Move over a cold brew, there’s a new iced coffee in town and it’s called Japanese style iced coffee.
This hot coffee brewing method turned iced coffee beverage is taking the internet and local coffee shops by storm.
So, what is all the hype about?
In this article, we’ll explore what a Japanese iced coffee is, how it’s different (and better?) than cold coffee and how you can make your own at home.
We’ll also touch on the benefits and drawbacks of drinking this style of iced coffee.
So, whether you’re a cold brew lover or hot coffee drinker, there’s something in this article for you. Let’s get started!
What Is a Japanese Iced Coffee Method?
A Japanese iced coffee is simply coffee brewed hot, over ice.
Wait, what? Isn’t that just regular iced coffee?
Here’s the thing, when you brew coffee over ice, a few things happen:
- The water temperature stays consistent, ensuring that your coffee grounds are extracted evenly. This results in a more flavorful cup of coffee.
- The ice cubes act as a natural filter, trapping any sediment or oils that might make your coffee taste bitter.
- The brewing process takes longer, which gives the coffee more time to develop its flavor.
So, while it might seem like a small change, brewing hot coffee over ice makes a big difference in the taste of your cup of coffee.
Japanese iced coffee is also different from cold brew coffee. Cold brew coffee is brewed at a lower temperature (usually overnight).
Cold water extracts different compounds from the ground coffee beans, resulting in a sweeter and less acidic cup of coffee.
Japanese iced coffee is brewed hot, which means that it retains the same flavor profile as hot coffee.
However, because it’s brewed over ice, it’s less acidic and less bitter than hot coffee.
No matter which coffee maker you use, the brewing process is the same.
Hot water is poured over coffee grounds and allowed to steep for a few minutes.
The coffee is then poured over a cup of ice.
The hot coffee melts the ice, resulting in a delicious and refreshing cup of iced coffee.
I’ll show you how to make Japanese iced coffee at home in the next section, but first, let’s find out which brew method is better between Japanese iced coffee and cold brew.
Japanese Iced Coffee vs Cold Brew Coffee – Which Is Better?
I’ll admit, I’m a bit of a coffee snob. I love trying different coffees from all over the world, and I’ll admit that I’m partial to a hot cup of joe over iced coffee.
However, there are times when a cold, refreshing cup of iced coffee is exactly what I need.
That’s where Japanese iced coffee comes in.
Japanese iced coffee is the perfect compromise between hot-brewed coffee and cold-brew coffee.
It has the complex flavors of hot coffee without bitterness or acidity.
And, because it’s brewed over ice, it’s refreshing and perfect for hot summer days.
So, which is better? Japanese iced coffee or cold brew coffee?
There are a few things to consider before you choose between Japanese iced coffee and cold brew.
Here’s what makes Japanese iced coffee better than cold brew:
Japanese iced coffee is brewed hot, which means that it takes less time to brew than cold brew.
Cold brew coffee needs to be brewed for 12-24 hours, whereas Japanese iced coffee can be brewed in minutes (about 3-5 minutes, to be exact).
This is a big advantage for Japanese iced coffee, especially if you’re in a hurry or don’t have time to wait for the cold brew to steep.
Brewing coffee with hot water results in a more complex cup of coffee. This is because hot water extracts different compounds from the ground coffee beans than cold water does.
As a result, Japanese iced coffee has more of the same coffee flavors that you would find in a hot cup of coffee.
These include things like chocolate, caramel, and nuts.
On the other hand, in cold brew coffee, these same flavors can taste muted.
This is because cold brew coffee is usually brewed at room temperature (68 degrees F/20 degrees C), which doesn’t extract as many flavor compounds from the coffee beans.
In other words, if you’re looking for a cold coffee that has all the same flavors as a hot cup of coffee, Japanese iced coffee is the better choice.
How Do You Make a Japanese Pour-Over?
To brew a Japanese ice coffee, you’ll need:
- Hot water: Use filtered or distilled water that has been heated to between 195-205 degrees Fahrenheit (90-96 degrees Celsius).
- Coffee beans: Use coffee beans that have been ground to a medium-fine grind.
- Ice: Use a cup full of ice cubes.
- A coffee filter: Use a coffee filter that’s designed for pour-over coffee makers.
- A coffee maker: I recommend using a Hario V60 coffee maker, but any coffee maker will work.
- A carafe or mug: Use a carafe or a Mason mug that’s big enough to hold all of the coffee.
- A kitchen scale: Use a kitchen scale to measure the coffee beans and water.
To brew a Japanese iced coffee, follow these steps:
1. Weigh Out Coffee Beans
Start by weighing out 30 grams (1 ounce) of freshly roasted coffee beans.
If you don’t have a coffee scale, you can use a kitchen scale.
2. Grind Coffee Beans
Next, grind the coffee beans to a medium-fine grind using an electric grinder or a manual grinder.
3. Weigh Out The Water
Next, weigh out 255 grams (9 ounces) of hot water. Again, you can use a coffee scale or a kitchen scale.
4. Place the Filter in the Carafe
Next, put the coffee filter in the carafe or mug.
5. Rinse Coffee Filter
Rinse the coffee filter with hot water to remove any paper taste. Then, discard the water.
6. Add Ice to the Carafe
Add a cup full of ice cubes to the carafe or mug.
7. Add Coffee to the Filter
Add the ground coffee to the filter.
8. Bloom Coffee
Slowly pour 45 grams (1.6 ounces) of hot water over the coffee grounds.
Then, let the coffee bloom for 30 seconds.
9. Stir Coffee
Stir the coffee grounds with a wooden stirrer or a spoon for 10 seconds.
10. Pour the Remaining Water
Slowly pour the remaining 210 grams (7.4 ounces) of hot water over the coffee grounds in a circular motion.
11. Let Coffee Drain
Allow the coffee to drain into the carafe or mug for 3-4 minutes.
12. Remove the Filter
Remove the filter and discard the coffee grounds.
13. Swirl the Coffee
Swirl the coffee to ensure the ice cubes have melted evenly.
Enjoy your delicious cup of Japanese iced coffee!
Tips for Making the Perfect Japanese Iced Coffee
Preparing the perfect cup of Japanese iced coffee is all about taking the time to do it right. Here are some tips to help you make the perfect cup:
Use the Correct Ratio
When brewing any coffee, it’s important to use the correct ratio of coffee to water to get a well-balanced cup of coffee. For Japanese iced coffee, two crucial elements are:
- The coffee-to-water ratio: I recommend using a 1:16 ratio. This means that for every gram of coffee, you’ll use 16 grams of water. For example, if you’re using 30 grams of coffee, you’ll use 480 grams (16 ounces) of water.
- The ice-to-water ratio: If you use too much ice, your coffee will be diluted. To avoid this, I recommend using a 1:2 ratio of ice to hot water. So, if you’re using 255 grams (9 ounces) of hot water, you’ll use 510 grams (18 ounces) of ice.
Brew at the Right Temperature
Brewing coffee at the right temperature is crucial to making a great cup of coffee.
For Japanese iced coffee and most brewing methods, the ideal brewing temperature is between 195-205 degrees Fahrenheit (90-96 degrees Celsius).
If your coffee is too hot, it will taste burnt.
If it’s too cold, the coffee will be under-extracted and taste weak.
So, make sure to brew at the right temperature for the best results.
Use Finer Coffee Grinds
When brewing iced coffee, it’s important to use a finer grind than you would for hot coffee.
This is because the ice will melt and dilute your coffee, so you want to make sure that the coffee is extracted fully.
If you use a coarse grind, the coffee will taste weak and watery.
So, make sure to use a medium-fine grind for the best results.
Use Large Ice Cubes
When making iced coffee, it’s important to use large ice cubes.
This is because small ice cubes will melt quickly and dilute your coffee.
To avoid this, I recommend using large ice cubes or coffee ice cubes.
These will melt more slowly and won’t water down your coffee as much.
Bloom Your Coffee Longer
Blooming coffee is when you pour hot water over the coffee grounds and let it sit for a few seconds before adding the remaining water.
This allows the coffee to degas and bloom fully.
For Japanese iced coffee, I recommend blooming the coffee for 30-45 seconds.
The longer you bloom the coffee, the more flavor you’ll get in your cup.
When brewing any coffee, brew time is important.
This is the time that the water is in contact with the coffee grounds. If the brew time is too short, the coffee will be under-extracted and taste weak.
If the brew time is too long, the coffee will be over-extracted and taste bitter.
For Japanese iced coffee, I recommend brewing for 3-4 minutes. This will result in a well-balanced cup of coffee.
Benefits of Japanese Iced Coffee
Japanese iced coffee has several benefits that make it a great choice for coffee lovers. Here are some of the benefits:
Shorter Brewing Time
Japanese iced coffee has a shorter brewing time than cold brew coffee. This is because the hot water extracts the coffee more quickly.
So, instead of brewing for 12-24 hours like cold brew, Japanese iced coffee only takes 3-4 minutes to brew.
This means that you can have a cup of iced coffee in a fraction of the time it would take to brew a cold brew.
No Special Equipment Needed
To brew Japanese iced coffee, you don’t need any special equipment. All you need is a standard coffee maker and some ice cubes.
This makes it a great choice for coffee lovers who don’t want to invest in special equipment or those who are traveling and don’t have access to their usual coffee maker.
Japanese iced coffee is known for its bright, clean flavor.
This is due to the shorter brewing time and finer coffee grinds used in the brewing process.
The shorter brewing time results in a coffee that is less bitter and more flavorful.
The finer grinds allow the coffee to be extracted fully, resulting in a rich, flavorful cup of coffee.
It Retains the Coffee Flavor
Japanese iced coffee is brewed using hot water, which does a great job of extracting the flavors from the coffee beans.
Drawbacks of Japanese Iced Coffee
While Japanese iced coffee has a number of benefits, there are also some drawbacks to consider. Here are some of the drawbacks of this brewing method:
You Can Only Brew One Cup at a Time
Japanese iced coffee is a single-serve brewing method, which means you can only brew one cup at a time.
This is in contrast to methods like cold brew, which allow you to brew a large batch of coffee that can be stored and served later.
You Need to Experiment to Get the Right Brew Ratio, Blooming, and Brew Time
Japanese iced coffee is a bit more finicky than other brewing methods.
This is because the brew ratio, bloom time, and brew time all need to be carefully controlled in order to get the best results.
This can be a bit of a learning curve for coffee drinkers who are used to more forgiving brewing methods.
Final Thoughts on Japanese-Style Iced Coffee
Japanese iced coffee is a unique and refreshing take on the classic beverage.
It’s perfect for summer weather and has a flavor that everyone will love.
If you’re looking for something new to try, or just want to enjoy your coffee in a different way, Japanese iced coffee is definitely worth checking out.
With our easy guide, you can be making this delicious drink at home in no time.
Have you ever tried Japanese iced coffee? How did you like it? Let us know in the comments below!
What Does Japanese Iced Coffee Taste Like?
Japanese iced coffee has a bright, clean taste with a hint of sweetness. The coffee is brewed using hot water, which extracts more of the coffee’s flavor. The result is a less bitter and more balanced cup of coffee.
What Is Kyoto-Style Iced Coffee?
Kyoto-style iced coffee is a type of cold brew that is brewed using a special method. The coffee is brewed in a slow drip method using cold water. This results in a coffee that is less acidic and has a richer flavor. Other names for Kyoto-style iced coffee include Dutch coffee, water drip coffee, ice drip coffee, and cold drip coffee.
Can You Make Japanese Iced Coffee With a French Press?
Yes, you can make Japanese iced coffee with a French press. To do this, brew the coffee as you would normally use a French press. Once the coffee has finished brewing, pour it into a glass filled with ice.
What Does Flash Chill Mean?
Flash chilling is a method of cooling coffee quickly. This can be done by pouring the brewed coffee into a container filled with ice. The ice will cause the coffee to cool quickly, resulting in a refreshing cup of coffee.