Iced Coffee With Aeropress
Dec 30, 2022
I enjoyed drinking iced coffee this summer. It was my goto brew method (there were a few hot coffees when I was lazy or it was cool and rainy).
While I have been home-brewing hot coffee for years with the Aeropress, I only tried iced coffee last year. The cold brew method requires a dedicated accessory, more effort, and a long (overnight) brew time, so I didn't try it. Then I watched James Hoffmann's video on iced filter coffee, tried it, and enjoyed the result. It follows the Aeropress philosophy of easy, quick, practical, and great-tasting coffee.
My method is different in three ways:
- Aeropress instead of V60
- Smaller, stronger cup
- Hot-water volume varies for precision
The James Hoffmann video uses a V60 brewer, but I use Aeropress. Aeropress is more effective for strong small cups because we can use the inverted method and steep the coffee longer for better extraction.
Instead of the 15g coffee:250g water ratio, I use 14g:200g from Tim Wendelboe's Aeropress recipe. He also has an iced coffee video that follows the same method as James Hoffmann, with additional commentary on coffee bean choices that work well.
My ice cubes don't weigh 70g. I watch the scale as I drop them in to get it between 70g to 75g. The hot water volume is then adjusted such that 200g is the total weight of ice, and hot water.
The more hot water we can brew coffee with, the more coffee we extract. James Hoffmann experimented with various ratios and arrived at 40% ice as a starting point. For me, 40% or 80g of ice was a bit more, as the ice didn't fully melt when I mixed in hot coffee. At 35% or 70g, it almost completely melts. I still have to stir it a bit.
Things we need:
- Scale that can weigh at 1g or even better 0.1g increments
- Coffee beans (light roasted, fruity)
- Ice cubes
- Tumbler (whiskey glass types)
- Frothing Pitcher
- One chopstick
- Boil water (to boiling point)
- Measure 14g of beans
- Grind medium-fine (Aeropress grind)
- Invert Aeropress (link to the inverted method)
- Pour in ground coffee
- Put ~70g of ice into the pitcher
The next step depends on the actual weight of the ice. If the ice cubes weigh 75g, I pour 125g boiling water into the inverted Aeropress. For 73g of ice, it is 127g of water. This goal is to get exactly 200g of ice and hot water.
I stir the ground coffee and hot water with a chopstick to maximise the coffee extraction, and then press the plunger in as far as needed such that the water level is close to the top. I found it makes less mess this way when we flip.
Put a paper filter into the cap and lock it tight over the Aeropress. Let the coffee grounds and boiling water steep inverted for 1 to 2 mins (no need to time it).
Add 4g of sugar to the 70g of ice.
After steeping, flip over the Aeropress onto the pitcher (which has ice and sugar). I gently stir the Aeropress to capture the coffee grounds stuck to the rubber and then press the coffee through.
I remove the cap to push out the left-over coffee grounds with the filter into the waste bin, then rinse the Aeropress.
Stir the coffee in the pitcher with the chopstick to make the sugar dissolve properly (some sugar will be left).
I add 4 or 5 ice cubes into the glass tumbler to chill the coffee. These will melt a bit and dilute the coffee making the last sips weaker, but it is OK. I did think about getting one of those larger ice cube trays.
Pour out the cold coffee from the pitcher into the tumbler. By now, almost all the ice should have melted. There will still be some sugar left in the pitcher. I ignore it most of the time, but sometimes, I can't let it go, and add a bit of hot water, swirl it, and then pour that into the tumbler.
Clean up, and enjoy!