Does drinking a fresh cup of Japanese iced coffee sound appealing? But what if you don’t have a device a pour over device?
You can make Japanese iced coffee with any coffee maker you have at home, like a French press! And it’s very simple to do too. A
But one thing to note beforehand – this is not the traditional way of making Japanese iced coffee. But with a few tweaks in your typical French press coffee recipe, the end result is a flavorful Japanese iced coffee that tastes like the real deal!
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How to Make Japanese Iced Coffee Using a French Press
The traditional way of making Japanese iced coffee is using a pour-over method to brew hot coffee directly over a cup with ice cubes. But that doesn’t mean you can’t get creative with your methods, like using a French press.
And the trick to making the best Japanese iced coffee in a French press lies in three important things: the grind and how much of it you use, immersion timing, and how you pour the French press coffee over ice.
What Do You Need to Make French Press Japanese Iced Coffee?
For making Japanese iced coffee using a French press, you’re going to need:
- French Press – for making the Japanese iced coffee in
- Coffee – either pre-ground or fresh beans you can grind yourself. You’re also going to need more coffee than you would normally use for brewing with a French press.
- Hot water – for steeping your coffee. Use bottled water or distilled water for the best flavor.
- Tablespoon and measuring cup – for measuring your coffee and water
- Ice cubes – choose larger ice cubes to decrease dilution. Larger ice cubes will melt slower, so it will keep your French press Japanese iced coffee cold for much longer.
Other items you can also use:
- Coffee grinder – choose a good burr grinder for a consistent grind
- Timer – for a more accurate steeping time
- Kitchen scale – for a more accurate way to measure your coffee and water
- Thermometer – for measuring the water temperature
- Coffee filter – in case you want a smoother French press Japanese iced coffee. A secondary coffee filter will remove any finer particles that can pass through the French press filter.
- Small kitchen funnel – to put your coffee filter in
Choosing a Grind
Normally, you would use a coarser grind when making coffee with your French press. But when making Japanese iced coffee with your French press, the first step is to switch from coarse coffee grounds to finer grounds.
You are essentially trying to dissolve the same amount of coffee as your traditional French press recipe but with less amount of water. It means the coffee grounds need to be finer for them to dissolve in the water.
But as a universal rile, it’s best you grind whole beans for the overall quality and freshness of your resulting cup of coffee.
What Kind of Roast to Use?
Japanese-style iced coffee is very flexible, so you can choose any roast style you prefer. But it does highlight the bright flavors of lightly roasted beans or any speciality coffee with citrus and floral flavor characteristics.
Find Your Japanese Iced Coffee Ratio
The key to great Japanese iced coffee, no matter the brewing equipment you use, is getting the ratios right. The best coffee to water ratio usually depends on the type of coffee you have, brew method, and personal taste preference. But you can start with the golden ratio for brewing coffee, which is approximately 1:15 to 1:18. The latter is what I will use for the French press Japanese iced coffee recipe below.
And since you’re brewing your coffee onto the ice, which is going to melt and dilute the brew, you need to account for the ice cubes in your measurement for water. Ideally, one-third of the liquid is ice, and two-thirds is for making a French press coffee.
Japanese Iced Coffee Using French Press Recipe
Using a French press is pretty straightforward. But if you’re using a French press to make Japanese iced coffee, there are a few tweaks in the process.
Don’t worry because it’s still pretty simple to do! So, ready to make Japanese iced coffee with your French press?
What Do You Need?
This recipe makes one serving (500 ml) Japanese iced coffee.
- 1oz (30 g) Coffee Beans
- 5oz (150 g) Ice
- 13oz (350 g) Hot Water at 205ºF (96ºC) – make sure to have a little extra for rinsing the french press, and don’t use boiling water!
Now, let’s jump right into what you need and how to make French press Japanese iced coffee!
Step 1: Heat Your Water
The first step is heating up your water to the ideal temperature. Filtered water is the best option if you want a better flavor for your coffee as it contains less to no impurities.
Aim for the water temperature to reach between 195ºF to 205 ºF, and this is where a thermometer will come in very handy.
Step 2: Preheat Your French Press
Fill around ¼ of the French press with hot water and press the plunger all the way down. You can also swirl the plunger around to break up any leftover debris, and don’t forget to discard the water and rinse.
This step is optional and will not make or break your Japanese iced coffee. But it will warm up the French press and remove any dust or debris, especially if you haven’t used your French press in a while.
Step 3: Measure Your Coffee
You can measure them by weight in ounces or grams before grinding when using coffee beans. But when measuring coffee after grinding, use a tablespoon. A tablespoon of ground coffee should be around 5g.
Step 4: Add Your Coffee Grounds and Water
Now that your coffee is ready to go, dump it inside the French press along with the water. Without a scale, use your measuring cup to find out how much water to use. Approximately 13oz (350 g) of water is around 1.5 cups.
Do not add the ice in here yet!
Step 5: Steep Your Coffee
Get your timer and as soon as you close the lid of the French press, start the countdown for 3-4 minutes. You don’t want to steep your coffee too long and risk over-extraction, which can make your coffee extra bitter.
Step 6: Stir in or Remove the Crust
After steeping, a crust should form at the top of the coffee. So, take off the lid of the French press, and there are two things you can do:
- Remove and discard the crust for a lighter-bodied taste.
- Stir the crush back in the liquid for a fuller-bodied taste.
Step 7: Press Your Coffee, Pour into a Jug
Now, it’s time to press the plunger all the way down to filter out the coffee grounds. Then pour it into a jug with the ice cubes in it immediately to avoid over-extraction. But don’t pour everything in the jug as you want to leave at least around a sip in the French press to keep the grits away from your final cup.
Step 8: Pour into a Glass of Ice
Now your Japanese Iced Coffee is ready, pour into a glass with ice and enjoy!
Other Brewing Methods You Can Use
Besides French press, you can recreate Japanese iced coffee with basically any brewing device you currently own.
Both the standard and upright AeroPress styled will work for making Japanese iced coffee. However, you don’t need to use finer grounds when using the upright method. But if you choose to grind your beans finer, you can shorten the steeping time.
Since Japanese-style iced coffee is traditionally brewed using the drip coffee method, you can adapt most pour-over coffee equipment for it like Chemex and Hario V60. Chemex, in particular, can make you several servings of Japanese iced coffee.
Japanese iced coffee is best enjoyed freshly brewed, so take out your French press and everything you need to make a simple French press Japanese iced coffee at home today!