Are you a fan of Cold Brew coffee but don’t have the time (or the patience) to wait for it to brew? Do you enjoy iced coffee more than hot coffee? Consider making flash brew coffee!

What is Flash Brew Coffee?

Flash brewed coffee, often referred to as Japanese Iced Coffee, is a process similar to making cold brew coffee, but is not quite the same. Coffee that has been flash brewed is chilled rapidly, locking in maximum flavor, and is served over ice.

The best methods to use for flash brew coffee are pour-over and Aeropress coffee recipes. If you’re looking for a pour-over coffee device, check out Atlas’ list of 5 Best Pour-Over Coffee Makers currently on the market.

Cold Brew vs. Flash Brew

While in the same ballpark, cold brew coffee is not the same as flash brew coffee. Here are some key differences and similarities to help differentiate between the two:

Differences

  • Flash brewed coffee typically is best with a lighter roast, while cold brewed coffee is best with darker.
  • Cold brew coffee can be stored, even frozen, in larger batches to be enjoyed for the foreseeable future. Flash brew coffee is meant to be enjoyed immediately and is often only one serving.
  • Flash brew coffee requires less work than cold brew. With the former, it is especially easier when using the pour-over method as you would just have to discard a filter; with cold brew, you have to grind a large amount of coffee and deal with extra clean-up due to the grinder. Not a deal breaker for most, but making cold brew does require some extra work.

Similarities

  • Both should be brewed using higher quality coffee beans as both methods are meant to bring out as much flavor in your coffee as possible; when low quality beans are used more flaws are present, and trust us, they will be noticed.
  • Both are brewed with cold water and both are served over ice or chilled.
  • It can be difficult to get the strength right for both methods, it will take some trial and error.
  • Both (and arguably all brew methods) need a consistent grind to produce the best results.

How Do You Brew it?

You will need a brewing device, a brewing container (if your brewing device doesn’t have an attached carafe), and your favorite recipe for coffee (but with ice replacing 1/3-1/2 of the water). The coffee is then poured over the ice, melting it, with water poured in stages until coffee is filtered entirely into carafe. Serve chilled and enjoy immediately (Yay! No waiting for 12 hours!).

Here is a general pour-over recipe for flash brew coffee (aka: Japanese Iced Coffee) for your reference.

What you’ll need:

  • 1 oz. coffee (a lighter roast is recommended to start)
  • Grinder (finer grind; we recommend hand grinding)
  • Pour Over brewer
  • Filter
  • Kettle or saucepan
  • Boiling water, cooled (~11-12 oz.)
  • ~5-6 oz. ice

Instructions:

  1. Boil water and let cool.
  2. Load ice into the pour-over carafe or brewing container.
  3. Place filter on carafe/container, folding sides if necessary to make sure it fits tightly.
  4. Place dripper/filter over top of ice-filled carafe.
  5. Weigh and grind coffee, adding it to the filter.
  6. Pour just enough water to saturate coffee, stopping just before the coffee starts filtering into the carafe.
  7. Let coffee “bloom” (expand) for ~30-45 seconds.
  8. Pour water in a circular motion to fill cone about halfway.
  9. Continue filling with water in stages, keeping the coffee grounds saturated. The whole process shouldn’t take longer than 2 1/2 minutes.
  10. Once all the water has been added, stir and let filter drain entirely. The coffee grounds in the filter should look flat or slightly domed.
  11. Remove filter and enjoy immediately!

Other Tips For Making Flash Brew Coffee:

  • Use a finer grind (this is why the Aeropress is often recommended for this method). Because you are using less water, the coffee needs to be fine enough to dissolve quickly. However, please note that if you’re using a Chemex, to use a slightly coarser grind.
  • Use large ice cubes- the larger cubes will melt slower and decrease dilution; rapid dilution will result in watered down coffee.
  • 1:10 coffee to water ratio is a good place to start.
  • Pour as little water as possible to saturate the coffee (step #6 above). This will also help ensure a more even dilution.
  • It is important to allow “bloom” time (step #7)- this will guarantee an even dispersion of liquid and therefore, a more even dispersion of flavor.
  • Pour faster and keep your “coffee bed” a little higher than when brewing regular coffee.

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