Tuesday, February 5, 2013

How To Brew That Perfect Iced Coffee

The only thing better than a hot cup of coffee on a cold winter's day is a cold cup of iced coffee on a warm Southern California winter's day. Let's just set the record straight here: Southern Californian's (like myself) have no clue what appropriate winter weather is supposed to be like. We're freezing at anything less than 50° F. That being said, as I looked outside during my lunch break/date with my wife at home, I decided not to waste the beautiful California sunshine and poured myself a tasty iced beverage.

Now when I say iced coffee, I'm not talking about a Starbucks Vanilla Bean Frappaccino or that sweetened McDonalds McCafe. I'm talking about pure iced coffee; the kind of iced coffee that without any sugar or syrups added gives off those amazing fruity notes and that refreshingly crisp finish that invites you for another sip. If you've never had the opportunity to experience coffee in this light, allow me to show you exactly how to make your very own perfect iced coffee right at home.

For this brew, we'll be using the V-60 Pour Over. I like pouring directly into a mason jar for my iced coffee so that I can easily transfer it into the fridge to drink some now and save some for later. These measurements will get you about 24 ounces of iced coffee goodness.

30 g. coffee grinds (course-medium)
470 g. water
200 g. ice

Remember that using good coffee is the key to making good coffee. That may sound redundant and even a bit obvious however it's something that's often overlooked and such a crucial component of making good coffee. I laid out the importance of using good coffee here if you didn't get a chance to check it out.  Today, I'm using Portola's Ethiopia Yukro.

Step 1: Coffee Prep
To avoid sounding like a broken record, I've laid out detailed step by step instructions on the beginning steps for good coffee brewing. If you missed that blog entry, check it out here and follow the first 4 quick steps. For this brew, were using 30 g. of coffee, so make sure you adjust that in step 1.

Step 2: Add Ice
Add 200 g. of ice to your container/carafe. This ice will melt as you begin to pour your hot water through your grinds. Not to worry. We're adding ice at the very end, however this initial ice will cool off your brewed coffee (and is factored into the overall coffee/water ratio) so that the ice you add in the end won't melt as quickly and dilute your coffee with additional water. It'll work, I promise.

Step 3: Start Your Pourin'
When using our pour over, make a habit of allowing your grinds to bloom by doing an initial 60 g. pour/agitation. For those who don't know what the what I'm talking about, check out step 5 on my entry on making amazing coffeeTotal brew time should be at about 4-5 minutes. For today, my pours went as follows:
60 g. (bloom/agitation) → 150 g. → 240 g. →330g. →420 g. (agitate) → 470g. 
Step 4: Done!
Shake up your mason jar or carafe so everything homogenizes and you are good to go! Grab yourself a cup filled with ice and enjoy your beverage. Like I said earlier, this makes about 24 ounces of iced coffee, so unless you want to feel jittery all day long and drink the entire mason jar, you can always put the lid on it and stick it in the refrigerator for later. I've heard some baristas claim that this kind of iced coffee can be left in the fridge for up to two weeks. Personally, I can say that from experience this can be left in the fridge and still taste pretty good for about a week or less. Any longer than that and it'll just start tasting old and stale.

I brought this back to my co-workers to try and the responses were nothing but resounding wow's. Clean, bright, a hint of lime and reminiscent of an iced tea. If you've never experienced a coffee with these kinds of tastes, you owe it to yourself to try out this recipe for iced coffee. It's perfect for your nice summer day, or for us living in Southern California, any day of the week. #boom 

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