Iced AeroPress flash brew

Iced AeroPress Flash Brew

The quick extraction process of flash brew retains the bright and vibrant flavors of the coffee beans, yielding a crisp and refreshing iced coffee with a more pronounced acidity and complexity.
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While iced coffee can be somewhat divisive among coffee drinkers, I am fully in the iced coffee camp. I love a nice hot cup of coffee in the morning, but on a hot summer afternoon nothing beats a glass of iced coffee. The reality though is that all iced coffee is not created equal. I’ve tried a lot of different cold coffee brew methods and even a lot of different iced AeroPress recipes and this is the one that I think performs the best.

Flash Brew or Cold Brew?

When it comes to iced coffee, there are a variety of ways to brew it. The two most common are cold brew and flash brew. Cold brew, characterized by its slow and gentle extraction process, involves steeping coarsely ground coffee in cold water for an extended period of time, typically 12 to 24 hours. This method results in a smooth, mellow brew with lower acidity and a subtly sweet flavor profile. 

On the other hand, flash brew, also known as Japanese iced coffee, entails brewing hot coffee directly onto ice, rapidly cooling it down and preserving the aromatic compounds and acidity of the coffee. The quick extraction process of flash brew retains the bright and vibrant flavors of the coffee beans, yielding a crisp and refreshing iced coffee with a more pronounced acidity and complexity. 

While both methods can yield delicious iced coffee and each has their own benefits, I tend to prefer flash brew for most of the coffees I enjoy because it helps accentuate the brightness and more nuanced flavor experience in the coffee. 

What is the correct ratio between coffee, water & ice?

I’ve been making a variation of this recipe for years, but recently have adjusted the ratio between the coffee, water & ice to maximize extraction. In the past I used equal parts water and ice to make sure the coffee was completely cooled with ice remaining. The issue with that approach is that the coffee is likely not fully extracted because not enough hot water has passed through the grounds. This recipe uses a 2:1 water to ice ratio in an effort to maximize extraction. The ice is ideally a large cube to melt more slowly and more efficiently cool down the coffee. After the coffee has cooled with the initial ice, you can pour it over additional ice to maintain its temperature. Because the coffee is already cold though the ice will melt much more slowly watering down the coffee at a much slower rate.

How to make a flash brew iced AeroPress

Step 1: Prepare the AeroPress

Begin by setting up your AeroPress for brewing. Ensure it is in the upright position and place two paper filters in the cap. Alternatively, if you have an AeroPress Flow Control Filter Cap, you can use that instead. The flow control filter cap helps reduce any coffee from dripping through while brewing.

Next, prepare your carafe by adding a large 100g ice cube. Carefully place the AeroPress on top of the carafe, ensuring stability.

Step 2: Brew the coffee

Add the coffee to the AeroPress and then add water on top. Using a stirring motion, vigorously stir the coffee and water mixture approximately 10 to 15 times to ensure thorough saturation.

Once you've finished stirring, gently insert the plunger into the AeroPress, but refrain from pushing it down immediately. Some water may drip out initially, but the majority should remain inside the AeroPress to facilitate the brewing process. If you are using the flow control cap you shouldn’t need to add the plunger (except to help with heat retention).

Allow the coffee to steep for approximately 3 minutes.

Step 3: Finish the coffee

After this time, slowly and evenly press down on the AeroPress over a duration of 30 to 45 seconds. This gradual pressing ensures a level coffee bed and promotes an even extraction. As you press down, the hot coffee will melt most of the large ice cube in the carafe.

Step 4: Stir the coffee & enjoy!

To ensure thorough cooling, gently stir the coffee in the carafe to help melt any remaining ice.

With your coffee now cooled, it's time to serve. Fill a glass with fresh ice and pour in the cooled coffee. The previously cooled coffee will help prevent rapid melting of the new ice, ensuring your beverage remains chilled without becoming watered down. Enjoy your refreshing iced coffee!

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