Calling all iced coffee and cold brew lovers! Did you know that you can “whip up” a cuppa iced coffee in as little as 5 minutes? Enter the Instant Pot!
At JayArr, we love coffee all year round—but when it heats up, our attention shifts to iced coffee or cold brews. Nothing beats the euphoric feeling of sipping a tall glass of iced coffee to beat the heat. The combination of creamy, icy sweetness and roasty, toasty coffee is guaranteed to send shivers up your spine.
Iced coffee is our favorite pick-me-up companion to tackle hot afternoons while on the go. Unfortunately, it can be an expensive habit if you have to keep running to the local coffee shop for your caffeine fix. This brings us to this blog post. Read on to learn how you can enjoy your favorite cup of iced coffee—but at a fraction of what you typically spend in a coffee store!
Getting Ready – Frequently Asked Questions on Iced Coffee
Do you own an Instant Pot? A refrigerator? A ladle or filter? What about a bag of fresh coffee beans? If yes, then you have all the tools you need to enjoy as much iced coffee as you want. In this guide, we will walk you through the process of preparing around a gallon of iced coffee that’ll last you over a week—all in just a few minute’s work.
This method uses the Instant Pot to produce a coffee concentrate from the grounds by pressure cooking a mixture of water and coffee grounds. The technique is as DIY-friendly as it can get. You don’t need experience, or some barista ‘superpowers’ to pull this off— just make sure you know the ins and outs of using an Instant Pot safely.
Before getting down to business and turning your kitchen into a makeshift coffee store, here are some tips and pieces of advice to facilitate a seamless experience.
- Does the Type of Water Matter?
Yes, the water you use matters. Sure, regular tap water is easily accessible and it may get the job done, but it’s quality and mineral-content differ depending on the source. At minimum, filtering water removes chlorine, odors, and other impurities that may negatively affect the flavor profile of your cup. For great tasting coffee water, check out our guide for making the best water for coffee. Or use a product like Third Wave Water (below).
- What is the Best Brand Coffee to Use in Instant Pot Iced Coffee?
Just use your favorite brand! When it comes to coffee, taste preferences are highly subjective. What you deem as the “best” might not work for us—and vice versa. But if you’re not sure about what you like, check out our in-depth review of some of the best single-origin beans to guide you. Or our coffee review master list!
- How Long Should You Steep/Pressure Cook the Coffee Grounds?
In our DIY recipe, we pressure cooked the coffee mixture for 5 minutes—but your milage may vary. You can steep your coffee grounds for longer to achieve your desired concentrate strength. However, keep in mind that both the caffeine concentration and strength of the brew increase with longer steep times.
- How “Strong” Should the Instant Pot Iced Coffee Concentrate Be?
The strength of your Instant Pot coffee concentrate is dependent on the coffee to water ratio and the steep time. For the best results, consider using 1 ½ cup of grounded coffee for a full Instant Pot. The resulting coffee concentrate should then be mixed with equal parts of water – i.e. 1:1 (water: iced coffee concentrate). If you want your coffee stronger, you can either steep it for longer than 5 minutes or add more coffee grounds. You can also try reducing the amount of water you use to dilute the coffee concentrate.
Now, let’s get to the good stuff—brewing!
How Do You Make Iced Coffee with an Instant Pot?
The first time we heard of the Instant Pot method of making iced coffee, we were amused by the concept— but it really does drastically cut brew time! A meager 5 minutes brews enough coffee for a week— rather impressive considering some other methods take up several hours. But is the result any good?
As we are a curious bunch over here at JayArr Coffee, we decided to test the method for ourselves. Here’s our breakdown of our method:
- Instant Pot
- Coffee – medium-coarse
Take 1.5 cups of coffee grounds – medium grind. Feel free to experiment with your favorite types of coffee and flavors. You can also use either regular or decaf coffee—but keep in mind that the longer your steep regular coffee the higher the caffeine kick.
For a large batch—to last you several days of summer—fill up your Instant Pot to the max line (around 16-18 cups).
When you’re done pouring the water into your Instant Pot, and lock the seal.
Now push the MANUAL button and make sure it’s set on high pressure for a 5-minute brewing.
When the timer hits 05:00, release the steam using the natural release method. Give it time until it’s safe to open – you don’t want to risk excruciating steam burns.
After a few minutes, open up your Instant Pot and leave to cool to room temperature. The cooling time largely depends on the amount of coffee brewed and the prevailing temperature conditions in your house (i.e., weather or thermostat settings). But based on our experience preparing an 18-cup batch, it takes around 2 hours.
Remember, the longer you steep the coffee, the stronger its concentration and caffeine content.
When the coffee is nice and cool, remove it from the Instant Pot.
The next step is to strain the coffee in order to get the grounds out. For this, you can use any technique you find practical—based on your equipment and utensils. We recommend using a ladle since the coffee container is rather heavy. Strain the coffee mixture through a reusable coffee filter into a bowl or any large container available. Wring out your filter to make sure you get all the concentrate into the container (you don’t want to waste that sweet java!). If you don’t have a coffee filter lying around, you can improvise with a colander lined with cheesecloth.
Aaand…that’s it, we’re pretty much done!
Store and chill the coffee concentrate in your refrigerator.
Whenever you crave some caffeine infusion, just add some water your chilled concentrate in a 1:1 ratio – i.e., use 1/2-part concentrate and 1/2-part water to make a cup of Joe. If you do some quick math, this amounts to up to 36 cups of iced coffee. I don’t know about your coffee drinking habits, but this should last you well over a week.
If you like to keep it simple, serve in a glass with some ice cubes and stir. You’ll notice that the cup is rich, smooth, and it’s not watery. You can also explore creams, sugar, or any other sweetener/additive that ‘tickles your fancy’.
Takeaway – Why We’re Obsessed with the Instant Pot Iced Coffee!
It’s great for making coffee without getting that watered-down taste or having to pay crazy store prices. You can also use the technique to make regular coffee, cappuccinos – heck, it’s even great for baking. And the best part of all, the method is quite simple and foolproof – you don’t need barista-esque skills to pull this off. Get your Instant Pot roaring and say adios to hot summer afternoons!