Coffee Ice Cubes Are the 1-Ingredient Miracle That Will Keep Your Cold Brew From Getting Gross and Watery

Photo: Stocksy/ Tatjana Zlatkovic
Two words might instantly give you the ick? Watery coffee. But it happens to the best of us: You forget about your iced latte for what feels like a couple of minutes; next you know, it’s sitting in a pool of diluted, murky mess.

If this scenario sounds familiar, welcome. You've come to the right place, because the solution is simple: coffee ice.

ICYMI, fancy ice, has taken the internet by storm in the last few years. What once was simply a means to keep a drink iced cold has now turned into a fun, stress-relieving pastime and creative outlet for folks to experiment with high-end craft ice-making machines to freezer-friendly ice trays that can mold water (ahem, or coffee) into giant frozen orbs or baby butterflies. And can’t we all use a little more chill vibes in our lives?

Of course, we had to test it out ourselves to see how effective and easy making coffee ice really is and how good it tastes. (Spoiler, it’s a 10 out of 10 by all accounts.) More ahead on our buzzy experiment and the best way to make the most delicious coffee ice to guarantee you never take a sip of watered-down coffee ever again.

coffee ice with chocolate hazelnut cream
Photo: Maki Yazawa

How to make one-ingredient coffee ice

Making coffee ice requires minimal effort, and the payoff makes it even more worthwhile. Frankly, the most challenging part about the whole endeavor is choosing the right type of ice mold to use. There are literally hundreds to pick from—butterflies, roses, pineapples; you name it. In my experiment, I opted for the Houdini Crushed Ice Cubes Tray (available on Amazon for $8) that produces 160 teeny, tiny ice cubes in one go.

To make my tiny ice cubes, I filled the tray with store-bought La Colombe Unsweetened Colombian Cold Brew Coffee and used a measuring cup with a spout to prevent drips and messes and get into every nook and cranny on the tray. Of note, this tray was a bit finicky in that tiny air bubbles would get trapped in some of the holes as I filled them. To mitigate this issue, I used the flat edge of a bench scraper to gently maneuver and level the coffee to ensure each hole was equally filled to the brim. Then, I carefully plopped the ice into the freezer and let it chill overnight.

coffee ice in mold
Photo: Maki Yazawa

Come morning, I was able to gently pop out each individual cube into a bowl. At this point, I found that working fast was necessary, as the cubes (being as small as they were) would melt rather quickly. Although fast-melting ice is typically the bane of my iced coffee’s existence, since this coffee ice is made with, well, coffee, there was no need to worry about it diluting my drink whatsoever.

That said, if you prefer sipping on your iced coffee drink more slowly (and not glugging it in a few minutes like me), you might want to opt for a larger-sized ice cube (say, like this butterfly-shaped one) that’ll have a slower melting rate and infuse your drink with more delicious coffee over a longer period of time.

coffee ice poured
Photo: Maki Yazawa

Of course, to make the drink even more delicious, I decided to add a few extra ingredients. First, I glazed the edges of the cup with a swirl of Torani Chocolate Hazelnut Sauce. Then, I added my coffee ice, filled the cup with Elmhurst 1925 Cashew Milk, and added an extra shot of cold brew on top. Lastly, to spruce things up a bit, I infused Nutpods’ French Vanilla Creamer with a few squirts of the chocolate hazelnut sauce and gave it a whirl using my favorite hand-held foam maker (available on Amazon for $12) until frothy, and poured it overtop my iced coffee drink. Basically, it was the lovechild of Nutella crêpes and cold brew. Okay, officially drooling all over again.

Now, if you’ve made a large batch of coffee ice, we invite you to make a homemade coffee slushy up next. In a recent TikTok video by @ac_homemade, they show how to blend up your frozen coffee ice cubes into a Slurpee-like drink that’s perfect for a hot summer day. Literally, mind blown.

@ac_homecafe 3-ingredient iced coffee slush ! #asmr #homecafe #summer #drinkrecipes #coffee #OLAFLEX ♬ original sound - AC HOME CAFÉ

An RD explains the benefits of drinking coffee:

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