Expert Recipe: The Best Iced Espresso RecipePublished on 10/01/2023 · 6 min readLooking for a cool iced coffee drink to enjoy this summer? Master the art of crafting the perfect iced espresso with our expert recipe!
Photo by Sukpai Boonwat
This isn't another iced coffee recipe — even though you could use this recipe to make an amazing iced coffee. This recipe is for all my espresso enthusiasts.
Americanos, iced Americanos, iced lattes, cappuccinos, macchiatos, flat whites — I love them all, particularly the milkier drinks. Everything about coffee and espresso brings joy to me, even the preparation of it. Drinking coffee reminds me of sitting with my grandmother on her porch, watching the hummingbirds zip around her feeders. Today, even as an adult, my favorite pastime is to sit outside on my porch with a cup of coffee in the mornings and just relax. A few years ago, I traded my coffee for an iced espresso, but it still gives me that same sense of nostalgia of sitting with my grandmother.
I have been working on perfecting an iced espresso recipe for a few years now, learning the ins and outs of espresso making. I have finally found one that is just sweet enough without overpowering that classic espresso flavor. For this recipe, all you are going to need is a shot of espresso, your choice of milk, sweetener, toss in some ice cubes, and you have a café-quality iced espresso drink without the café price!
If you are like me and really enjoy coffee and espresso I feel you will really appreciate this recipe. I have tried so many different ones throughout the years, and they always felt as if they were missing something. I have learned it is best to start with a solid base recipe and then add your flavors and customizations from there. That is the best thing about this recipe: It is completely customizable.
I love cinnamon in mine, but you don't have to use it. Add caramel drizzle on top, or add a brown sugar and cinnamon mixture around the rim of your glass for a little extra creative sweetness. You can substitute the brown sugar for flavored syrups or maple syrup, whatever you prefer. You are your own barista — get creative with it!
When it comes to the espresso in your drink, the best way to do so is with a quality espresso machine. If you are looking for suggestions, I love a Breville Bambino for a semi-automatic option; for a super-auto, Phillips and Jura are my go-to brands. If you are an espresso aficionado then use what you prefer!
Prep / Cook Time and Nutrition Information:
- Prep time: 5 min
- Cook time: 5 min
- Serving size: One 10 fl oz serving
- Calories: 108
What You Will Need:
How to Make Iced Espresso
- 2oz espresso
- 1/2-1C whole milk (or your milk of choice)
- 4tbs + 2tsp brown sugar, divided (flavored syrup works well, too)
- Ice cubes
- Cinnamon (nutmeg, cocoa powder, brown sugar, your choice of garnish)
- Whipped cream
- Vanilla syrup or maple syrup (if you like a little extra sweetness)
1. First, you are going to want to add 4tbs of brown sugar, 1 tsp cinnamon (or nutmeg, cocoa powder, more brown sugar, whatever you like), and espresso to your glass. Using a spoon or any utensil of your choosing, stir all of the ingredients together until the brown sugar fully dissolves. It's kind of hard to see the brown sugar, but the espresso takes on a slightly lighter color and smells sweeter once the brown sugar is mixed in.
2. Then, fill your glass with ice. I like to add ice almost to the top of my cup, but the amount really depends on what your preference is. Next, grab your milk of choice and top off your drink.
3. Next, you are going to want to give it another stir to incorporate all your ingredients.
4. Add some whipped cream, a dash of cinnamon (or your preferred garnish), and the remaining 2tsps of brown sugar to the top. Grab yourself a straw and enjoy your iced espresso drink!
- An at-home espresso machine is best to really get that quality espresso shot. In order to get a real shot of that flavorful bean juice, the espresso machine is of course the best way to go, but if brewing with your own machine really isn’t an option for you, you can use a French press, moka pot, or finely ground espresso beans with hot water (at least 93°F).
- When buying coffee beans for your espresso, it is best not to use too light of a roast or a really dark roast. I like a nice, medium-roast coffee — I like the bold flavor of espresso, but the darker the bean, the more bitter tasting. A medium-roast coffee is a great place to start, and you can adjust based on your personal preference.
- You can substitute cold brew coffee or a cold brew concentrate for the espresso shot to have an amazing iced coffee recipe. Cold brew concentrate is meant to be diluted with cold water — follow the directions on the container for the correct water-to-concentrate ratio.
- I love to top my iced espresso with a little whipped cream. I think it adds a sweet flavor and gives it a nice look. Presentation is important!
- If you are like me and have a bit of a sweet tooth, adding an extra tablespoon of maple or vanilla syrup is a great way to boost the sweetness. I know people who have even used honey! Be aware that honey does have a distinct flavor that will come out in your espresso. If you would like more of a chocolatey flavor, grab some chocolate syrup and add that to your glass before the ice!
- Use a separate cup and a milk frother. Add a touch of brown sugar or brown sugar syrup (or your choice of sweetener) to create a delicious cold foam. I feel the best way to get a nice texture in your milk is to add a splash of half-and-half to it.
- You can also adjust this recipe into an iced shaken espresso. Add all your ingredients to a cocktail shaker with some ice, shake well, and then pour into your glass.
- Any milk option works for this recipe. You can even use half-and-half or, for a vegan approach, oat milk. Use the milk that suits you best. I feel the best milk option is oat milk, as it is slightly sweet and creamier than whole milk. I feel that it really adds a nice texture to your espresso drink.
- As shown in the pictures above, I prefer a glass jar cup for my iced lattes. I can see my espresso drink, and the glass really helps bring out the coldness of the ice, in my opinion. But definitely use the glass, cup, mug, tumbler, or whatever that suits you best!
- For an adult version, you can add a shot of any cream liqueur, such as Baileys, RumChata, or a creamy dark chocolate liqueur. You can also use a dark rum or brandy. Whatever you prefer!
I hope you enjoy this recipe! I encourage you to give it a try and customize it to fit your flavor palette. I also strongly recommend a good-quality espresso machine to really elevate the flavor of your iced espresso drinks. Contact one of the Coffee and Espresso Curated Experts for a quality espresso machine to help you produce a café-worthy shot of espresso and elevate your iced espresso-making game.