Recently, I’ve had several discussions with friends about coffee and they almost always ask about my home brew setup and technique. Honestly, I don’t claim to be a coffee geek, and until about a year ago, I hadn’t ventured further into the coffee world than White Mochas from Starbucks which Josie claims is not so much coffee as it is a sugar drink.
I delved into brewing coffee at home as a means to cut into our Starbucks habit which was becoming an eyesore on the monthly budget. At $4-5 a pop for lattes and mochas between the 2 of us we were probably spending close to $30 a week!! We had a Keurig for awhile, but it took up valuable counter top real estate so we ditched it and I looked for something manual.
After researching different brewing/grinding techniques and equipment, I ended up with the following:
- Coffee Gator gooseneck kettle
- Lido 3 grinder
- Hario V60, size 02, plastic,w/filters
- Generic kitchen scale
The Lido 3 was the most expensive item, but when you brew coffee every day, it is worth the investment, IMO.
So, after playing with grind sizes and water ratios, I have locked in a setting that works for both my hot (black) coffee and Josie’s cold brew. I love the convenience Of not having to constantly adjust the grinder between each brew. Now, onto the actual brewing of each.
Cold Brew – Japanese Style Iced Coffee
Typically, when you make cold brew, you do some sort of overnight brew with a cheese cloth in a tub with grounds or a slow dripping gadget that uses cold water and takes forever. We’ve done both with wildly varying results. Sometimes it turns out well and sometimes it doesn’t (cold dripper clogs up, e.g.). Either way was a lot of work and with the cheese cloth a lot of messy cleaning afterwards.
The idea behind Japanese Style Iced Coffee–as I understand it–is that you brew the coffee with off-the-boil water like a traditional pour over. However, the extracted brew drips over ice which immediately chills the coffee. The advantage here is that hot water is much better at extraction than the cold water used in most cold brew techniques. To compensate for the ice which melts and becomes part of the cold brew you have to reduce the boiled water used in the pour over so that the ending water-to-coffee ratio is correct.
Cold Brew Recipe
- Coffee – 65g, ground medium-fine (appx. the size of kosher salt)
- Water – 500g, off-the-boil
- Ice cubes – 230g
- Total time – appx. 3:30-4:00
- Pre-wet the filter. I use a Tervis instead of the mason jar used for brewing because I don’t want the hot water to heat up the jar (this is different than hot brew).
- Add the grounds to the filter and jiggle to flatten the bed. Place the V60 on your brewing vessel of choice and set on a kitchen scale, tared to 0.
- 0.00 – Start timer as you begin pouring over the grounds. Pour ~120g and immediately stir to ensure that all grounds are wet. Let it bloom until 45 secs.
- 0:45 – Pour another 100-150g of water around all grounds.
- ~1:20 – Pour 100-150g of water around all grounds.
- ~1:45 – Pour remainder of water to reach a total of 500g.
- As the water level drops, tap the V60 several times on the brewing vessel to squeeze the last bit of coffee drops out.
- Toss the grounds and remove any noticeable pieces of ice. I usually have one little sphere floating. Serve or store the coffee; this makes two drinks for Josie.
Now, it’s my turn.
- Coffee, 25g, ground medium-fine (same setting as above)
- Water – 370g, off-the-boil
- Total time – appx. 2:00-2:30
- Pre-wet filter as above but do it over the brewing vessel of your choice. I either use a coffee mug or a stainless steel tumbler.
- Add the grounds and jiggle to flatten the bed.
- 0:00 – Add 80g of water and let bloom. I don’t stir anymore because I don’t find that there are dry grounds due to the smaller amount of coffee.
- 0:35-0:45 – Start pouring remaining water (up to 370g total). This pour should be very slow and steady. I aim to finish pouring around the 1:20-1:30 mark.
- 1:45 – As the water level drops, some grounds are left high and dry on the filter. Gently swirl the dripper so the water sloshes up and washes down these grounds.
- 2:15-2:30 – All coffee has dripped down and the grounds are relatively level and wet but not “muddy”.