The Truth About Japanese Iced Coffee

Cold brew coffee has been the summer coffee craze for several years, but not everyone is embracing it. With 79 percent of Americans preparing their coffee at home, cold brew coffee is not the most convenient cup of Joe to brew each day (Disturb me not). Cold brew coffee takes a full day to brew and can be a lot of work. Luckily, there is a new coffee trending for the summer: Japanese iced coffee. This method has been a part of Japanese culture for some time, but didn't find its way to the U.S. until the director of coffee for counter culture visited Japan in 1994 and brought the technique back with him (via Thrillist).

Japanese iced coffee, or flashed-brew, or flashed-chilled, as it is also referred to, is simple to make, but can still provide you with the complex flavors of coffee you love. How is Japanese iced coffee different? Coffee brews, and is then immediately poured over ice, flash chilling your coffee. This method of preparation ensures you won't experience the bitter taste that results when you pour previously-brewed coffee over ice (via HuffPost). Additionally, by flash chilling, you are able to lock in the beautiful smells while achieving a subtle, smooth flavor which makes the Japanese iced coffee brewing process more desirable and easy to replicate at home. 

Japanese iced coffee basics

How does Japanese iced coffee stack up against cold brew? Japanese iced coffee can be brewed in as little as ten minutes and can produce an equally-smooth, but lighter, more delicate body and flavor in comparison to cold brew. Moreover, the preparation is much simpler. It doesn't require you to go out and purchase a new coffee maker. You can brew your Japanese iced coffee using a pour-over dripper or your Mr. Coffee coffee maker.

When you prepare your Japanese iced coffee, the water to coffee ratio is 1 to 10. Because you are using less water to dissolve the same amount of coffee when you are brewing it, experts recommend that the grinds also be finer (via Hand Ground). Additionally, using larger ice cubes will slow down the melting and result in a less diluted cup of coffee. Making Japanese iced coffee is not a lot of work, doesn't require any fancy new coffee tools to brew some up, and can be made whenever you want a cup with little planning. The drawbacks to Japanese iced coffee are minimal. Expert coffee makers say it can take some time perfect the right strength. But don't let that deter you. Japanese iced coffee is definitely the best way to drink your chilled coffee this summer.