Back to the Basics of Hot-Brewed Iced Coffee

It is very easy to find a recipe for iced coffee; just try to search for it in the internet and… ta-dah!

“Fill a tall glass with ice and pour in your favorite coffee.”
“… coffee made with boiling water and immediately filtered through ice.”

“… pouring regular-brewed coffee over ice.”

It seems so simple! You only have to keep ice cubes in your freezer!

Actually, this is the principle for the hot-brewed method or, according to others, the Japanese Method. It is probably originated in Japan (but I didn’t find a really reliable resource for this information). A lot of people – specially in US – love this kind of iced coffee, mainly because they are addicted to the filtered coffee flavors and to the trick of the refill. Moreover, it is a common practice all over the world to enjoy a hot-brewed iced coffee with a variety of add-ins: milk, cream, sugar, cinnamon, vanilla, chocolate, ice cream and ground almonds or nuts or even with cardamom. These are excellent ideas indeed; however, in this article, our concerns lie on how to avoid the disappointment of a coffee washout rather than to enhance the taste of the coffee and to decorate the glass itself with flavors, colours and liquid textures.

Let’s pinpoint one by one the basic preparation steps, paying attention on some necessary details:

1. Prepare your favorite flavor of filtered ground coffee.

BUT not as usual! You have to double its strength. Otherwise, it will be very watery, weak and of course completely tasteless at all. This means that you have to use half the hot water usually poured on the coffee grounds, as the other half water will derive from the melting ice cubes. For the case, it’s important to prevent the mixture dripping out of the filter funnel, just for a couple of minutes. Let the hot water saturate every little grain of the coffee powder. Give the water some moments to bring out all the natural acids and the delicate oils of the coffee, to reach the full taste and the so precious aftertaste of your preferred coffee.

2. Put ice cubes in the coffee vessel or in a tall glass.

It is useful to know that a tall glass full of ice cubes turns into water that fills up to 1/2 or 3/5 of the same glass, as it depends on ice cubes dimensions. I have tested it with different ice molds (even with penis – shaped ones!) and the melted ice always takes up, more or less, the half glass. If you use a vessel to chill down the hot coffee, then don’t forget to keep some ice cubes for the final serving in the glasses. To enrich the concentration of the final beverage, you can also use coffee ice cubes made by a really strong coffee. Some people use the previous day’s coffee left-overs, but I don’t recommend it. Oftentimes, they are burned-over and release a very unpleasant smell.

3. Let the hot brewed coffee seeps slowly over the ice cubes.

Depending on your coffeemaker device, the hot coffee either is poured on the ice when the decoction gets ready, or drips directly on the ice cubes. If you intend to use your coffee machine (like an espresso/cappuccino maker), note that usually there is not enough space on the coffeemaker’s plate for a tall glass with ice. Furthermore, if you use an electronic drip machine (where the boiling water is sprayed over the grounds), it’s useless to put ice cubes in a vessel that is keeping warm by the heater plate. The above two brewing systems call upon you to trickle the hot coffee in the glass by yourself.

According to my personal experiences as a coffee lover, the ultimate secret of the hot – brewed method for iced coffee lays in the third step. The ice changes coffee’s temperature in really small liquid amounts and substantially very fast. Respectively, coffee is chilled enshrining all the acids, the oils and the flavor of the initial compound. So the seeping process MUST run through in dribs and drabs. That’s why I prefer the almost “primitive” method of the cone-shaped filter upon the glass. Obviously, it’s a time-consuming practice, suitable for a couple enjoying a Sunday morning at home.

Once though, demanded to prepare many more than two hot-brewed iced coffees. Actually, I had to serve eleven birthday party visitors! They came at my place all together, “thirsty for iced coffee” as they said and laughing around for their smart (?) surprising prank. I decided to try the hot-brewing method using my drip coffee machine. I brewed a large vessel of coffee and then turned off the heater in order to pass the hot beverage through the funnel cone again, without the filter. More than ten tall glasses full of milk-and-mint ice cubes waited in a row underneath, to receive one by one the coffee dribs.

Dragan Cafedjis writes lecture-like posts at Make Iced Coffee [] about how to make and enjoy an iced coffee at home, providing recipes, tips and ideas. No fees – no registrations – no obligations required! Be familiar with the main schools of thought about iced coffee. Seize some critical tips on making iced coffee. Find out excellent ideas to appreciate and enjoy the coffee hour with friends or alone. Visit the welcome page [] and never drink again coffee washouts.


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