• Tom

What if cold brew wasn't brewed cold?



Hey y'all!


What's cooler than being cool?


Yeah! Ice Cold!


A couple of summers ago I was on the trip of wanting cold coffee that tasted AWESOME!!!


I spent a day in between the kitchen and the garden, I perfected a recipe, then I found that I'd already been beaten to the punch by the amazing James Hoffman.

I guess I shouldn't have been surprised; It's not a new concept but I thought I'd done it on my own, then when I was going to post it I saw that I was a few days late.


If you want a full on slick video on how to make great coffee, ice cold, in hot weather, you should check out Jim's original post from a couple years back. He's fantastic and has a great way with words and film. It's down at the bottom of this post if you want to watch it.

I started this project back then because I really don't like most cold brew. Don't get me wrong, now and again one will come along that I really like. I have an Artemis now and then and they have really hit the spot (link is to the left in case you missed it) These are pre-made, carefully constructed, tasty cold beverages that are a nice addition to the mixers in the fridge but they are not (how I find) cold brew to be 99% of the time when I make it or when I get it in a cafe. There are exceptions here as well, the cold brew at FCP in Bristol is always really good and I've had others that I've enjoyed. The waiting for hours to get something at home that has often disappointed me has put me off keeping going with the cold brew method.


Using the coffee I have to hand from some of the best roasters (subscription available), I will be brewing frosty beverages with the brew then chill method this summer and this is how:


First - Take you're favourite glass, it needs to be a fairly good size. Add as much ice as feels good. Put it to one side, in the freezer if you're feeling super hot.


Now, get the kettle out. It's brewing time!

The recipe I developed for the ultimate iced coffee is:

30g coffee - ground a little finer than usual for a pour over.

After pre-rinsing your Chemex paper then add the coffee (You could use a V60 / Kalita / Clever dripper / whatever you like. I just like a Chemex)

Bloom with 60g water - poured slowly covering all the coffee and then a short spin after the pour. I much prefer to spin than use a spoon for agitation, but up to you.

45 seconds after the start of the bloom pour add 230g water on a slow pour, ending round 115 seconds. Wait 20 seconds and spin again to take any coffee off the edge of the paper.

Then as the coffee drops, pour 40g water round the outside of the paper to pull any high and dry grinds down into the bed. Quick swirl again. Should look great!


Total drawdown time you're looking for is 3:30 - 3:45 - I said finer than usual remember?

So now you have a coffee with a 1:11 ratio I'd call this a semi-concentrate.


Next, take your paper and coffee grounds out and add 280g of large ice cubes - the bigger the better and give it a little swirl.

Leave it for no more than 2 mins - best is 60-90 seconds.

Given some of the ice has melted you should now have around 450ml of iced coffee and some solid ice in a Chemex / carafe.


A bit on the theory on the above - by brewing hot (and not over ice) I found that I could use more hot water to brew the coffee as by the time the ice is added the coffee has already cooled a little and the coffee is chilled all at once, instead of while brewing. This leads to less dilution from the ice, so more hot water can be used for brewing.


Now you can serve directly into your pre-chilled glasses and enjoy.

If you happen to have any coffee left over - pour it into some ice cube trays and put it in the freezer. Next time you make an iced coffee you can use this for your glasses. I have to admit I haven't done this as I always drink it all, but it could lead to some wild flavours especially if you are mixing coffees between each brew.

With any iced drinks you make - it's always better to use more ice than you need and ice cubes as big as possible. This reduces both the cooling time and also the amount of dilution in the drink.


Last bit is to give you the link for the video from James - which you may have just skipped too. Have a great Easter all!





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