Arriving at Amazing Iced Coffee

Allegro's Arianna Estate and Chemex with Kone Filter

After probably 4 weeks of tinkering around, I have finally settled on a method that is producing the results I want. Big body, richness, balanced sweetness, and a hint of brightness, is how I describe the perfect cup of iced coffee. This is how I make it:

I use a Chemex and a Kone Metal Filter to make a slightly updosed but properly extracted cup that is then doctored with a measured amount of ice, brown sugar, and heavy whipping cream. (No, half and half does not do the trick.)

To the Bottom of your Chemex add 100g of ice, 14g of brown sugar, and 40g of heavy cream. Then place your metal Kone filter on top. Start heating your water but be sure not to let it reach boiling temperatures (unless you are at high altitude), as this will rid the water of dissolved oxygen which is crucial in carrying flavor.

Once your water is close to the right temp (205F), grind your coffee: 30g at drip filter grind (20 on my Baratza.) It is important not to grind the coffee to soon. Note that when you do, the entire kitchen smells of yummy coffee. That smell should be in your cup, not around your kitchen. Add your ground coffee to the filter and start the pre infusion by adding 60g of hot water to the center of the bed. After about 35 seconds, or when the bloom has subsided,  start slowly pouring the 340g that remain. Be sure to pour in the center and to monitor your rate of pour to end with a brew time of about 2:45 (including bloom time.) When you have reached the 400g water dose, give the top of your slurry a good stir. Given we are using less water than is customary the stir is important to create agitation and therefore not end with an under extracted cup.

Once your extraction is finished, swirl your Chemex until the ice, sugar, cream, and coffee have become a homogenous solution. Then pour your coffee into your mug or glass of choice. Add two ice cubes to each cup and stir vigorously for 40 revolutions. This will ensure rapid cooling. Then remove the remaining ice. Leaving this ice will give you a floating water puddle that is very unpleasant. I have noticed that leaving ice in iced coffee is not a good thing. Iced coffee extractions tend to be denser than ice and the floating ice just creates a barrier of insipid water between your lips and that delicious coffee.

The coffee  you use is crucial for the recipes’ success. Ideally, you need a big bodied coffee. I have been using two coffees that have yielded spectacular results. The first is Allegro’s Arianna Estate Kona. Its wonderful, chocolaty, nutty, big bodied, but when iced it still has that detectable brightness. The second is a blend of 65% San Antonio Huista (Handsome Coffee) and 35% Plan de la Batea (Blue Bottle Coffee.)



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