Cold Coffee Two Ways


Steeping coarsely-ground coffee for several hours in cold water replaces heat with time as the main driver of flavor extraction. Using hot water to extract flavor from coffee—the usual approach—facilitates the extraction of some not-so-nice flavor qualities that come from certain oils and fatty acids only soluble at high temperatures, making it essential to pay close attention to total brew time, grind size and other brewing variables. But cold water pulls out the most delicious flavor elements and leaves behind much of that bitterness, and the long steep time results in a smooth, balanced, mellow cup of cold coffee. There are plenty of excellent gadgets you can buy to make cold brew, including the Filtron, Toddy, and Hario, but you can easily replicate the process with items you already have at home.

You’ll need:

4-8 oz (60-120 g) whole bean coffee
burr grinder
Mason jar or other quart-sized vessel (32-oz French press works well)
cold, filtered water
mesh strainer
paper filter


  1. Measure your whole bean coffee and grind to a coarse consistency (like kosher salt).

  2. Place the ground coffee in your jar or carafe.

  3. Fill with fresh, cold water.

  4. Cover and place in a cool area (or refrigerate).

  5. Shake or stir every few hours if possible.

  6. After 12-16 hours, strain twice: once through a metal mesh filter/strainer, then through a paper filter.

  7. Enjoy over ice. Dilute with water or milk as desired.


If you only want a cup or two, or if you’d like to preserve more of the delicate nuances in your coffee, flash chilled coffee is another excellent choice. We like to use a Chemex for an extremely clean cup with sparkling clarity, particularly nice for lighter- and medium-roasted coffees, though the same method also works with any pour-over method. Melting ice contributes to the total volume of water used without watering down the finished brew; the flash chilling effect captures delicate aromatics and flavors, locking them into the resulting cup.

You’ll need:

30 grams of freshly-roasted coffee
gram scale
burr grinder
Chemex or other pour-over (or even an auto drip brewer)
paper filter
250 grams hot water (about 200 degrees)
250 grams ice


  1. Rinse your filter (with cold water to avoid warming your carafe), then discard the rinse water.

  2. Weigh the ice directly into the empty carafe.

  3. Weigh out 30 grams of whole bean coffee.

  4. Grind to a medium-coarse setting (adjust grind setting to taste if you prefer).

  5. Add ground coffee to the filter and level out the surface with a gentle shake. Tare your scale to zero.

  6. Pour 50 grams of water over the coffee to saturate the grounds. After about 30 seconds, slowly pour the remaining 200 grams of water.

  7. When the coffee finishes dripping through, discard the spent coffee/filter and swirl the carafe. Most of the ice should be melted.

  8. Pour and enjoy!

While lighter, nuanced coffees are our favorite to prepare this way, any coffee can be enjoyed in the Japanese iced style.

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