Iced, Iced Coffee

by Lana Labermeier

Given all this discussion over iced coffee — which is well timed, as the season in DC is almost upon us — I thought I’d weigh in with my professional opinion.

Cold brewing, as Yglesias outlined, is great, but not the best in my experience. I use the Japanese method of brewing iced coffee, which entails brewing double strength coffee in a drip filter directly into ice, so that the total volume of brewed coffee in ice is just slightly stronger than normal.

Cold brewing and Japanese method brewing both avoid the bitterness that occurs when you allow hot coffee to cool slowly and naturally. What makes the Japanese method better than cold brewing is two fold. One, brewing stronger coffee directly over ice is said to “lock in the aromatics.” Two, Japanese-method iced coffee avoids another pitfall of cold brewing, which is that allowing any coffee to steep too long can result in bitterness.

But no matter which method you prefer, I suggest trying out different coffees — I usually use a lighter Ethiopian. The thing to keep in mind is that icing coffees tends to bring out that coffee’s strongest characteristic: darker-roasted coffees will usually turn more bitter, and brighter coffees will become more acidic.

One response to “Iced, Iced Coffee

  1. Iced, Iced Coffee

    I see what you did there.

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