Cold Coffees - Flash Brew vs Cold Brew

Cold Coffees - Flash Brew vs Cold Brew

It’s getting hot out here...

Iced lattes are great, but there’s a few reasons you should give other iced coffees a try.

1) Lots of folk are cutting down on milk.

2) You can prepare a lot of cold coffees ahead - easy to grab on your way out the door.

3) It’s a great way of discovering some hidden flavours in your favourite coffees.

4) Who wants to faff around with espresso when it's really damn hot?

Here's a couple of other ways of making cold coffee drinks - introducing Flash Brew and Cold Brew.

Flash Brew

This method of making iced coffee originated in Japanese cafes and is on-trend across the UK and US. We love to play with this at Steampunk because the flavours we love in our hot specialty coffees come through in interesting delicious ways.

What it is: slightly concentrated hot coffee poured over lots of ice to cool and dilute.

What you need: any filter brewing method

Why it’s good: preserves light- and medium-roasted specialty coffee's distinct taste profiles

To brew: Try brewing as you normally do, and pour over ice. This might taste great, but if the coffee is too weak, shift your coffee-to-water ratio to increase the strength of your brew. For instance, at Steampunk when using batch, our recipe is usually 130-140g coffee to 1,000 ml water. That’s about a 13:1 ratio. For flash brew you could shift the ratio to about 16:1, which means you’d put in 160g coffee per 1,000 ml water. Try a few batches and see what tastes good in the cup size you’re going to use. The flavours in the coffee will depend on your brew ratio and your ice-to-coffee ratio in the cups you use.

To make: Pour hot flash brew over a cup filled with ice, and add milk if desired.

Coffee cheat: I make a lot of Moccamaster brews at home. Whenever I have leftover I pour it into a Kilner jar and bung it in the fridge. Then I can just grab the jar and add ice when I want a drink. (Use it up within 24 hours though).

Cold Brew

This method of making iced coffee is known and loved by many. It’s an easy way to make a high volume of consistent coffee.

What it is: coffee concentrate made my steeping coarsely ground coffee in room-temperature water overnight, then straining.

What you need: very coarsely ground coffee 

Why it’s good: this is classic iced coffee, excellent with milk

To brew: Usually a ratio of 1:4 to 1:7 will work, depending on grind size and how long you leave the coffee to steep. Just add room temperature water to ground coffee and leave it for 12 - 20 hours. When it’s ready, strain concentrate and store in the fridge. The current recipe we are using for our Cold Brew at Steampunk is 380g coffee ti 1.5 litres water with a 24hr brew time.

To Make: Pour concentrate to over ice, add water to dilute, and milk if desired. Again, depending on the strength of your brew and how you want it to taste, you should add more or less water when diluting to serve.

Check out this post by our guest blogger James: How to make Cold Brew at home without any fancy equipment

How sweet it is...

A note on sweetening iced coffee: Adding granulated sugar to iced coffee isn't ideal because it won’t dissolve easily. If you want a sweeter iced coffee, you need to make a simple syrup or use some other liquid sweetener like agave syrup or honey.

My recommendation would be put equal parts caster sugar and water in a small pan. Heat gently while stirring to dissolve and once there are no grains visible take off the heat. You want to avoid caramelising the sugar as this will add a different flavour altogether to your coffee. You CAN get super experimental if you wish and add flavours to your syrup - lavender, vanilla, orange - and see what you like in your different drinks. These are great in iced teas also.

If you have an espresso machine, you could use a milk jug and the steam wand to make your syrup. Warning: it probably goes without saying but be super careful not to splash yourself with sugar syrup as it will give you a nasty burn.

Check out these other articles:

How to make Cold Brew at home with NO fancy equipment

Iced Latte at home

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