Although I much prefer cold brew for hot summer days, there are days that I cannot wait fifteen hours to brew coffee. I need coffee right now, and I’ll settle for iced coffee. If you’re unsure about the differences between cold brew and iced coffee, let’s distinguish between the two as follows:
- cold brew
- coffee brewed with cold or room-temperature water for an extended period of time, between twelve and fifteen hours, and then diluted with ice water.
- iced coffee
- coffee brewed hot at a higher concentration and then served over ice cubes.
I prefer the sweet and complex flavors you get with cold brew. It’s much easier for me to identify the coffee’s “notes,” such as vanilla, caramel, chocolate, etc. It also lacks the bitterness of hot brewing, but you do you have to wait about half a day to extract those flavors. However, when you’re out of cold brew, and the mercury is hovering around 90°, as it is today, pouring hot coffee over ice cubes will do just fine. Also, there’s been backlash against the cold brew craze, which exploded on the coffee scene about four years ago, and some are returning to pouring hot coffee over ice cubes.
The folks at North Carolina’s Counter Culture coffee produced a video for making iced coffee.
Their recipe, posted on their website, uses 30 g of coffee, 335 ml of hot water, and 165 g of ice. I adapted their recipe to brew two small iced coffees, using a Chemex with the following measurements:
- 40 g of coffee: Bella Vista (Antigua, Guatemala) by Tonx
- 450 ml of 195° filtered New York City tap water
- 220 g of ice
While I was glad that I had chilled coffee without resorting to buying it from the local coffee shop, for at least three dollars a pop, I’m glad there will be cold brew tomorrow.