Make Iced Brewing Easy Again!


Make Iced Brewing Easy Again!

Posted on Wednesday, June 28, 2017 - 2:15pm By Michael Harwood

Ceremony Annuals Summer 2017 coffee blend

Summer is officially here, which means it's prime iced coffee time! Guests often inquire as to what type of coffee works best for chilled brew methods and my initial reply is, "What type of experience are you or your guests expecting? Rich and chocolatey? Elegant and well-fruited?" There's a coffee for each palate or objective.

Beyond preference are some underlying truths to cold brewing, so let's explore!

There are two primary methods of brewing iced coffee:

Cold Brew : cool to room temperature water is used to brew over 12-18 hours, produces a mellow flavor and is highly caffeinated, this is how we brew the base of our Nitro Cold Brew!

Ceremony Cold Brew at Home using ToddySteep your own Cold Brew at home!

Flash Brew: hot water is used to brew the coffee directly onto ice in ~3 minutes, produces a specific, coffee-forward flavor and is moderately caffeinated, how we make a pour over: Learn our technique here!

Ceremony Flash Brew Coffee at Home using BonaVITA
Or try your hand at Flash Brewing! We're big fans of the BonaVITA Immersion Dripper for these quick iced brews!

To get geeky for a minute... Coffee extracts in three stages over time: brightness first, sweetness second, bitterness last. These flavor compounds are held in the nooks and crannies of the grounds, leaving it to The Great Extractor (water!) to get in, dissolve/bond to the flavor solubles, then carry them into your cup! As water is the primary driver of extraction, it should be noted that when we use more water, we tend to extract more (towards bitterness) from our coffee. And vice versa - when we use less water, we tend to extract less (towards brightness). Using the right amount of water allows us to hit the coffee's sweet spot between bright and bitter! The trick with cold and flash brewing is that we have to compensate for using less water (due to needing to use ice for chilling, which dilutes!).

Since In both cases we are using less brewing water and we know this may lead to sourness, what can be done if we desire richly sweet or even bittersweet iced coffee?!? Short-term extraction solutions like A) using more brew water, B) lengthening brew times, C) adding turbulence (such as stirring), and D) grinding finer may work.
(don't tell Ronnie I said this, but...) You can use a slightly more developed roast. It's true that lighter roasts are more complex and uniquely flavored, but these enzymatically stunning roasts are denser and harder to extract if you don't have your full complement of water. Roasting darker does homogenize flavors a bit (think: chocolate/nut/smoke), but helps raise extraction by lowering the density of the seed, which makes it easier for the water to pull out more flavor! Whew! Who knew there was so much to think about before brewing a cup of coffee?!? (Want to learn more?)

That's why we want to make iced brewing easy. You deserve a roast that isn't over-roasted and bitter, but complex, exciting, and easy to extract - producing sweet, character-driven brews time and time again.

This is where Summer 2017 comes in. Built around bright, refreshing, in-season coffees, this blend has been roasted just the right amount to amplify sweetness, reduce sourness, and make your iced brewing a breeze!

70% Ethiopia Reko | washed Heirlooms
30% Costa Rica CoopeTarrazĂș | washed Caturra + Catuai

Try one of these beautiful bags this season only!

Ceremony Annuals iced coffee blend Summer 2017 bag

Until next time, happy brewing! - MH