It's hot out: Stay cool with some iced coffee
I get it. A steaming mug of FBCR coffee is just not as exciting in July as it is in January. But never fear, the hot Texas summer is a great time to explore other brewing methods; recipes that produce an awesome coffee in a more palatable cold format. Iced coffee is becoming more and more popular with the increase of companies offering cold brew; on tap, in cans, nitrogenated, in bottles, you name it. But, you too can make great iced coffee at home. Here are recipes for two of my favorite iced coffee methods.
Cold brew iced coffee
The cold brew method is simple in concept. Cold water, coarse ground coffee, and time. It produces a very different beverage than a hot brewing method. The flavors tend to center around chocolate and nutty notes, while fruit and more aromatic flavors will be pushed to the background. For example, my Guatemala: Finca Valparaiso is sweet orange with a strong floral element and a chocolate base when it is brewed hot. When it is cold brewed, the main flavor is rich milk chocolate with a hint of orange. First Cup Cafe in Fulshear is currently using this coffee for their cold brew and I think it is great. Cold brew also tends to work best as a concentrate rather than brewing at regular strength. So you brew it 2-3 times stronger than normal and then dilute based on your needs. Finally, cold brew is the best choice for adding cream and sugar as the chocolate notes taste great with the added ingredients.
If you want to make this easy, buy a Toddy cold brew maker. They make a simple brewing device that takes some of the mess out of cold brewing (though it is still rather messy). But, you can cold brew in just about anything as long as you have a way to filter the brewing solution.
Cold brew recipe
- Container that can hold 12-oz of ground coffee and 7-cups of water (at least a half gallon size)
- 12-oz of very coarse ground coffee (that is a full bag of FBCR coffee)
- 7 cups of filtered, cold water
- A mesh strainer and a few coffee filters
- A container to hold the finished concentrate
1. Add ground coffee into brewing container and add cold water, stir to make sure all the coffee gets saturated with water.
2. Place in fridge or on a counter and cover the container.
3. Brew for anywhere from 12-24 hours. The longer you brew, the stronger the concentrate, but you also run the risk of the brew being too muddy. I recommend around 18 hours brew time as a good starting point.
4. When brewing is complete, you will need to strain the coffee. I would start by straining using a mesh strainer to catch the larger particles, then run the remaining liquid through a coffee filter (this process will take a while). I use the mesh strainer to hold the coffee filter.
5. Your cold-brew concentrate is now ready. You can use anywhere from 1:1 to 1:3 coffee to water ratio for diluting the concentrate and you can use either water or milk. Serve over ice. The concentrate will last for about 2 weeks in the fridge.
As you can see, there is a lot of wiggle room in the cold brew recipe. Play around with it and find the timing and ratio that works best for you. This method works best with medium and dark roasts, but can be used with all of my coffees.
This is the other common iced coffee brewing method and the one I prefer. While cold brewing brings out new and different flavors in a coffee, the iced pour-over method captures the flavors and aromas of a hot coffee and locks them into a cold infusion. It also takes about as long as it would to make a hot coffee so no pre-planning necessary. This method uses hot brewing that is cooled immediately by ice. You have to use more coffee and less water than you normally would because a lot of the ice will melt during brewing and dilute the brew. We feature this method at our booth at the Farmer's Market at Imperial in Sugar Land every Saturday.
Iced pour-over recipe
- 30-grams med-fine ground coffee
- 8-oz 195-205 F water (235 ml)
- 16-oz glass
- 8-oz ice (a 16-oz glass filled with large ice will hold this amount)
- Pour-over device (Kalita, Beehouse, Hario v60, or similar) and filter
- Pouring kettle
1. Rinse filter and add the ground coffee to your brewing device.
2. Add ice to 16-oz glass and place brewing device on top.
3. With the pouring kettle, begin by pouring a small amount of hot water over the grounds (2-3 Tablespoons), wait 30-45 seconds. This is the bloom phase.
4. Pour the rest of the water slowly focusing on the center of the brewing bed with small circles outward. Avoid the edges where the coffee bed and filter meet.
5. When the brew is finished, you should have a glass of iced coffee with some ice left. Give the beverage a good stir.
This method works best with light roasts, but can be used for all of my coffees. My favorite for this method is my Ethiopia: Yirgacheffe.
Happy iced coffee brewing!