The latest tempest in coffee-pot amongst the coffee twitter-sphere is the question of cold-brewed coffee versus “japanese” style iced coffee. The debate was kicked off in large part by Oliver Strand’s post on the subject, http://tmagazine.blogs.nytimes.com/2012/06/06/ristretto-i-dont-know-what-you-did-last-summer/, and involves a lot of coffee esoterica, but there are certainly substantive differences between the two styles that merit your further investigation. I encourage you to give both styles of ice coffee a try and see which one is more to your liking. And don’t forget, one variable that most people are ignoring this discussion is that cold-brew coffee is 1.5-2x more caffeinated than Japanese iced coffee.
By Alex Bernson
Which kind do you prefer? Tweet at @craftcoffee #cupofawesome and tell us!
Ladies and Gents,
Let me introduce you to a brand new Craft Coffee blog series….: Pro-Tip Tuesday!
Today, in the spirit of spring to come, we dig into Cold Brew vs. “Japanese Iced”.
Sam Lewontin, our in-house coffee evaluator, has been so kind to give us a preview of his thoughts on the subject.
Any thoughts or comments? Be part of the conversation! @craftcoffee #craftcoffeetuesdays.
Cold-brewed iced coffee is immensely popular, and for good reason: it’s easy to make in large batches, and it’s pretty foolproof. Just put the proper amounts of ground coffee and water in a container, steep for around 12 hours, filter out the grounds, and you’ve got a cup that’s consistently pretty tasty.
The trouble with cold brew is that many of the flavors which make coffees distinctive— organic acids, volatile aromatic compounds and so on— aren’t extracted at all when brewing with cold water. This means that, while cold-brewed coffee can be very good, it will generally taste pretty similar, no matter which coffee you use.
If you’re looking for iced coffee that tastes like hot coffee, then, you’ll need to brew with hot water. We do this by changing our brew recipe for pour-over methods so that a little more than 1/3 of the water (by weight) is replaced with ice, which we place in the carafe, so that we’re brewing the hot coffee directly onto it. For instance: our usual Chemex recipe calls for 30g. of coffee and 500g. of water; to ice it, we place 200g. of ice in the bottom of the Chemex, and then brew using 30g. of coffee and 300g. of hot water. We also grind a little finer, to compensate for the effects of the smaller amount of water on the brewing process.
Get brewing and tell us what you think!