Chilled Coffee Methods

Summer’s the time to dust off those cold drip towers and crank out some tasty caffeinated goodness. (Winter? Yeah but never for long round in Australia so read on!) As seems to be the way in the coffee industry we’re always learning more about how to get the best from your coffee, and cold brew is no exception! There’re a couple of different ways to skin the chilled coffee cat, so bunker down and sink your teeth into this.

First things first – what are you aiming for? Churning out bulk 200mL serves of takeaway ice coffee is very different to wanting to charge a bit more for an interesting dine in experience. Once you’ve got your brew method on lock, you can manipulate cup profile in the same way that you would for any other style of filter coffee – changing dose, brew time and particle size will have the same effect on extraction. Again, as with other filter coffee you want to start with a ratio of around 60g of coffee per litre of water, and have the choice between rocking either a drip or immersion brew. Most people will use filter roast for their cold brew, but as our Killerbee run shows, rules are meant to be broken! Feel free to play around and find what works best for you.

Cold drip.
Looking for a functional talking point for your cafe? Look no further than cold drip to produce great coffee and put on a bit of a show while you’re doing it. A lot of these drippers are made with finely blown Japanese glass, and pump out the cup quality to match the aesthetic. The downside of this method is it can be a bit finicky, and is not as efficient at producing large batches as some others. Most cold drips will have an adjustable nozzle to control flow rate; a general rule is around 2 drips for every 5 seconds aiming for around a 6-10 hour brew time. A 60g per litre ratio and a particle size pretty close to what you’d use for pour over filter coffees – not as fine as espresso, not as coarse as plunger – seems to be the sweet spot here.

Immersion brew.
Wanting to pump out big batches of quality cold brew? Tick. Setups can be as ghetto as cheesecloth in a bucket of water, or can encompass multiple filters or purpose-built brewers, such as the toddy. What this method lacks in show, it makes up for in ease of use and consistency. For a solid immersion brew try brewing in the fridge, and make up a few small test batches to test your brew time. A good starting recipe would be around 70g of coffee/ 1 litre of water/ brewed in a fridge or cool room for 18-24 hours.

Chilled filter.
Brewing warm coffee and chilling it is not a new idea in the world of speciality coffee, and can also produce great tastin’ stuff. Use your regular brewer (v60, moccamaster etc) and calculate the ratio based on the total weight of both the hot water and the ice you’re going to use to cool the brew – eg. 800ml water + 200g ice will require a dose of 60g at the standard ratio. Play around with grinding a little finer or updosing a bit to pull up that brew strength too.

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