I’m always searching for new brewing methods and new ways to perfect my already delicious coffee brew even further. I was excited to jump onto a new experiment after reading an article on The New York Times titled “Ristretto | On the Rocks” by Oliver Strand.
In this article, Oliver talks about about an iced coffee method called the “Japanese iced method” which he found out about after mentioning cold brew to Counter Culture Coffee’s Peter Giuliano. The Japanese iced method might sound fancy, but in fact, it’s quite simple. This cold brew method involves brewing hot coffee onto ice.
Before you let your mind run wild with questions, it’s nothing like brewing coffee and sticking it in the fridge to chill over night, or even adding ice after brewing to cool the coffee down.
As George Howell said in this article:
Brewing onto ice is the only way to do it. It’s fresh! There’s none of that oxidized flavor of cold brew.
Before I started this experiment, I was racking my brain trying to figure out how brewing over ice would change the flavor of coffee. And just what would this “non-oxidized” cold brew taste like? It then hit me that it would probably be smart to do the experiment first before I go and question the method at hand.
I’m not one for following rules so I used my Hario V60 instead of my Chemex. Really, I only did this because the Chemex is packed away in a box.
For the experiment I used Verve Coffee’s Ethiopia Worka which you can read about here.
After a few experiments with adjusting the bean ratio for 20oz of brewed coffee I found this method to work best. As always, increase/decrease to your taste buds.
Here’s my method of choice:
55-60 grams of beans
200 grams roughly of ice
566 grams roughly of water (20oz)
First, I rinsed out the filter throughly to rid any paper tastes the might want to get into my coffee. I poured out the water and added my 7 ounces of ice. I then put the mason jar underneath the Hario V60 and ground up around 55 grams of beans and packed them into the filter. After that I poured just enough water onto the grinds to fully saturate them. I waited as the grinds started to “bloom” and then deflate. After that, I used my buono kettle to pour the water slowly in circles onto the ice until I reached my target of 20oz of water.
Once the coffee was done brewing, I grabbed myself and glass and began to enjoy the fresh non-oxidized coffee that sat in front of me.
If needed, you can add extra ice for maximum coldness.
When I took my first sip I was surprised to find the Ethiopia Worka tasted exactly as it did hot. I’ve always found that brewing coffee and then adding ice to chill it down greatly affects flavor. I’m not talking about watered down flavor here, I’m talking about a nice sweet and chocolaty coffee with hints of fruit when the coffee is hot, and smoky and earthy when it’s cold. On a table of flavors, they are on complete opposite sides.
With this experiment, I found that brewing hot coffee directly onto ice tasted exactly the same as it did hot. The same blueberry and sticky sweet maple syrup notes I found in the Ethiopia Worka hot was right here in this cold glass of coffee.
So, does this mean all coffees will taste the same cold as it does hot? Check out “Brewed Over Ice: Does Iced Coffee Taste The Same As Hot” to find out.