Like cold coffee, but looking for an easier way to make it at home? Then you're going to LOVE this amazing Instant Iced Coffee!
Learn how to make Iced Coffee with Instant Coffee using my simple recipe ... it really couldn't be faster, easier to prepare, or more delicious!
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If you've hung around Hello Little Home for a while, you may have gathered that I'm a huge cold coffee lover. For me, it's the perfect start to the day. Whether it's a sunny day or snowing out, I have to have a cup!
I love experimenting with my go-to Iced Coffee recipe, and today I've got a delicious new recipe for you ... Instant Iced Coffee made with (you guessed it) instant coffee! This quick version of your fave drink is perfect for those days when you need a cup right away, no waiting around or cooling hot coffee required!
You only need a few basic ingredients, and because there's no brewing involved, you can just stir and serve. It's ready in five minutes (or less), and it really couldn't get any easier!
Apart from it's delicious coffee shop flavor, the best thing about this recipe is that it's 100% customizable. You can easily make it as strong or as sweet as you'd like, or even use it as a base for another drink. Add a little milk and syrup for an Iced Latte, enjoy it black (it tastes similar to an Americano), or even make a batch for the whole week (like Cold Brew without the fuss).
Ready to try this tasty coffee drink for yourself? Just keep reading for all the details and lots of helpful tips!
You probably have all the ingredients for this easy recipe right in your pantry! Here's what you'll need:
- Instant Coffee - Easy to find in any grocery store, and the star of the show, of course! Make sure to choose a good-quality granules for best results (check out my tips below).
- Water - You'll use a little hot tap water to dissolve the coffee granules (cold water also works). Once they're dissolved, you'll use cold water to finish the drink. For the tastiest results, I recommend using chilled, filtered water if you have it (such as from a Brita)
- Sweetener - Because you're using with cold water, simple syrup works best for sweetening this Instant Iced Coffee. It's quick to make with just water and sugar (check out my easy Simple Syrup recipe or this Brown Sugar Syrup for details), and easy to store in your refrigerator. You could also use maple syrup, or even regular sugar, brown sugar, or a sugar substitute, as long as you don't mind a few granules.
- Milk - Unless you take your coffee black, your favorite milk (or creamer) is the perfect finishing touch! Both regular and vegan / plant-based varieties will work. I used my fave soy milk, but almond, coconut, or oat milk would also taste great.
- Ice - Don't forget the ice! You'll want to have lots on hand for the coldest, tastiest results. Tip: Serve this drink over homemade Coffee Ice Cubes for an extra potent brew!
- Optional Extras - Of course, you can get totally creative with this recipe and use flavored creamers and coffee syrups, too. The sky is the limit.
Best Instant Coffee for Iced Coffee
You'll get good results using most instant coffees, including popular brands, like Cuban-style Cafe Bustelo (or Supreme by Bustelo), Starbucks, Nescafé, and even Folgers. For best results though, choose a better quality instant coffee, like Mount Hagen.
You can also use a Puerto Rican-style coffee, like Yaucono or Café Rico (which is what I used), or try a chicory coffee, like Community, for some New Orleans flair. Instant espresso, such as Medaglia D'Oro, works, too. Most instant coffee is not that expensive, so I recommend doing a little experimenting to find your fave!
You'll Also Need
Apart from the ingredients above, you'll also need a large drinking glass (at least 16-ounces), a measuring cup and tablespoon, and a spoon for mixing everything together.
How to Make Iced Coffee with Instant Coffee
Ready to make the best Instant Iced Coffee? You'll find a detailed recipe card with measurements at the end of the article, but here's a quick overview of the steps:
- Add instant coffee granules to a large glass (16-ounces or larger). For stronger coffee, just add more granules.
- Combine granules with a little hot tap water, then mix until dissolved. The mixture should look a little foamy when you're done. If you don't have hot tap water available, you can use cold water instead. It will just talk a little longer to dissolve (let it sit for a few minutes, if necessary).
- Add more cold water, plus simple syrup, then stir. Once the granules have all dissolved, stir in cold water, along with simple syrup (if desired). For the best results, use chilled water if you have it (such as from a Brita).
- Fill glass ¾-full with ice.
- Finish by adding your favorite milk (regular or non-dairy), to taste. Stir well.
That's all there is to it ... so simple, right? The best part is that once you try the basic recipe, you can play around with the proportions (adding more / less coffee, sweetener, and milk) to create the best drink for you!
Prefer black coffee?
You can add extra coffee granules and water to make a larger Instant Black Coffee, if you prefer. When I was testing the recipe, I found that using 1 ½ tablespoons coffee granules (instead of one tablespoon) and one cup cold water (instead of ¾ cup) worked best. I also used a little extra sweetener (the full two tablespoons). Feel free to experiment with the proportions according to your own tastes though.
Once you've mastered the basic cold coffee recipe, you can have fun experimenting! Here are some easy ideas to inspire you:
- Espresso Powder - For a stronger flavor, feel free to swap instant espresso powder for the coffee granules.
- Milk - This cold coffee recipe can be made with or without milk, depending on your preference. Regular milk and vegan / plant-based milks will both work.
- Flavored Syrup - Make this drink even more delicious by using a flavored coffee syrup instead of plain simple syrup. Try my yummy Cinnamon Brown Sugar Syrup or use a store bought flavored syrup to make everything from Vanilla Lattes to Salted Caramel delights!
- Flavored Creamer - You can also use your favorite flavored creamers to change things up. Try French Vanilla any day or Peppermint during the holidays.
- Iced Latte - Just add your fave milk to the basic recipe, and you have yourself a delish latte. Pro tip: for an extra creamy drink, shake milk the milk in the carton before adding it.
- Iced Americano - To make an Iced Americano, just skip the sugar and milk, and you'll have a very similar drink.
- Iced Mocha - To make an Iced Mocha, sweeten the drink with chocolate syrup instead of sugar. Yum!
- Instant Cold Brew - Skip the sugar and milk, and the result is similar to cold brew. You could even multiply the recipe to enjoy over a few days. For four servings, mix ¼ cup instant coffee with ½ cup hot tap water in a pitcher. Once dissolved, stir in 3 cups cold water. Store this mixture in your refrigerator and add sugar and milk just before serving.
Looking for more delicious coffee drinks? Try one of these recipes next!
- Iced Coffee - A classic recipe that's made with brewed coffee ... perfect for those mornings when you have a little extra time!
- Iced Brown Sugar Oatmilk Shaken Espresso - This delicious Starbucks copycat makes a scrumptious treat.
- Dalgona Coffee - A trendy whipped coffee that's fun and easy to make ... and super tasty, too.
- Australian Iced Coffee - Coffee with ice cream? Yes, please!
- Irish Iced Coffee - A unique twist on the classic Irish Coffee!
- Dirty Chai Latte - This combo of tea and coffee is the perfect afternoon pick-me-up.
- Salted Caramel Affogato - Serve this easy recipe as an after-dinner treat.
Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)
Yes, you can make instant coffee with cold water. Just mix in a little to dissolve the grounds, then add more cold water (along with milk and sugar) to complete the drink.
While you can add ice to hot coffee to make iced coffee, the ice will water down the coffee. For the best results, it's better to start with cold coffee or to use instant coffee, like in this recipe.
No, coffee grounds and instant coffee are two different things. Unlike instant granules, coffee grounds won't dissolve, so you'll end up with an unpleasant, gritty drink.
Yes, if you'd prefer a milkier drink, you can make instant coffee with milk. First dissolve one tablespoon instant coffee (or more for a stronger coffee taste) in two tablespoons hot tap water. Then add one cup milk (or to taste).
Instant coffee is made by freeze-drying or spray-drying real coffee. What makes it instant, is that it quickly dissolves when combined with water, creating an "instant" cup of coffee (no brewing required).
Instant Iced Coffee
- Combine instant coffee and 2 tablespoons hot tap water in a large 16-ounce glass. Mix until coffee is dissolved. (If you don't have hot water, cold water will work ... it just takes a little longer to dissolve).
- Stir in ¾ cup cold water and 1 to 2 tablespoons simple syrup.
- Fill glass ¾-full with ice, then add milk or creamer to taste. Mix well.
- Serve immediately. Enjoy!
- For Black Coffee - Prepare as directed above but use 1 ½ tablespoons instant coffee granules (instead of 1 tablespoon), 1 cup cold water (instead of ¾ cup), and 2 tablespoons simple syrup (if desired).
- For Stronger Coffee - Add up to 1 tablespoon more instant coffee.
- For Sweeter Coffee - Add more simple syrup to taste, or sweeten the drink using your favorite flavored syrup or coffee creamer.
- For Creamier Coffee - Use creamer (regular or non-dairy) instead of milk.