After a false alarm back in March, when temperatures were in the upper 70’s everyday for almost two weeks, then a miserably chilly April, June 21 has finally descended upon Chicago. Girls are in their summer clothes, people are cooking out on their grills, the Cubs are losing on a regular basis, kids are skateboarding down the street, playing ball in the schoolyards…
Ah, yes – summer is here.
In my kitchen, though, summer’s arrival is celebrated a little differently: with a tray of ice cubes, some excellent coffee, a digital scale, and a Chemex.
You guessed it – Summer’s arrival also marks the arrival of iced coffee at my home coffee bar. This is an exciting time of year because it means for every brew method I’ve experimented with the other three quarters of the year, there are now twice as many methods to learn, practice, and perfect! Just when I finally get comfortable brewing with a new device, it’s time to relearn it to make a coffee that will help me survive the oppressively hot Chicago summer.
This year, unlike years past, I have made the acquaintance of a lot other iced coffee enthusiasts via the Table, whether on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, or any other social media outlet one can think of, and they’ve been posting recipes of their own that I get to experiment with!
This is the original iced coffee method: the Toddy.
For the best flavor, start with coarsely ground coffee beans (fresh roasted is best) and filtered water. The Toddy brewing container is designed to hold 12 ounces of coffee and 7 cups (56 fluid ounces) of water.
Fill – First, insert the stopper into the outside bottom of the brewing container; then, dampen the filter and insert it into the inside bottom of the brewing container. Next, add 1 cup of water into the bottom of the Toddy brewing container and 6 ounces of ground coffee. Slowly pour 3 more cups of water over the grounds, in a circular motion. Then, add the remaining 6 ounces of ground coffee. Finally, wait 5 minutes and slowly add the last 3 cups of water. DO NOT STIR (stirring the bed of grounds can result in a clogged filter). Lightly press down on the topmost grounds with the back of a spoon to ensure all grounds get wet.
Brew – Steep your coffee grounds for 12 to 18 hours to create a smooth, rich flavor. Filter Remove the stopper and let your coffee concentrate flow into the glass decanter – stays fresh for up to 2 weeks in your refrigerator.
Ben Blake’s Method (Aeropress)
17g of coffee / grind at 23 on a Baratza Maestro (in between a pourover and a chemex)
260g of water at around 55-60 degrees F
Pour in a circular motion, stir when finished, cap
Steep for 3 hours, plunge
Ben Blake is the creator of Draw Coffee
Rob Dunne’s Method (Aeropress)
16.5g of coffee
250g of water at 32 degrees C (90 degrees F)
Brew for 3 hours, plunge
Rob Dunne is a partner in DunneFrankowski Creative Coffee Company
Cookography.com’s Method (French press)
- French press (my Bodum one holds about 3 cups, I think)
- 1 cup coffee (I just drip ground, crappy coffee. I have seen coarse ground recommended for cold brewed coffee. Feel free to experiment and try better coffee and a coarser grind. Add a comment if you do.)
- 2 cups water
- Pour the coffee in the press and then add the water. On my unit the water and coffee comes right up to where the plunger would start. Depending on how strong your coffee is you may want a little more or less water.
- Stir the coffee with a wooden spoon of chopstick. You want to make sure all of the coffee grounds are wet. Wait, about two minutes and stir again. Some of the grounds should now settle to the bottom instead of all floating at the top.
- Wait 12 hours. I have seen other recipes that say it should be good after 4 hours. I have also other recommendations that after 15 hours or so, you start to extract some of the bitter flavors from the coffee. I usually aim for over night.
- Press down slowly on the plunger. Pour out the concentrate into an airtight container. You might want to avoid pouring the very last part, it might be a little murky.
Japanese Iced Coffee
For those of us who don’t particularly feel like waiting anywhere between three to eighteen hours for a refreshing glass of iced coffee, the Japanese have popularized a second way: iced coffee. It’s not cold-brewed, it’s just coffee over ice.
This is the method I prefer, and that a lot of my coffee peers prefer too. This method is produces much cleaner cups of coffee, with more flavor and more defined acidity, whereas the Toddy method seems to mostly produce strong, highly-concentrated cups. The makers of Toddy believe this to be a selling point, though. They claim that cold-brewed coffee has 67 percent less acidity than hot-brewed coffee.
“I like hot brew because I really like acidity,” Tony Dreyfuss, says. “Cold brew seems to be pretty monochromatic in flavor—all bass and no soprano.”
One of the things I love most about the hot brew is that there are more options when it comes to brewing methods. It doesn’t matter what your favorite brewing method is – whether it be Chemex, Hario V60, woodneck, French press, or automatic drip -, if you can brew hot coffee with it, you can make iced coffee with it.
Below, you’ll find just a few methods I’ve come across that will help get you started.
My Method (Chemex)
Place your Chemex on your digital scale;
Measure out 48 grams of your favorite ground coffee and grind somewhere between medium and coarse;
Bring 355 grams of purified water to a boil;
Drop 355 grams of ice cubes (preferably purified water ice) into the bottom of your Chemex;
Slowly pour 100 grams over the grounds until it blooms;
Allow to bloom for 60 seconds;
After 60 seconds, slowly pour the remaining 255 grams of water directly in the middle of the bloom in a circular motion;
Coffee should take between three to four minutes to finish brewing;
Pour coffee in a tall glass and enjoy!
Drew Moody is the creator of A Table in the Corner of the Cafe
Jamie Ferguson’s Method (Hario V60)
55-60 grams of beans
200 grams roughly of ice
566 grams roughly of water (20oz)
First, I rinsed out the filter throughly to rid any paper tastes the might want to get into my coffee. I poured out the water and added my 7 ounces of ice. I then put the mason jar underneath the Hario V60 and ground up around 55 grams of beans and packed them into the filter. After that I poured just enough water onto the grinds to fully saturate them. I waited as the grinds started to “bloom” and then deflate. After that, I used my buono kettle to pour the water slowly in circles onto the ice until I reached my target of 20oz of water.
Once the coffee was done brewing, I grabbed myself and glass and began to enjoy the fresh non-oxidized coffee that sat in front of me.
If needed, you can add extra ice for maximum coldness.
Jamie Ferguson is the creator of The Coffee Adventures
Randy Levine’s Method (Aeropress and Hario V60)
Ratio: 22g coffee to 125g water to 125g ice.
Grind: About auto-dripper sized. Maybe a bit finer.
Fill your final vessel with 125g of fresh ice cubes.
Bring 125g water to a boil. In your inverted Aeropress, add the 22g coffee.
Bloom with about 15-20g of hot water for 10 seconds, stirring briefly to ensure all coffee is wet.
Add the remainder of the water and stir to combine.
Steep for an additional 30 seconds.
Invert Aeropress onto your ice-filled vessel and plunge with low to moderate pressure.
The plunge should last approximately 30 seconds.
Stir coffee and ice to chill quickly.
17g coffee, 125g water, 125g ice17g coffee (ground medium/drip: #24 on the Baratza Preciso), 125g filtered water, 125g ice.
1) Rinse the V60 and filter and with hot water. Do not rinse vessel, as you want it cold.2) 17g coffee goes in the filtered V60. The vessel underneath should contain the 125g ice.3) Bloom with approx 30-40 grams water for 30s.4) Pour in remaining water moderately slowly.5) Mix the ice and coffee. I usually just swirl the cup.6) Enjoy.
It is also acceptable and sometimes easier to do the brew into a separate vessel and then pour over ice. Keep the same ratios.
Randy Levine is the creator of Snob Coffery
Peter Giuliano’s Method (Hario V60)
4.25 oz. (1 1/2 cups) medium-fine coffee grounds; enough ice cubes to fill about three fourths of a 64-oz. carafe (1 standard ice cube tray); at least 32 oz. (4 cups) of boiling water
64-oz. (8-cup) carafe; pour-over filter basket and filter; kettle or another source of boiling water with a capacity of at least 32 oz,; ice-filled tall glasses
1. Transfer ice cubes from a standard-size freezer tray into the carafe, loosely filling about three fourths of the carafe.
2. Place filter basket on top of the carafe. Place a filter inside the basket. Fill with 4 1/4 oz. (1 1/2 cups) of medium-fine ground coffee.
3. Pour boiling water slowly over grounds in a circular motion, just enough to wet the grounds, then stop. Wait about 20 seconds, then continue to pour boiling water slowly over the grounds, watching the brewed coffee as it drips into the carafe and melts the ice. You may need to pause pouring occasionally when filtering slows. When the level of the brewed coffee and ice nears 64 oz., pause as needed, stopping brewing when the total output reaches 64 ounces, including ice. The brewing and filtering process should take about 2 to 3 minutes.
4. Pour the brewed coffee into ice-filled tall glasses. Drink it black or add milk, cream or simple syrup to taste. Cover the carafe and refrigerate any unused portion for up to 24 hours.
Note: If the iced coffee is too strong for your taste, you can dilute it by adding cold water to the carafe or to your glass. If the iced coffee is not as strong as you like it, use more grounds next time or play with the coarseness of the grind, using more finely ground beans. (Don’t use too fine a grind, or the coffee might taste bitter. It shouldn’t take longer than 3 minutes for the water to filter through the grounds.)
Peter Giuliano is the Director of Coffee at Counter Culture Coffee
Jason Dominy’s Method (Clever)
1. My recipe is just like my normal Clever brew. 24 grams of coffee, to 340 grams of water. Water is just off boil, coffee in ground around French Press. The total brew time should be 4:00, so set grind accordingly.
2. Prewet and heat Clever, empty water.
3. Load ground coffee.
4. Tare scale.
5. Pour 100grams of water, small pause, gently push grounds into the water.
6. Finish pouring at a steady rate saturating all the grinds to 340grams of water.
7. Gently stir at top for 5sec to make sure all grounds are in the middle, avoiding touching the bottom of the filter.
8. At 2:30, start the drop, setting the Clever on a server or pitcher. Gently stir at start of drawdown for 10sec, incorporating grounds back into the body of the water. Should be done by 4:00
9. Take a glass or cup, at least 16 ounce, and fill to heaping with ice. As much ice as you can stack. As you pour coffee, pour close to ice, and pour very quickly. Give it a good stir.
Jason Dominy is the Wholesale Support and Outreach Coordinator at Batdorf and Bronson Coffee Roasters
SAMMUELLAW178’s Method (Moka Pot)
3-cup Moka Pot
Stove or a heat source
2 scoops of preground coffee
4 oz of cold milk
1.5 tablespoon sugar(to taste)
4-5 ice cubes
Have your tools ready?Let’s brew!
1 Prewarm the stove
2 Fill the filter basket with 2 scoops of coffee.
3 Fill the bottom chamber of the Moka pot with fresh filtered water
4 Screw the top of the Moka pot and put it on the stove.
5. Set the timer (~4 minutes, or1-2 minutes prior to the coffee flowing out) and come back later
6 Once the timer is done, fill your glass with 4 oz of cold milk
7 Add 1-1.5 tablesppon of sugar to taste and mix it.
8 Add some ice cubes.
9 By now, your coffee should be flowing steadily.
10 Pour the brew into the iced milk.
11 Stir and enjoy your dessert!
Andrew is a husband, father, dog lover, craft beverage enthusiast, content creator, and niche market Internet celebrity. Formerly of A Table in the Corner of the Cafe and The Pulitzer Project and contributor to Barista Magazine and Mental Floss, he’s been writing on the Internet for years.