The Perfect Iced Coffee

With summer just around the corner, iced coffee becomes a near necessity. But with so many techniques, how do you know which one will give you the best flavor? Cold brew and Japanese iced coffee are two popular methods, each with its advantages. Let's explore them, and I'll provide you with some recipes and tips for the perfect iced coffee experience.

Cold Brew

  • The Process:

Cold brew is steeped for an extended period, typically 12-24 hours, at room temperature or in the fridge. To make it, you'll need coarsely ground coffee beans. The grind size is important because it affects the extraction process. Coarse grounds offer a slower, smoother extraction compared to finer grinds that would produce a more bitter drink. Once you've chosen your grind, simply combine the grounds with cold water in a sealed container. A ratio of 1 pound of coffee to 4 liters of water is a good starting point, but feel free to experiment to find your ideal strength. Stir the mixture well, then let it steep for the desired time. After steeping, filter the coffee grounds out using a cheesecloth or cold brew coffee maker. The resulting liquid is your cold brew concentrate, which can be stored in the fridge for up to two weeks.

  • The Flavor:

Because of the low-and-slow process, cold brew tends to be mellow, chocolatey, and lacking the bright acidity you'd find in hot coffee.

  • The Prep:

Because it's a concentrate, you'll want to dilute your cold brew with water or milk to taste. Experiment with different ratios to find your preference.

Japanese Iced Coffee

  • The Process:

Brewing hot coffee directly over ice. This produces a bright, flavorful coffee that's less diluted than pouring hot coffee over ice and chilling it later.

  • The Flavor:

Japanese iced coffee highlights a coffee's natural acidity and unique flavor notes.

  • The Prep:

Because you brew hot, there's less dilution. You can add ice and milk (or just ice) without significantly watering down the coffee.

Skeleton Brew's "Bone Chilled" Roast

This medium-dark roast is a perfect match for both brewing styles. Whether you want the smooth complexity of a cold brew or the vibrant flavors of Japanese iced coffee, Skeleton Brew's "Bone Chilled" is sure to satisfy. Shop it here:

Tips for the Perfect Iced Coffee

  1. Quality Beans: The better the beans, the better the coffee, iced or not!
  2. The Right Grind: For cold brew, go coarse. For Japanese, use a medium grind.
  3. Dilution: Start with a 1:1 (or slightly stronger) coffee-to-water/milk ratio and adjust to your liking.
  4. The Ice Matters: Big cubes melt slower, preventing a watery drink.
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