We've received a lot of questions about the photos we've posted of us brewing iced coffee Japanese-Style/flash brewed using Chemex, Clever Drippers, and Aeropress (this also works great for V60s). We've also been asked why not just do cold brews. We'll share our recipes first and then our rationale for why we prefer Japanese-style iced coffee.
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The first thing to note is that brewing iced coffee Japanese-style is very similar to how you brew your hot coffee. Same machines, same grinds, same water temps, same technique. You can refer to our Grimpeur Bros. Brewing Guides for tips. The real differences are the introduction of ice and the change of the water to coffee ratio. Everything else pretty much stays the same.
Water : Coffee Ratio
We normally use the following "water : coffee ratios" for brewing hot coffee:
Chemex 15.6 : 1
Clever Dripper 16.6 : 1
Aeropress 13 : 1
V60 17 : 1
For iced coffee, we adjust our "water : coffee ratios" as follows:
Chemex 12 : 1
Clever Dripper 13 : 1
Aeropress 10 : 1
V60 13 : 1
The adjustment allows melting ice.
Let's say we use a Clever Dripper. We'll use the same technique and weigh 22 g of coffee. But instead of using 365g of hot water at 205-206F, we'll use 286g of hot water at the same temp. This will insure that the coffee isn't watered down by melting ice. You replicate the same idea with other brewing equipment.
Introduction of Ice
Bringing ice into the equation is wonderfully perfect for HOT summer days. And it's pretty easy.
For the Clever Dripper example, simply pre-fill your glass with big cubed ice all the way up to the top of the glass but taking care not to overfill it. You don't want the ice to touch the Clever Dripper or for ice cubes to cause a bad fit on top of the cup. Once you set the Clever Dripper onto your cup, the coffee will dispense like always on to the ice. Once the coffee has fully drained, enjoy your cup of Japanese-style iced coffee!
For an Aeropress, you can brew directly onto a cup filled with ice. We brew inverted so it requires a little skill in flipping over a cup filled with ice onto the inverted Aeropress and then flipping it back. Practice and it will come to you. It's completely worth it.
For V60s, you'll brew your iced coffee directly onto the cup as similarly described above for a Clever Dripper.
Now for a Chemex, you'll brew iced coffee in the Chemex receptacle. Fill the Chemex vessel with big cubes of ice up to but not touching the pre-wetted paper filter.
Note: you can wet the filter either before or after fill the Chemex with ice. If you do it before, you'll need to remove and hold the filter in one hand after it's wet and then put it back on to the Chemex after it's filled with ice. If you do it before, remember to carefully pour out any water before brewing the coffee into the receptacle.
Once you've filled the Chemex with ice and the pre-wetted filtered is on, pour in the freshly ground coffee and brew like you normally would with the 12:1 ratio. Once you are done, remove the filter and grounds and enjoy your Japanese-style iced coffee. NOTE: Don't be afraid of having the extreme temps of ice and very hot water in your Chemex. They're made of lab strength glass.
Why Japanese-style Flash Brewed Coffee v. Cold Brew
We prefer Japanese-style Flash Brewed Coffee because it best preserves light and medium roasted specialty coffee's distinct taste profiles. We LUV an excellent cold brewed coffee. However, all too often we've experienced toddy cold brew from outstanding specialty beans that is poorly executed and tastes no different than the corner bodega's iced coffee with it's uniform "iced coffee" bitter taste that screams for milk and sugar. Toddys/Cold Brew tend to level out/destroy the uniqueness of a beautiful Ardi or Yirgacheffe or Caturra. We strive for #CupsOfWow and cold brew/Toddys don't deliver what we like. If you like them, great. Enjoy them!
They're just not Grimpeur Style.
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