There are many great ways to enjoy cold coffee at home and pour-over iced coffee is one of the best treats for a warm day. If cold brew recipes make a delicious cup for when you have time to plan ahead, what to do when you need a great cup of coffee as soon as possible? Pour-over iced coffee is here to help.
This iced coffee is made by brewing a quick pour over directly over ice. Don’t worry, you won’t need any expensive equipment or coffee gear - but you’re welcome to use them if you already have them at home. With a simple setup and a few brewing tips, you will have a cup of the best iced coffee in just 3 minutes. Here’s how to do it.
Just looking for the recipe? Skip to:
Yes, it’s easy to make pour-over iced coffee at home
Pour-over coffee is essentially pouring hot water through coffee grounds in a filter. This brewing method allows for a lot of control over the coffee extraction since you are manually pouring water. Here’s how it works for iced coffee: Part of the water used for brewing is replaced by ice, and the coffee is brewed directly onto that ice. We recommend a ratio of 40% ice to 60% water, so if you're brewing 500ml (around 17oz) you should use 170g of ice and 330g (ml) of water.
Hot water poured over the ground coffee extracts a wide range of tasty flavours and aromatics from the coffee, but as it drops onto the ice cubes, rapidly cooling helps to lock those flavours at the same time that it dilutes the concentrate.
Here’s another reason thousands of people love this brewing method: It takes just a few minutes to make a delicious cup of iced coffee. And you don’t need any special or expensive equipment.
What you’ll need for pour over iced coffeePortfolio coffee beans, hot water, and ice are your basics and you’ll also need a pour-over setup. There are many brands out there from simple to expert, at prices ranging from two digits to a few hundred dollars. Whichever you choose, you’ll need 3 pieces:
- A filter. There are single-use paper filters and reusable options available with both pros and cons. This is where the coffee grounds will sit.
- A dripper. This is the piece that will hold the filter in place. There are many shapes and materials available to suit your personal preferences.
- A server. This is the container where the coffee will meet the ice. Some setups are sold as a set, but you can also use a carafe, pitcher, or even place the dripper directly over a cup or mug.
If you want to take your coffee experience to the next level, add a coffee scale or a kitchen scale so you can measure how much coffee to use and how much water to pour.
How to brew the best pour over iced coffee
- Use the right grind. If you have access to a coffee grinder at home you’ll want to use a medium-fine setting. It will look finer than sand, but not as fine as an espresso grind. If you don’t have a burr grinder, fret not - you can order your favourite Portfolio coffee professionally ground.
- We recommend a coffee to water ratio of 1:14 or 1:15 for iced coffee pour-over. This means for every gram of coffee, you’ll use 16 grams or milliliters of water. Now let’s say you wish to brew 500ml - around 17oz , then you’ll need 33g to 35g of ground coffee.
Don’t have a coffee scale or a kitchen scale? No problem. Regular tablespoons hold an average of 5g, so for the same 17oz brew (approximately 500ml), 7 tablespoons of ground coffee will work fine.
- Boil and cool the hot water. That’s right, you’ll want to bring the water for brewing to a boil and then cool the water slightly before pouring over. Letting it sit for around 40 seconds should be enough. If you have an electric kettle, even better as you can set the right temperature. We recommend heating up the water to 92°C - 94°C, or 197°F - 201°F.
- Place the filter in the dripper. If you’re using a paper filter you can pour just enough water to wet the filter. Pre-wetting the coffee filter helps heat ceramic and glass drippers as well as rinse away any flavours that a dry paper filter might bring to your cup. Make sure to dump any water that flows to your server at this point.
- Add grounds and level the bed. Give it a little shake so the grounds are evenly spread and sit level for optimal pouring surface. Now it is also time to add the ice cubes to your server.
- Time for the first pour! Pour just enough water to wet the coffee grounds and let it rest for about 45 seconds. This process is known as blooming. When coffee grounds get in contact with hot water, they release carbon dioxide and often bubble and expand. Giving your coffee 45 seconds to bloom, depending on how recently it was roasted, will enhance its flavours. Portfolio coffee is always roasted no longer than 5 days before shipping to your door, so you’re sure to get the best flavour when blooming. Next up, time to pour!
Aim for about 20% of the water. If you’re following the 500ml recipe and using 330g water for 170g of ice, pour 70g of water at this stage.
- Carefully swirl or stir your dripper 3 times. The main purpose of stirring and spinning is to improve the distribution of water among the grounds in the coffee bed. This helps you achieve even extraction levels, which means better tasting coffee.
- Now onto the second pour! If you have a gooseneck kettle, try pouring in a circular motion. Aim for roughly 40% of the water at this second pour. If you’re following the 500ml recipe and, this pour will consist of 130g of water. Now let it rest for about 30 seconds.
- And finally move on to the third and final pour. Slowly pour the remaining water over the coffee, wait 30 seconds and give it another 3 swirls of stirs. Anytime the coffee bubbles up and threatens to spill over the dripper, stop pouring.
Serving Pour Over Iced coffee
Once the coffee is brewed, you might still find bits of ice floating in the finished brew, you can strain these out if you want or simply pour the now-chilled coffee over more ice. Pour over iced coffee is something you want to drink right away, so get your favourite glass and enjoy!
What are the best coffee beans for iced coffee?
Pour-over iced coffees are generally best enjoyed if brewed with beans with low acidity and hints of sweetness - these also tend to pair extremely well with milk and creamers if that's your preference. Well-balanced coffee beans are ideal for a refreshing iced coffee that is not bitter. All beans by Portfolio coffee can be enjoyed as a pour-over iced coffee, but these are the staff recommendations to get you started:
- Fazenda Eldorado Brazilian single origin
- Fazenda Cachoeira Brazilian single origin
- Santa Monica Brazilian single origin
- Joia Rara Brazilian single origin
- For 500ml (approximately 17 ounces):
- 330g of hot water ( 92°C - 94°C, or 197°F - 201°F)
- 33g to 35g of medium-fine ground coffee
- 170g of ice (approximately 6 ounces), plus more for serving
- Coffee grinder
- Kettle or electric kettle
- Heatproof pitcher, carafe, or coffee server
- Pour-over dripper and filters
- Coffee scale or kitchen scale
Bring the water to a boil. Boil the water in a kettle over medium heat or quickly bring to a boil in an electric kettle. Remove from the heat and cool while preparing the rest of the pour over setup. Aim for water temperature between 92°C - 94°C, or 197°F - 201°F.
Prepare the pour-over set up. Fold the filter to fit the dripper, put the filter in the dripper, and rinse with clean water. Discard this water. Put the ice in a pitcher and put the dripper on top.
Grind the coffee, put into the filter, and shake it lightly to even the coffee bed. Grind the coffee on a medium-fine setting.
Brew the coffee. Pour a small amount of the hot water over the coffee and let it bloom for about 45 seconds. Pour the remaining water over slowly in circles until you reach your desired cup amount - if the coffee is about to spill, stop pouring and resume once it’s ready again.
- Strain the chilled coffee over more ice and enjoy a delicious summer drink!