Summary of iced coffee brewing methods

Coffee preparation techniques besides espresso like pourover.
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#1: Post by HB »

Lately several threads on this forum have discussed the merits of coffee served iced, e.g., Iced Coffee, How to Make Japanese Iced Coffee, and Iced Coffee - Cambridge Cold Brew. Mike Zhu (nuprin) from New World Cafe forwarded me an e-mail from Michael Harwood about some articles and blog posts on various brew methods:
Tomorrow we plan to meet at his cafe to try these different methods and give Mike a chance to show off his latest coffee toy:

I'll post the group's taste test results over the weekend.
Dan Kehn

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ex trahere

#2: Post by ex trahere »

Cool! Excited to hear the results. Interesting you posted the big drip tower, as I have been thinking of those a lot lately. I have a small one that yield ~750ml, and used it exlusively for my iced coffee brewing for 6 months or so.

As I have adopted cold extractions, I have fallen away from this method. I would always use ice in the top chamber, but the coffee bed was room temp, and the bottom caraffe wouldn't be cold by the time it finished. If one could insulate the entire fixture with some type of cooling coil/ propylene glycol setup (stainless might be necessary for this), I think the results would be second to none.
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#3: Post by the_trystero »

So far Lorenzo's article is the best one I've read regarding cold brew vs iced hot brew. Thanks for the links.
"A screaming comes across the sky..." - Thomas Pynchon

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Team HB

#4: Post by TomC »

I think I need one of those ^ :twisted:
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#5: Post by woodchuck »

Wow very interesting. The geeks were over at New World today tasting some of Mike's different iced coffees. We did a bake-off between hot brewed on ice and cold brewed with rest (4 to 7 days). The coffees we tried were a Mocha Java and the second a much fruitier SO (can't remember the origin but I believe it was a Central American of some sort). In the Mocha Java round I much preferred the hot brew method. The cold brew accentuated the sugars and caramels in the coffee - it almost tasted like a Mars bar to me. The hot brew had much brighter notes and actually just a hint of tobacco but not so sweet. In round two with the fruitier SO I thought the cold brew method was better. The same process of turning down the brightness and accentuating the sweetness helped balance out the brighter coffee. The hot brew didn't bring out this sweetness so it was still very bright. Bottom line for me - two different methods -two different flavor profiles - pick your coffee first then pick the brew method neither is "the best".




#6: Post by Nuprin »

To make it easier, here's the link to the pictures Nathan took on Flicker: ... 341298334/

Great Job on the pics Nathan!

To answer your question Ian, the 2nd SO coffee was Counter Culture's Cinco De Junio from Nicaragua about 4 days from brew. I think Ian's consensus was right on the mark. It depends on the coffee(and what you might add to it) just like brewing hot manual pours. However, after trying a few different coffees over the past few months, I noticed that the lighter roasted, fruitier coffees needed to be chilled at least 3-7 days after the cold slow-drip to fully develop intensity and flavor. Darker roasts tend to do well right after brewing. I recall last year's Ethiopian Idido was very wine-like and had a bourbon texture to the finish.

There's no wrong or right but I would have to agree with Ian, preferring the Mocha Java Japanese style and the Cinco De Junio aged from the slow cold-dripped. If you guys haven't had the chance to read the iced coffee article links, it's worth a glance.

Here's another good link to various brew methods different people have developed: ... d-recipes/

Next week I'll be in California visiting various roasters and cafes in LA and Bay area so I'll try to share anything new and interesting.

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ex trahere

#7: Post by ex trahere »

woodchuck wrote:Bottom line for me - two different methods -two different flavor profiles - pick your coffee first then pick the brew method neither is "the best".

Wonderfully put, Ian! Let's put a rest to the 'which iced coffee method is best' argument, as many have noted that some coffees simply do better with alternative brewing methods to others.
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