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Japanese Style Cold Brew

March 06, 2012


Here in California spring is starting to lurch into existence, and that's what brought me to wanting a cold coffee.this past Sunday. However, most of the time unless it's in the midst of summer I don't have cold brew coffee sitting in the frig, so I need to find a good way to make an iced coffee on demand. One of those ways that you can make an iced coffee quickly is called the Japanese Style Cold Brew.



It's a fairly straight forward way of making a cold brew coffee, you brew your coffee hot and pour over it ice. 



Of course there is a little more to it than that because you have to combat the problem of the ice melting and diluting your coffee. Therefore, you need to brew your coffee stronger than normal, what I have typically heard to do is just use the same ratio of coffee to water, but include the ice. So if you are going to use the golden ratio of 60 grams of water to a liter of water, you would brew 60 grams of coffee in a half liter and add it to a half liter of ice.



So this past Sunday it was a little warm and I just brewed six ounces of water in 24 grams of coffee. I had the coffee pour over ice. It turned out pretty well, I used a pretty straight forward chocolate blend of coffee. It stayed sweet and with a little milk/sugar it's pretty good treat.



However, I am always thinking there is a way to improve and I remember seeing an article in the February/March 2012 Barista Magazine about cold brewing. Barista Magazine is much more about brewing coffee in a commercial setting, but it does apply here. Anyway, long story short use this brew method the writer believed that brewing coffee with 75% water you would use and only 25% ice was the best way.



So tonight I decided to give it a try and these were my steps for a 12 ounce cup of coffee with 24 grams of coffee in a Hario V60.



1. Rinse the filter with hot boiling water, but not in your serving glass.



2. Measured 100 grams of ice and placed in the glass, (total should be about 400 grams of water)



3. Put the filter over the cup with ice and pour coffee into the filter.



4. Start with a 30 second preinfusion with about 50 grams of water.



5. After preinfusion,  pour the remaining 250 grams of water in a slow manner and shoot for a 2-3 minute brew time.



6. Enjoy.



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However, my biggest problem with this is that by the time I was done brewing there was no ice left. The coffee was good, but more at room temp as oppose to being cold. I am not sure if this was the intent of the author of this recipe, but I added ice to it and it was quite delicious.



The coffee I used was the cup of excellence El Savador from Klatch, and the coffee was very complete. It was well rounded and tasted just like it does when it's hot. That's a good thing since a lot of cold brews can alter the taste in bad ways or be muted.



I believe the next time I try this I will probably add more ice. I think since the ice just melted, like I will use 200 grams of ice and 300 grams of water. It should keep it at about the same ratio since the ice will not have an impact on the flavor.



This ice coffee method in my opinion is on the right track, and  keeps the coffee flavor intact. Looks like I got a few months until summer rreally hits to get this right.






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