Take the edge off hot Summer days with a frosty glass of refreshing, invigorating cold brewed or iced coffee. No matter how you prepare and serve it, from simply black to all dressed up with your favorite creamer, sweeteners or flavorings, there are two home brewing techniques you should know about - cold brew and hot brewed Japanese-style iced coffee. Both styles work just fine with any bean you choose, but they each produce distinctly different tasting cups of coffee.
What's the difference? First, cold brewing takes a lot of time - 12 to 15 hours at room temperature and as much as 24 hours if you steep it in the refrigerator. On the other hand, hot brewing over ice is ready to drink right away.
Cold brewing produces a concentrate that is smooth, sweet, very high in caffeine, low in acid and not at all bitter. Because you don't use hot water to efficiently extract all of coffee's many flavor components, particularly those in more lightly roasted coffees, we find cold brewing emphasizes a coffee's more chocolatey side. That lends itself to brewing beans roasted to medium and darker levels.
In contrast, hot brewing over ice captures the fruit, floral and other flavor notes that can be found in hot coffee. As a result, it's our go-to technique for icing more lightly roasted beans. Of course you can use any coffee to make a tasty cup using either style so it's all a matter of finding out which you enjoy most.
Finally, freeze up some coffee cubes. Make a pot of brewed coffee a bit stronger than you usually make, allow it to cool, fill a tray or two and freeze. Add a couple cubes to your glass and you won't have to cope with watery iced coffee.
First, decide how much to make. This recipe calls for a French Press and a four-to-one ratio of water to coffee. It makes a bit more than 300ml (about 10 ounces) of coffee concentrate, enough to make as much as 40 drinkable ounces of coffee. The good news is this recipe scales easily and works whether you're making a few cups or gallons at a time. Just be certain your containers are large enough to handle the amount you're making.
Stuff You'll Need: Windward Coffee, cold water (ideally filtered or spring water), a French Press or other container to brew in, a scale or measuring cups, a grinder or course pre-ground coffee, paper filters, a strainer and another container to store the finished concentrate.
If you're making a lot of cold brew choose a tight sealing container that's large enough to handle the task, pours smoothly and is easy to clean. It doesn't have to be fancy - we repurposed a plastic tub that once held snacks and it works perfectly.
This approach, also called Japanese style, is the way to go if your taste buds are pining for a chilly bracer with most all of your favorite coffee's flavors intact. It's more involved to make but as a reward it can be served right away.
This auto drip recipe makes a 40-ounce pot of iced coffee.
Stuff You'll Need: Windward coffee, ice, a scale, paper filter and an auto drip coffee maker. We like the Bonavita 1800 for it's ability to maintain proper brewing temperature and a showerhead that evenly wets the grinds in the brew basket. Of course you can use whatever machine you happen to have at hand.