company - education - coffee

Monday, April 28, 2008

Iced coffee

iced coffee, originally uploaded by coffeedirtdog.

A friend challenged me to do an iced coffee that could be approachable but still be interesting. Maybe the warm weather had him convinced summer had already arrived. The foul weather today would easily discourage that belief.

We experimented a lot with overnight brews and variations of the full immersion cold brew. It's fantastic but way over caffeinated. Currently, I am just brewing a pour over of each sample I work with and then chill over night because that is more relevant to what most people are working with. I drink the sample the next few days and see where it's at. So far one excellent profile has stood out.

In my experiences, a coffee where the roast profile mellows the acidity and builds mid tone works best. I found that going just into second crack seems to be just enough roast note for balance in the coffees I like. From experience, the worst versions of iced coffees seem to be the black and tan or melanges which have simultaneously too much bitter roast and strong acidity. I hope to avoid that and just have a very balanced and very drinkable every day style iced coffee. Refined, simple, clean, and balanced.

I know iced coffee is a real New England thing. Everyone here goes crazy over iced coffee during the rare summer-like days. I'll admit that until recently, I had not given much thought to it. Much of the iced coffee offerings seemed unappealing and I felt very little interest. When someone throws down the gauntlet though, I will take it seriously.

The truth I have come to behind my lack of drip(and iced coffee) coffee love is the amount of grassy and often bitter roasts I was exposed to were really tearing up my poor stomach. The grassy astringency of some people 'roasting raw' can turn my acid sensitive stomach into knots in minutes. Getting deep into roasting helped me notice this. Grassy is generally something that becomes even more present in an iced coffee but equally as hard on the stomach as a hot brewed cup. Clean up the grassy notes and it's fine, I can drink it, no problem.

The current cup, already gone at this point of writing, is an Antigua roasted for an ice coffee brew and I'm feeling it enough to write this post. I just hope summer weather arrives soon so we can start having a real excuse to drink it.