Don’t you just love the aromatic flavor and fragrance of brewed coffee in the morning? Perhaps, you enjoy your coffee in the afternoon to boost your energy and save yourself from snoozing. And although you indulge in a cup of oozing hot coffee from time to time, you can still satisfy your caffeine demands with refreshing iced coffee, especially in the summertime.
How can you keep your coffee rich, tasty, and ice cold anyway?
It makes a huge difference when it is freshly brewed. Even more so when your coffee can retain its temperature at its optimum level. Thus, the key is to find the best coffee container and tumbler that will provide thermal and cold insulation properties.
In this article, we are going to discuss everything you need to know about iced coffee and how you can keep it chilled for the longest time possible. You can also narrow down your choices for the best containers and tumblers on the market through this in-depth guide and roundup of reviews.
Table of Contents
Contrary to conventional coffee brewing, cold brew coffee undergoes a special brewing and steeping process in cold water. Hence, it is called cold brew coffee. It usually takes around 12 to 24 hours of steeping before straining it.
Once you obtain the coffee concentrate, the next step is to dilute it with water at a ratio of 1:1. This balances the boldness and richness of the coffee flavor. While others enjoy it black, you can pour it over ice and add milk or cream with it for a smoother and creamier flavor.
What makes cold brew special, then? Is it better than the usual hot brewing process? It actually depends on everyone’s preferences toward coffee flavors. Just so you know, the benefits of hot brew and cold brew ought to be the same. But if you fancy coffee without too much bitterness, then cold brew must be the best option for you.
When you think of iced coffee, the first thing that probably comes to mind is simply brewed coffee over ice. Well, if you think that is just about it, you might have missed some of the popular and tasty kinds of iced coffee. You might want to try out the following:
Espresso is the primary base of almost every coffee beverage you enjoy at a coffee shop or to take for to-go. You can serve it with your favorite creamer, milk, or sweetener and indulge in various espresso-based beverages, including macchiatos, lattes, americanos, and more.
For an espresso-based drink such as an iced latte, all you need is a splash of milk and pour it over ice. Add some vanilla syrup and drizzle it with caramel sauce, then you will have an iced caramel macchiato.
How do iced coffee and iced espresso differ from another, then? Iced coffee is just cooled or chilled brewed coffee. Iced espresso uses strong espresso shots mixed with a lot of milk, which can be the foundation for more custom flavors.
As mentioned, cold brew is another brewing process to capture the purest form of coffee. This goes through hours of steeping ground coffee beans in cold water for about 12 to 24 hours or sometimes, up to 36 hours.
After the steeping process, you should dilute it with water. You can serve it with milk or cream for added flavor or keep it strong without any sweetener!
It is a revamped coffee drink, with espresso, milk, sweetener, and ice all blended together to give a delightful coffee flavor. To wrap up the recipe, frappuccino is typically topped with whipped cream and drizzled with chocolate syrup.
Some coffee stores or homemade frappuccino drinks offer customized flavors using different kinds of syrups, sweeteners, sauces, and toppings. Therefore, this type of iced coffee is on a sweeter side. However, with more and more frappuccino recipes being made, some are not espresso-based or do not contain any coffee at all.
This is a type of cold brew coffee infused with nitrogen, which elevates the coffee body to a thicker and creamier texture. It also creates a sweet flavor without the need to add sugar. However, it gives a stronger flavor than espresso.
This original coffee recipe from Vietnam highlights a special ingredient as its sweetener: condensed milk. This type of coffee is typically served hot but it is also best enjoyed chilled as a refreshing treat against the summer heat. All you need is brewed coffee, a tablespoon of condensed milk, and some ice cubes.
When you need a little kick in your coffee drink, Mazagran is another type of iced coffee that goes beyond the conventional coffee flavors. There are different versions of this coffee but the common recipe includes espresso or cold brew, mint, lemon, rum, sugar, and then poured over ice.
Infusing the tangy freshness of lemon and mint minimizes the bitterness of coffee. It lets you indulge in strong coffee and a refreshing flavor at the same time. Aside from that, it is usually served with a slice or wedge of lemon as a garnish.
The material used for a tumbler or container has a significant impact on the flavor and temperature of your coffee. Therefore, it is better to go for non-reactive vessels or containers, which you will find from stainless steel and glass containers. Plus, these materials are durable.
Furthermore, stainless steel drinkware or containers provide excellent temperature retention, which keeps the drink hot or cold for long periods. Since it is also non-reactive, it does not impart any flavor to the coffee, preserving its smooth and rich taste as it is freshly brewed.
The same properties and benefits apply to glass and plastic containers. They have the ability to hold cold drinks longer, allowing you to indulge in a thirst-quenching iced coffee at any time of the day. Just remember that if you are buying plastic containers, make sure it is BPA-free, which ensures safe drinking.
Meanwhile, the major difference between these materials is durability. Stainless steel is known for its resilient quality that can last for years. Glass containers are fragile while the plastic ones easily break sometimes and are prone to scratches and damages. They are not as durable as stainless steel containers. However, they can also share excellent durability with proper care and storage.
Many brands use different types of materials and innovative technologies to enhance the temperature retention of their containers and tumblers. You can either identify them as Insulated (Double Wall) or Vacuum Sealed containers.
Both technologies utilize respective methods that can keep your iced coffee cool for extended hours. Insulated or Double Wall containers feature multiple layers of materials, with stainless steel typically the primary layer or interior, and the second layer or the exterior can be a variety of materials such as glass, plastic, and many others.
On the other hand, Vacuum Sealed containers or tumblers render excellent insulation due to the void of air within the layers of the container. As it eliminates the air or molecules, the contents, such as your iced coffee, stay cool for relatively long periods.
Iced coffee tumblers and containers vary according to size. Tumblers usually range between 16oz to 30oz although it depends on the brand as some have bigger or smaller sizes. Meanwhile, containers and pitchers are typically larger, which offer around a liter or more. Choosing the perfect size and capacity all depends on your personal preferences.
To prevent any messy spills and leaks, a lot of brands use leak proof and spill-proof lid designs on their containers, tumblers, and pitchers. One of the common designs is the flip lid, which allows the user to drink easily without worrying about spills and leaks. Some brands reinforce these lid designs, particularly the travel mugs or tumblers, to ensure that the contents are properly secure even when you carry or toss the container around.
When you are all good with the primary features, the next thing to do is pick out the color and style you want. The market offers an extensive lineup of designs, colors, and styles for tumblers and containers, and it will depend on your style preferences as well as needs.
If you want to bring your iced coffee with you wherever you go, you should opt for travel tumblers or containers that usually come in portable sizes. Some of them feature built-in handles so you can carry them around without any hassle.
Perhaps, a large pitcher is all you need if you often cater to many visitors or you simply want to save more coffee in the fridge for later. No matter which style or color you choose, make sure it is durable and has optimum temperature retention properties to keep your iced coffee chilled for a long time.
For a lightweight and durable container, this plastic pitcher is all about versatile function and storage that will keep your cold brew, tea, or any drink cold and tasty for a long time.
It highlights its airtight lid that preserves the freshness and original flavor of your beverage without worrying about spills and leaks. This pitcher has a 2-quart capacity or around 8 servings.
Although it is plastic, this pitcher is BPA-free, which ensures safe drinking. Moreover, it wards off any stains, odor, and other potential elements that can affect the flavor of your beverage, particularly for cold brew.
Aside from that, this pitcher can withstand cold and hot temperatures. Thus, you can use it to serve hot tea or use it as a container to keep your coffee cold and refreshing for long periods. It is also nice that the lid has a built-in handle, so you can twist it on and off quickly.
Another impressive feature is the straightforward design. It just looks like any regular pitcher, which makes it much easier to store and serve various beverages. Plus, it comes with a non-slip silicone handle for hassle-free transport and serving.
I like how it is portable and leak proof. However, although the brand claims it to be shatterproof, I believe it still needs extra care since it is made of plastic.
Despite that minor issue, this pitcher is among the best iced coffee containers that can preserve its original temperature for a long time. It has a sturdy and ergonomic plastic design that can provide perfect storage for your cold brew.
Probably the very first thing you will notice with this Anchor Hocking pitcher is the shape and size. With its capacity of 64 ounces or around 1.8 liters, you will have enough storage when brewing your favorite coffee for cold brew.
Crafted from a thick and sturdy glass material, this pitcher ensures durable quality that also provides ample temperature retention. Therefore, your iced coffee or cold brew can stay chilled for extended periods.
Although the clear glass construction gives off a sophisticated appearance, it also allows you to easily check and see the contents inside. I think this is important if you are filling it up with water or any beverage, preventing overflowing and messy spills.
One more thing, the ergonomic shape of this glass pitcher enables you to hold it comfortably, allowing you to serve and pour the contents over another container for messy-free drinking.
For secure and leak proof storage, this container comes with a lid that fits nicely in the pitcher. Crafted with rubber, the lid seals the pitcher while preventing the air from going inside. In this way, it preserves the fresh flavor of your coffee or any beverage up to the last drop.
Just some heads up, this pitcher is a little heavy. Although it can hold hot and cold drinks, I do not recommend filling it up with boiling hot liquids as it can break or cause some cracks in the pitcher.
Overall, this is an elegant pitcher that can provide spacious storage for your favorite cold brew and keeps it chilled for a long time.
First of all, it boasts a slim and flat design that you can easily fit in almost every part of your fridge. Whether you store it upright or slip it under the fridge tray, this won’t be a problem. The slim and ergonomic design does the trick.
While that seems to be one of its attractive features, I must say that this Pratico Kitchen Quickpour pitcher does a great job handling both hot and cold liquids.
This is because of the BPA-free SAN or Styrene Acrylonitrile material that can withstand various temperatures, resulting in a hot or cold beverage that can last for hours. Apart from that, this type of material ensures healthy and safe drinking.
Even when you fill boiling hot liquids directly inside, it does not cause leaching, preventing any harmful elements or chemicals that might affect the flavor and compromise the safety of healthy drinking.
Besides the innovative design, one of the advantages of this pitcher is its durability. Although it is plastic, I am impressed with how it does not break or crack easily. But what stands out with this pitcher is its ability to retain the flavors of its contents, especially when it is freshly brewed coffee.
Another impressive feature is the leak and spill proof lid that slides down to open. All it takes is a quick push to the button, then the cover slides down, allowing you to open it and pour without messy spills.
There are silicone gaskets that secure the container, so you can fill it up and serve the contents without worrying about spills or leaks. Plus, the handle lends a comfortable grip. I just had a bit of a difficult time assembling the spout, and I think it is slightly expensive.
Other than that, this plastic pitcher presents an excellent leak proof and space-saving design. It handles various temperatures whether hot or cold, allowing you to store and serve iced coffee and other beverages at any time of the day.
If I could think of words to describe this glass pitcher from JCPKitchen, it would probably be “incredibly durable and versatile”. What is not to appreciate in a glass pitcher that can withstand hot and cold temperatures, and can be placed on a stove or inside a microwave oven?
This secret is definitely the high borosilicate glass that has been used in many labs due to its exceptional durability. What is also amazing about this material is that it is not as heavy as you think it is. It is actually lightweight compared to other glass pitchers and can accommodate sudden changes in temperatures.
With such amazing features, this glass pitcher makes an excellent container for brewing coffee and preserving it ice cold. Then, you can enjoy multiple servings of cold brew after a few days without worrying about any change in its bold and rich taste.
Aside from that, the large size is definitely an advantage. With its capacity of 2 liters, you will have plenty of space to fill up the container with your favorite drinks, especially iced cold brew or coffee.
Moreover, the tight and secure lid can prevent any spills and leaks. However, since it has some small openings due to its filter, the beverages can still be exposed to the air inside the fridge.
This glass pitcher is quite exceptional for its ability to handle hot and cold temperatures efficiently. It is durable, lightweight, and offers a large capacity that can store multiple servings of your favorite cold brew coffee or any drink.
As mason jars become popular for their aesthetic and rustic features, they have also become a staple kitchen item because of their excellent storage properties, whether it is for dry goods or liquids, particularly for cold brew. With that in mind, this County Line Kitchen mason jar is one of the bests I have found.
Besides its unique and cute design, this mason jar is made of heavy-duty glass that can be used for brewing coffee in cold water. The soda-lime glass offers safe drinking as it does not leach harmful chemicals in your cold brew.
This one comes with a stainless steel filter for effortless brewing. All you need is to add coffee grounds to the filter, let it steep overnight inside the fridge, and enjoy your delicious cold brew the next day.
Moreover, a silicone seal is wrapped inside the stainless steel lid for an airtight closure. This prevents the air from getting inside the jar, keeping the coffee fresh, cold, and tasty as it should be. No need to worry about leaks and spills as well.
If it is also your first time making cold brew, this product also comes with an instruction manual and recipe booklet. In this way, you can try various iced coffee recipes and enjoy different refreshing flavors.
Aside from that, I want to highlight the stainless steel filter that is designed with rolled and folded seams. This prevents any sharp edges, allowing you to brew safely and effortlessly at all times.
It has a silicone seal to keep the coffee grounds from mixing in the brewed coffee. I just wish it was much finer since some coffee grounds still get through the filter.
This coffee container is worth trying if it is your first time making a cold brew. It is durable, easy to use, and ideal storage for delicious servings of cold brew coffee any day.
The best thing about double-walled and vacuum-insulated tumblers is that they can keep your drinks chilled for hours. They are innovatively designed for this purpose, which is why this bubba Envy S Vacuum insulated travel container is among the top picks for cold beverages such as iced coffee.
Furthermore, this tumbler highlights its ability to keep drinks cold for up to 12 hours, which is practically like half of the day. Thus, if you work, go outdoors very often, or need to travel around with your chilled cup of joe, I suggest trying this one.
Besides that, the BPA-free lid fits nicely in the tumbler, keeping the contents secure so they will not spill or leak every time you carry it around. One more thing, it has a drinking hole for casual sipping or if you want to use a straw.
Aside from that, this spill-proof lid is resistant to odor, stain, and impact. Hence, it promotes safe drinking, ensuring a tasty and rich coffee flavor without leaching acids or various harmful elements.
For the exterior and aesthetics, it looks plain and simple with its metal finish. While this presents a straightforward design, it gives off a sophisticated appearance that complements your elegant taste.
What is also great about this tumbler is the easy cleanup. Both the container and the lid are dishwasher-safe. It also has a silicone base pad that prevents it from sliding or slipping whenever you put it on your table or in a car cup holder.
I just wish that the drinking hole has a flip cover or lid so it is not always exposed.
Nonetheless, this stainless steel tumbler is all about keeping your favorite iced coffee cold for extended hours. It is handy, travel-friendly, and will definitely let you savor that rich taste for hours.
The fun thing about this Simple Modern Classic tumbler is that you can enjoy your iced coffee in two ways: using a straw lid or a flip lid. I bet this is a huge advantage for coffee drinkers as some tumblers include only one of these lids.
The flip lid is leak proof and has a twist and lock technology that prevents the coffee from spilling every time you drink or carry it around. For the straw lid, the same technology is used and is splash proof.
Impressively, both lids have double-wall insulation that can retain the temperature and flavor of your coffee, whether it is cold or hot. And if you want to change your beverage, cleaning the lid is like a breeze.
While that seems to be the highlighted feature, this tumbler stands out for its food-grade stainless steel material that is BPA-free and rust-resistant. Innovatively crafted with premium copper coated insulation, it reinforces the insulation for optimal temperature stability.
One more thing, this bottle wards off condensation, meaning that it does not sweat or burn. Even when you use it for hot liquids or beverages, you can hold it comfortably wherever you go.
On the other hand, it is nice that the lids are spill-proof and impeccably durable. However, they are difficult to twist at times.
Despite that minor issue, this tumbler is a versatile coffee container that can let you enjoy your beverage in any convenient way you want.
Yeti has been among the popular brands for portable and durable tumblers. This is no question since they typically utilize a double-wall design and stainless steel body such as this Rambler 30.
Besides the vast array of colors to choose from, this insulated tumbler is innovatively designed to stabilize the temperature for long periods. If you have iced coffee to take with you while working or traveling, you can enjoy it chilled for extended hours.
Just so you know, this brand uses their YETI MagSlider lid, which is a drink lid that uses the power of magnets to secure the container. This prevents any accidental spills or leaks, especially if you carry it around.
Aside from that, this tumbler is BPA-free, which ensures healthy and safe drinking as it deters any harmful elements and leaching acids. Plus, it is a No Sweat design; thus, it keeps your hands dry all the time whether you are drinking cold or hot beverages.
If you also look at its body, it features an ergonomic shape for a comfortable grip. Moreover, this promotes convenient and messy-free drinking. Not to mention that it is crafted with a tough Duracoat for additional grip and long-lasting color and quality that won’t fade, crack, or peel over time.
There is only a slight pitfall with its size; some find it a little bulky.
If it is all about temperature stability and spill-proof drinking, this YETI tumbler is definitely worth trying.
The convenience of many portable tumblers has made them quite popular among many coffee drinkers. And if you can’t skip caffeine for a day just like me, you would probably find this Hydro Flask coffee travel mug a sweet treat.
First of all, it boasts the TempShield Double Wall Vacuum insulation that ensures hours of cold and tasty coffee drink. Therefore, it is a handy container that you can take anywhere with you and enjoy icy cold coffee whenever you need some caffeine boost.
Designed with 18/8 Pro-grade stainless steel, it guarantees a long-lasting quality that also ensures safe drinking. Moreover, it can take a beating even when you have used it many times or carried it around wherever you go.
But need not worry if you are going to use it with other types of beverages. This travel mug is easy to clean, and will not retain or transfer flavor.
When it comes to portability, this container features a built-in handle that you can use whenever you go hiking or just go outdoors for some errands. My only issue is that the lid should be checked carefully; otherwise, it tends to leak.
It is a nice iced coffee travel tumbler that can give you your caffeine boost anytime. Designed with a resilient stainless steel body, it ensures a quality that will not wear out easily over time.
1. Can you use a tumbler for iced coffee?
Yes, you can. This helps retain the cold temperature of your coffee. However, results may vary from brand to brand as the material and design differ across all types of tumblers. Therefore, you should check whether or not the tumbler you are buying has excellent insulation properties that can keep your coffee cold or hot for long periods.
2. How do you store coffee for iced coffee?
You can simply pour the coffee in a pitcher or a glass container with a tight lid and place it in the fridge. If you want to take delight in the same boldness and flavor of your coffee, much better if you will consume it the next day, especially if it contains milk, cream, or any sweetener. Keeping it in the fridge for a couple of days might alter the flavor, leaving it bad and not as flavorful as before.
Meanwhile, it is a different story if we are talking about cold brew. As discussed, cold brew takes 12 to 36 hours of steeping to achieve the purest form of coffee, and keeping it in a fridge for a week will not be a problem. For brewed coffee that is undiluted or not mixed with any milk or sweetener, it can go for 3 to 4 days inside the fridge. Just make sure to store it in a container with a secure and tight lid.
3. How do I clean my reusable iced coffee cup?
You can simply wash it with warm water and mild dish soap. Some tumblers and containers are dishwasher-safe, so you can clean them that way. However, if you want a thorough cleaning, you may detach the lid from the container or bottle and soak it in warm water with dish soap for 10 minutes.
Stains and other residues usually linger in the lid, which is why soaking would help to soften any residue. Do not use chlorine-based cleaners as they can damage the material, and are also not safe for food or drink containers. Afterward, rinse the lid and the container and wipe them dry. Make sure to dry them separately. Do not place the lid back to the container while it is wet to avoid any molds.
In a nutshell, the best iced coffee container and tumbler should provide optimum insulation or temperature retention that will keep your drinks cold for extended periods. Moreover, it is important to consider the material to know whether or not they are durable or can break easily over time. The products and reviews mentioned above are some of the best choices you can consider. Hope this list narrows down your options and helps you find the ultimate pick for your preferences and needs.