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Ice ice baby

May 29, 2011

[Note: After writing this up, I noticed that a few of broseph’s past blog entries are clearly relevant. Check them out here and here!]


Ok, it was 91 degrees in Baltimore the other day, and we’ll be in the upper 90s today and tomorrow (!), so I’ve been messing around with a few warm-weather coffee brewing methods I’d long been curious about. There are gadgets you can buy to automate the process (e.g. the Toddy), but they’re not necessary.



One method involves letting your coffee steep at room temperature overnight, i.e. for 12 hours or so. I cut it short at 11 hours but doubt that made much of a difference. Equipment needed was minimal: just a vessel to hold the coffee and some sort of filtering device. I used a big carafe with a lid and then strained into my empty French press (minus the plunger) with the help of a sieve lined with cheesecloth. A pourover cone with paper filter would have worked just as well. Afterward, I put the press filled with coffee concentrate into the fridge to cool it down before serving. You can dilute to taste (or not at all if you’re hardcore).



Another method involves brewing your coffee hot as a double-strength pourover directly onto ice cubes. Again, I didn’t need anything special to do this aside from a pourover cone and a filter.



The coffee I used was some slightly past peak Fratello Costa Rican Tarrazu Rio Jorco whole bean.



After cupping both iced coffees, ultimately I preferred the overnight brew. It had much deeper flavor (unsweetened chocolate + cherry) and a heavier mouth feel. The pourover gave me a lighter, more refreshing cup with amped up aromatics, but it was more watered down overall and lacked flavor in my opinion. If I were to do this comparison again, I’d make sure to use the same Brita-filtered water for my pourover ice that I used to brew overnight.



In the future, I’ll be especially curious to try broseph’s idea of doing the bloom with hot water and then finishing with cold. Seems like that method would give me the best of both worlds, so to speak.



Anyone else experimenting with coffee concentrates/iced coffee brewing methods? I’d be interested to hear of other ways to get my fix without working up too much of a sweat.






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