[Homeroast] iced coffee idea

Kim Phipps kphipps at mac.com
Fri Jul 2 12:41:44 CDT 2010

There is a great article in Imbibe magazine from a couple of years ago that gives some good ideas for iced coffee techniques. 
I do use the cold brew method occasionally, but I am hooked on the amazing aromas and flavors that you get from the drip method going immediately to ice. It's referred to as Japanese method by some--there is a specific pot you can buy for this, but I don't use one. In any case--something really tasty happens. For this, I just use the drip cones (or my smart drip cone) but you can use the metal vietnamese filter or even an aeropress. The key is to have your receptacle already filled with ice, so that the hot double strength brew hits the ice and cools immediately, preserving the nice bright acids and flavors.


from story by Kate Simon

"It’s all about capturing the fruit [notes] and aromas and keeping it sunny-tasting and light,” says Peter Giuliano, co-owner and director of coffee at North Carolina-based roaster Counter Culture Coffee, who has popularized hot-brewed, or “Japanese method,” iced coffee among some foodies and coffee pros. In this method, coffee grounds are placed in a pour-over filter basket on top of an ice-filled glass or carafe. Hot water is poured over the grounds and the brewed coffee travels through the filter and directly onto the ice, so that it cools instantly. The amount of ice is figured into the overall water content of the brew, to ensure a result that’s not watered down. That nearly instantaneous cooling is key to preserving the coffee’s integrity, picking up its natural acidity, which is the source of its most delicate, floral flavors. That’s in contrast to most iced coffee preparations, where regular-strength hot coffee is left to sit for several minutes or even hours and then poured unceremoniously over ice, creating a brew that at its worst is sour and, at best, flimsy and unremarkable.
“Coffee prepared [in the Japanese tradition] changes the way people think about iced coffee,” Giuliano says. He recalls how he first observed Japanese aisu kohii during a visit to Japan and eventually learned the method from Hidetaka Hayashi of the Hayashi Coffee Institute in Tokyo. He found that Japanese iced coffee, with its pronounced citrus flavors and aromas, is a more refreshing beverage, like Assam or Earl Grey tea with a squeeze of lemon.

Because the Japanese method highlights a coffee’s top notes—the bouquet of fruity, citrusy, floral flavors and aromatics that decorate the best coffees—Giuliano likes to use the most fruited, flowery African coffees like jasmine-noted Yirgacheffe and berry-toned Kenyan beans, which tend to be lightly roasted, allowing their natural qualities to shine through. “The best coffees for this method are those with a pronounced acidity and aroma,” he says, because they produce the most showy flavors. Bright, light-roasted Latin American coffees can also shine. 

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