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Brew Diaries: Iced French Press

Posted by Fergus on 15th Apr 2020

Welcome to Brew Diaries, where we challenge ourselves to brew something delicious over the weekend.

The trusty but often misunderstood french press was my brewing vessel this weekend and the challenge was to brew a tasty iced black coffee.

To start I knew I wanted to brew fresh and hot and rapidly chill, I didn't want to brew with cold water and leave it overnight, I wanted it there and then. I also much prefer the flavour profile you get from brewing with hot water compared to brewing with cold water.

My plan was to supplement some of my brewing water with ice, then pouring my concentrated brew directly over the ice which will cool it rapidly and dilute it to a more palatable strength.

Traditionally I like to brew my french press for quite a long time, 15 minutes or so, allowing the sediment to settle at the bottom and create a slightly cleaner cup. I quickly discover this is not an option as the long steep time causes the brew temperature to drop and then it wouldn't melt the ice and I would be left with a weird strong, tepid brew and a hunk of ice floating in it. I ended up settling on a total brew time of 8 mins, this allowed enough of the sediment to settle whilst also keeping the brew hot enough to melt the ice. I also ground a little finer and stirred quite vigorously at the start to really encourage extraction.

I ground a touch finer than normal.

So it became a game of balance, finding the right grind to balance extraction and sediment levels, finding the right brew time to allow enough extraction but not let the brew cool down too much, and finding the right amount of ice to use so that it all dissolves quickly and also cools the brew down to a cool state which you can pour over ice.

Pour directly onto ice and stir so it melts quickly

After making a bunch of brews I ended up settling on the following method, the result was a sweet iced coffee that had body and texture but didn't leave a gritty or unpleasant mouthfeel. You can use whatever coffee you enjoy, I ended up using our Daily Grind blend, even though it is an espresso roast I found the added development gave it a really nice mouthfeel and sweetness and helped combat the shorter brew time.

Recipe:

Coffee: 35g

Water: 350g

Ice: 150g

Method:

  1. Preheat your plunger with boiling water, you want that puppy hot!
  2. Grind your coffee on a similar setting for Aeropress or v60, so not super coarse.
  3. Weight out your ice in a separate vessel and set aside.
  4. Put coffee into your preheated french press and pour 350g of water right off the boil, stir vigorously for 3 seconds and start a timer.
  5. At 4 minutes break the crust using a spoon and gently stirring three times, then skim all the bits off the top.
  6. At 8 minutes put the top of the plunger on but don't plunge it, just lower it past the spout so it acts a strainer. Now carefully pour the coffee onto the ice, try not to disturb the coffee at the bottom of the plunger too much, this will help you achieve a cleaner cup, once the coffee grounds get close to the strainer stop pouring.
  7. Stir the coffee and ice vigorously until it has all melted.
  8. Pour cold coffee over ice and enjoy! You should yield 2 cups.

Enjoy guys and let us know how you like to brew cold coffee we would love to hear your recipes, or if you have any challenges for us, shoot us a message!

Brew With Confidence.