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Does the idea of making French press Japanese iced coffee sound appealing? It can be done when you know the steps to follow.
Japanese iced coffee originated in Japan (obviously). It’s different from the cold brew coffee so don’t get the two mixed up. I’m going to share with you how Japanese iced coffee is conventionally made, why it’s different from cold-brew coffee and how you can make it with your French press.
You’ve heard the Japanese-style iced coffee being discussed on various coffee forums. You’re curious to know what exactly is Japanese iced coffee. Everyone keeps telling you it’s NOT cold-brew coffee. And it’s not iced coffee either (the one that comes with milk and ice cream) or the Kyoto Coffee.
Japanese iced coffee is a brew made with hot water and coffee grounds poured over ice cubes. The end result is a combination of liquids from the ice and from the coffee brew. Note we’re talking about pouring hot coffee over ice – not adding ice cubes to hot coffee! This may sound insignificant. But there’s a reason for doing Japanese iced coffee this way.
When hot coffee brew is poured over ice, the rich flavors and aromas from the ground coffee is extracted. The ice simply locks in the flavors while diluting the coffee brew concentrate. The magic of using this style of iced coffee is you’ll discover the subtle nuances of a variety of coffee beans.
With cold-brew coffee the process entails steeping coffee grounds over a longer time, normally overnight or even up to 24 hours. The result is a strong, more intense brew and many drinkers like to add milk or water to dilute it.
Now, if you were to tell another coffee drinker you’re going to make Japanese iced coffee with your French press they may raise an eyebrow or two. The reason being most baristas will argue you can only make Japanese iced coffee using the pour over method. So, let’s talk about the traditional way of making this Japanese-style iced coffee.
The equipment used to make this style of coffee includes the following:
Grind 30 g of fresh coffee beans. You can use pre-ground coffee but the fresher the coffee grounds the better the flavors. Use a fine grind. Heat about 12 to 13 ounces of water to just before boiling point. If the water is too hot, you’ll ruin the flavors of the coffee grounds. Dampen the filter and place into the dripper.
When the water is hot add the ice cubes to the glass or cup. Place the dripper onto the cup and scoop the coffee grounds into the filter. Pour a small amount of the hot water onto the coffee grounds using a circular motion. You want to soak the coffee grounds and leave them to steep for 30 seconds.
Now, pour the rest of the hot water in, gently and using the same circular motion. The reason for doing this is to ensure the coffee grounds are fully covered with water for full extraction of flavors.
Remove the dripper and add more ice cubes to the cup. Your Japanese iced coffee is now ready to enjoy.
Now that you know how Japanese iced coffee is made the conventional way, let’s get creative with your French press. The trick with this style of coffee lies in the grind, the immersion timing and how you pour the coffee over the ice.
When you make coffee with a French press you would normally use a coarser grind. You would also add hot water to the grounds and leave them to immerse for anything between 4 to 5 minutes. So, the trick to mastering your Japanese iced coffee is to change the way you normally brew coffee in a French press.
The first step is to grind your coffee beans to a finer ground. This is added to the bottom of your French press. Heat the water just before boiling and pour enough to cover the coffee grounds. Let them steep for about 30 seconds. Add the rest of the hot water and plunge.
Place ice cubes in the glass or cup. Pour the coffee over the ice slowly and gently. If you pour it too fast, you’ll lose the delicate rich flavors normally associated with this style of coffee. You also don’t want the ice to melt immediately as you pour over the coffee.
If you’re worried about pouring the coffee too quickly you could use a small kitchen funnel lined with a paper filter. Place this in the cup and slowly pour the coffee from your French press into the funnel.
Once you’ve poured all the coffee into the glass or cup, add more ice. Sit back and relax while sipping on the refreshing, rich flavors of your own Japanese iced coffee.
Besides drinking Japanese iced coffee to cool down, there’re other benefits of making a brew of this Japanese-styled iced coffee.
With so many benefits to making Japanese iced coffee how can you not be making this already? It’s simple and quick while being refreshing at the same time.
Picking the best coffee for making Japanese iced coffee is very much based on your personal preferences. Most African coffee beans are ideal for their deep fruity, nutty and chocolatey flavors. Another favorite is the Honduran or Guatemalan coffee beans.
Whichever type you go with it’s highly recommended you grind whole bean for freshness and quality. And go with a medium roast for the best results.
If you’ve a coffee roaster in the area, ask them to help you pick a great coffee bean. With so many brands available, it can get overwhelming so always turn to the experts for advice. This way you’ll get to explore the different coffee beans and you’ll eventually find your favorite blend. The coffee roaster will roast your coffee beans to the perfect roast for Japanese style iced coffee.
Can you make French press Japanese iced coffee? Yes, you can once you get the technique right. And that’s the joy of being a coffee aficionado. We love to experiment with the different coffee brews and the Japanese-styled iced coffee is simply another brew to play with.
And, when the experts tell you Japanese iced coffee can’t be made with a French press, prove them wrong. Bring the French press out and start brewing your own Japanese iced coffee. You’ll be glad you did!