High Angle View of Cup of Iced Coffee. (Photo by: GHI/Universal History Archive/Universal Images Group via Getty Images)
What Makes Japanese Iced Coffee Stand Out?
By Missy Boylan
A common debate among iced coffee aficionados is whether cold brew or standard iced coffee is better. We suggest swapping both for a much worthier contender: Japanese iced coffee.
More complex than cold brew and fresher than iced coffee, Japanese iced coffee is the best of both worlds. It is essentially hot, concentrated coffee brewed directly over ice.
The fresh, bold flavors achieved with this method can be attributed to the flash-chilling effect: Brewing hot coffee, then instantly cooling it, allowing less time for oxidation.
The easiest and seemingly most popular method for making Japanese iced coffee is with a pour-over dripper.
You will need coffee beans that are ground slightly finer than normal ones for pour-over coffee (roughly the consistency of coarse salt), as well as boiling water and ice.
When measuring your ingredients, the typical rule of thumb is to swap out half of the water for ice. This is because the hot coffee will melt the ice and dilute the final result.
Use a recipe and a food scale to ensure the proportions are correct. You may need to test out a few batches before you find your preferred recipe.
Pour the hot water over the coffee grounds and directly onto the ice in the container. Give it a stir to ensure most of the ice is mixed in, and serve in a glass over fresh ice.