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How to make iced coffee with Nespresso

Coffee that’s been left to go cold usually tastes horrible, yet an iced coffee can be a delicious and refreshing way to stay cool on a hot day. So, what gives? Well, it all depends on the type of coffee you use and how your drink is prepared. Here, I’ll show you how to make iced coffee with Nespresso in a variety of ways.

Iced coffee starts with hot coffee, brewed in the normal way, so the choice of coffee is important. You need one that’s strong, with enough flavour so that when it cools down, you’re left with a tasty drink.

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Coffee choice

Low-acid coffee, with strong flavour and a dark, more intense roast is normally the best option. In terms of Nespresso, this may mean picking a type of capsule that you wouldn’t normally consider for a hot drink. For regular Nespresso pods think of the Kazaar, Arpeggio or Ristretto. For the Nespresso Vertuo, Stormio or Odacio are interesting choices.

Ultimately, you can use any coffee you want, but if you don’t get very tasty results with one type of capsule, try a different one. My guide to the best Nespresso Vertuo capsules can help you choose the right flavours for the larger pod machine.

Nespresso has also created its own line of iced coffees, designed specifically for pouring over ice. For the Vertuo line, the company is now selling the five capsules, with three of them originally released in 2021.

Nespresso Iced Capsules
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Tropical Coconut Flavour over Ice (230ml, or a mug full) uses a blend of two beans: light-roasted Brazilian Arabica for sweetness, and a darker Ethiopian Arabica for the more intense texture. There’s a hit of coconut and vanilla, too; this smells strong during brewing, but is more mellow and subtle in the final cup.

Ice Forte (230ml) is a regular coffee that uses Indonesian Arabica for that deeper, woody and peppery taste, mixed with a Colombian Arabica to help round out the final cup.

Ice Leggero (80ml, double-espresso) is a more gentle coffee for ice, delivering a smaller amount overall. This uses Peruvian coffee for the deeper, cereal taste, plus Ethiopian to bring a bit of lightness.

New to this year’s line-up is the Nespresso Watermelon Flavour Over Ice. This is a double espresso (80ml) capsule, so works well in a standard glass with ice, giving a smaller drink than the larger ‘mug-full’ capsules. Watermelon smells quite strong, but can be hard to get across as a flavour; however, Nespresso has done a brilliant job. Sweet and refreshing, I love this new capsule.

Then, there’s the Cold Brew Style Intense, which is a 355ml capsule. Larger than normal, this capsule only works with newer generation machines. That is it will work with the Nespresso Vertuo Next and Nespresso Vertuo Pop, but not the Nespresso Vertuo Plus. This pod has a different brewing style, covered below.

For the original Nespresso lineup, there are three coffees, all designed to be dispensed as a 40ml shot of espresso. Coconut Flavour over Ice is similar in flavour to the Vertuo version. Here, Brazilian mid-roasted beans result in a more mellow finish, with Central American mid-roast beans for a rounded taste, and a final hit of coconut and vanilla for a refreshing drink.

Freddo Delicato, a more gentle iced coffee, has a refreshing and slightly sweet taste, using a combination of Kenyan and Indonesian Java coffee. 

Freddo Intenso is a more intense and rich version, using Peruvian coffee (cereal notes) and Indonesian Java to add a bit of sweetness. Both are medium-dark roasted for a bit more bitterness.

How to make Vertuo iced coffee

With a Vertuo machine, you generally get a longer cup of coffee. The dispensed amount can be found on the side of the box and on the underside of the capsule. I recommend going for a glass (not a mug) that’s roughly twice the size of the drink you want, giving room for the liquid and the ice. For the mug-fulls of coffee, I go with a 500ml glass; the 80ml capsules, I usually dispense into a standard tumbler.

Making iced coffee with the Tropical Coconut Flavour over Ice, I started with a 500ml glass. Roughly fill it with ice – you’re looking at around six regular-sized ice cubes (more, if you’re using small ice). Adjust ice and cup size depending on the size of your cup – if you use Vertuo espresso capsules, then check out my advice for making coffee with an original Nespresso machine below.

Nespresso Vertuo with a pint glass full of ice
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Next, put the glass under your Vertuo machine (I’m using the Vertuo Next), and insert your chosen capsule into the machine. Tap the button and let the coffee brew as normal, over the ice. Given that there’s a lot of ice in the cup, the hot coffee brews as normal but will cool instantly.

Nespresso Vertuo pouring coffee into a glass of ice
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Once the coffee has brewed, you’re ready to drink it. You may want to leave it a few minutes to fully cool. Generally, as the ice floats to the top, you get a warmer section at the bottom of the glass that can take a while to cool.

The final glass of coffee of ice
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How to make Nespresso Vertuo Cold Brew

Cold brew coffee is so known, as it uses cold water for extraction. This is a process that normally takes between 12-hours and 48-hours, so it’s not the type of drink you can just have ready to go when it’s hot. With the Nespresso Vertuo Cold Brew Style Intense, you can get a similar effect in a lot less time.

First, the coffee has been roasted specifically to deliver flavour without needing long extraction times. Secondly, the coffee is extracted using a hot bloom method: an initial burst of heat extracts flavour fast, with cool water used to finish the job and leave a cold coffee that doesn’t have the bitterness that coffee over ice can have.

To do this, first you need to take your water reservoir and fill it with iced water. Nespresso recommends that water should be below 10°C.

Nesspresso Vertuo with ice in the water tank
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Reattach the reservoir to your Nespresso machine and then drop the coffee capsule into place. Although it’s 355ml of coffee, this is actually two servings, which works out at 177.5ml per cup. I’m using the Nespresso Vertuo Pop, which can’t fit a tall glass under it, so I tend to use two tumblers full of ice, doing a switchout about half-way through; the coffee pours quite slowly, so this is easy to do. If you have a large machine, you could dispense into one glass and then do a split later.

Cold brew coffee from Nespresso
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How to make original Nespresso iced coffee

With original Nespresso, you’re best using espresso capsules (40ml). You need to pour them over ice; I recommend a regular tumbler or an old-fashioned glass for this.

Start with a few ice cubes (three or four should do it, but add more if you’re using particularly small cubes). 

A glass of ice under a Nespresso original machine
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Load up your Nespresso machine with your choice of capsule and then pour a shot of espresso over ice. Once finished, your drink should be cold and ready to drink.

An espresso poured over ice from a Nespresso machine
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You may find that the drink is a bit too intense, but you can adjust the flavour by adding water or cold milk into the glass. Don’t add more than around 90ml of additional liquid, or you’ll just have a rather horrible cup of coffee-flavoured water.

The final glass of iced coffee from a Nespresso machine
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How to use the Nespresso Barista to make iced coffee

My personal favourite way to make iced coffee is with the Nespresso Barista. You can make lots of recipes in this machine, from hot coffee to an iced frappuccino – but it’s the Iced Nitro that I particularly like.

As with the original Nespresso iced coffee above, start by taking three ice cubes (or around 90g of ice) and dropping them into the Barista’s jug. Brew a shot of espresso over the top.

Nespresso says you can add sugar if you want it sweeter, but I prefer using a flavoured syrup (around 15ml should do it) to taste – although I wouldn’t use one with a flavoured Nespresso capsule. Then, top up the water to the maximum level marking. 

Nespresso Barista controls
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Select the Iced Nitro option, hit the button and the Barista blends your drink, syrup or sugar, water and ice cubes into a fine drink that you can pour out into a tumbler. You’ll get a thicker, fuller head to your drink that gives your coffee a smoother and more intense flavour.

Nespresso Barista iced nitro
Image Credit (Trusted Reviews)

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