Elite Coffee Maker
The Keurig K-Elite brewer blends a premium finish and programmable features to deliver both modern design and the ultimate in beverage customization. With a striking brushed finish and metal details, it’s a stylish addition to any kitchen.
As we mentioned, this is the only Keurig machine with a dedicated “iced” button intended to brew a concentrated coffee over ice. Keurig advertises this feature as having the ability to create a stronger-than usual brew that will hold up to the dilution caused by icing your beverage.
Upon further research, it seems that Keurig hasn’t actually said anything about how the machine does this, but we do have a few guesses as to what exactly this button does.
Firstly, we think it likely lowers the brewing temperature a bit to give you a cooler brew from the get-go. Secondly, it probably also adjusts the volume of your brew to account for the space the ice takes up as well.
So, does it work? Yes. Do you need this specific model in order to make Keurig iced coffee? Absolutely not. In fact, if you go for a model with the “strong” or “shot” option, then you’ll likely get near-identical results. And, honestly, just about any model will do.
In fact, Keurig sells tea pods specifically intended to “brew over ice.” They released this promotional video to go through the brewing method, and they use a different Keurig model. So, it follows that you probably don’t need to spring for the K-Elite to get iced coffee either.
Hot Tips for Iced Coffee
Make Coffee Cubes
One of the main complaints people have about iced coffee is that the ice dilutes the brew if you are taking your time drinking it. But thankfully, that doesn’t need to be a problem. However, this technique does require a good bit of extra effort on your part.
Here’s how to do it:
- Brew a fairly large batch of coffee, you will need enough to fill the ice tray.
- After brewing, pour the brew into the ice tray. We recommend using a metal or silicon tray, but if you are using plastic, let your brew cool down a bit before pouring.
- Carefully put the tray in the freezer and leave it there for 5 hours.
- After 5 hours, the “ice” cubes should be frozen through, and you will need to transfer them to a ziplock bag. Or, at the very least, have put a ziplock bag around the tray before freezing. You don’t want any funky freezer flavors sneaking in.
* You could also put a gallon bag around the tray itself to begin with if your tray is an appropriate size.
Also, Delish has some fun tips to try if you want to flavor your coffee cubes.
Brew in Twos
If you are dissatisfied with the strength of your brew, try brewing two 4 or 6 ounce brews back to back over ice rather than one 8 ounce brew. This definitely improves the strength and flavor of your brew because you are technically using a higher grounds to water ratio (because you switch out the pod between brews).
Unfortunately, this method does create extra waste if you are using disposable cups. So we recommend using a brand that has recyclable or returnable cups or simply opting for a My-Cup that you can empty and refill.
Additionally, if you opt to use this method, we recommend brewing into a separate mug first and pouring the finished brew over your cup with ice in it afterwards. If you were to use the other method (brewing directly over ice), the ice would melt too soon and partially defeat the purpose of making a stronger brew.
Here at Roasty, we’ve covered a ton of iced coffee recipes for you to try out from Vanilla Iced Coffees to Mochas and even Thai iced coffees and blended brews, we have you covered on that front. Many of these can be accomplished with a Keurig, so we recommend you check them out if you are just wanting to mix things up in the flavor department.
However, we do want to mention a few iced coffee method variations here for you to try out. We have dedicated articles for each of these to explain things in more depth, so simply click the headers if you are interested. But, we’ll still include a little bit about each one here to get you started.
Vietnamese Iced Coffee
While it would be straying from authenticity, you can technically use a Keurig to make Vietnamese-style iced coffee. Typically, you would use a specific drip tool to make some extra-strong brewed coffee. However, if you have a Keurig with a “strong” or “shot” button, then you can get the job done.
Basically all this method involves is putting a couple tablespoons of condensed milk at the bottom of your cup, brewing your coffee over it, stirring, and pouring over ice. Seriously, it is that simple.
Now, if you are on the market for an ultra convenient iced coffee, cold brew is probably the best way to go. This is an especially good method for someone who drinks this type of coffee every day and is often in a bit of a hurry. Keurigs are fast, but you still have to deal with things getting watered down and potentially brewing multiple cycles to get your desired intensity.
Cold brews basically do most of the work overnight for you. All you have to do is put some coarse grounds and room temperature water in a jar, stick it in your fridge and wait 10-20 hours. Once it has steeped, you just filter it and voila! You have yourself a coffee concentrate that you can dilute as you please with water, a spot of milk, and some ice.
What is great about this method is that the concentrate that you make will last in your fridge for a whole week. So if you make enough of it, you won’t have to worry about much more than throwing things into your travel cup and hitting the road throughout the week.
There you have it! It is indeed possible to make coffee with your Keurig and it is surprisingly easy to do. You can use any Keurig machine you want. But remember that if you are brewing directly over the ice, you should not be using a glass cup (though you can transfer your brew into one after the temperature homogenizes a bit).
Brewing with K-Cups can be fun thanks to the convenience and the array of flavors available to you. We hope this helped spice up (or chill out) your Keurig coffee routine.