Japanese Iced Coffee

Japanese Iced Coffee

The summer months are approaching. It is time to try different iced and cold brew coffee drinks. We recommend you try Japanese Iced coffee, which is as simple as any other filter coffee.

You can use any pour-over coffee equipment available at your house and enjoy the Japanese-style good iced coffee that is a magical combination of the slow-drip coffee flavor profile prepared with the speed of any hot brew drip coffee, instead of waiting the entire night like in the case of cold brew.

What is a Japanese Iced Coffee

The Japanese Style Iced Coffee drink is prepared by any pour-over method and is characterized by brewing it directly over ice, which means, that the freshly brewed coffee is directly poured over ice. This brew is also known as the flash chilled iced coffee.

Preparing Japanese Iced Coffee

Though not mandatory, iced coffee in Japan uses Gomme syrup (gum syrup) for sweetening. A Gomme syrup is an inverted sugar syrup with gum Arabic. The syrup has a very high sugar-to-water ratio, and the gum Arabic provides a smooth texture and doesn’t allow the sugar to crystallize back.

As stated above, you can use any Pour-over device like the Chemex, Kalita Wave, Hario V60, or Melita cone to prepare the hot coffee in the Japanese iced coffee method. But, whatever coffee maker you use, you need to pour the brewing hot coffee directly over the fresh ice. This is different from other Iced coffee and cold brew coffee drinks.

The differences between iced and cold brew coffee have been discussed in detail in our separate article. Any cold brew beverage is prepared by steeping coffee grounds in cold or normal water for long hours and is preferred for its smooth and less acidic taste. Hot coffee is able to extract more solubles due to its elevated temperatures.

In other iced coffee drinks, you add ice cubes to the drinks after completely brewing them in hot water, or you use the leftover coffee. The hot coffee cools down in both these methods to a large extent by the time the ice cubes are added and loses some of its taste due to the oxidation process.

The brewing method used in the Japanese iced coffee recipe chills the coffee rapidly and preserves all the coffee flavors making it a very bright and refreshing beverage on a hot summer day. You get the best of both worlds, able to produce a cleaner iced coffee with a lot of flavors in a very short time without any oxidation kicking in.

History of Japanese Ice Coffee

Japan is credited with the invention of the cold brewed coffee in the 17th century. Cold-brewed tea was already popular in Japan, and the idea was easily extended to ground coffee beans. This drink, popularly known as the Kyoto-style cold brew, was made by dripping drops of cold water over the ground coffee.

As is clear, Japanese iced coffee is different from the Kyoto-style method beverage and should not be confused with.

Water To Coffee Grounds Ratio

While brewing iced coffee by any method, it is always recommended to prepare a slightly stronger coffee or account for the volume of ice cubes in your water-to-coffee grounds ratio. It is always recommended to use bigger-sized ice cubes while making iced coffee so that they melt slowly.

It is normally recommended to use a 16:1 water-to-coffee grounds ratio, but this volume of water includes the volume of ice.

Hence to make a 16 oz drink of Japanese iced coffee, you will need one ounce of coffee grounds and eight ounces of water and ice cubes. If you prefer stronger coffee, you can go in for a 12:1 ratio and reduce the quantity of water and ice to six ounces each.

Grind Size

Usually, in most drip or pour-over coffees, water-to-coffee ratios of 15: to 18:1 is used. So, there is enough water for the extraction of all the solubles and coffee flavors. The extraction in Japanese iced coffee happens in water volume, which is half to two-thirds that of other pour-over coffees. Hence, you need to go in for a slightly finer grind size, which is a medium-fine grind size.

A medium or darker roast is generally preferred for iced coffee, with freshly roasted coffee beans having the advantage of lower oxidation bringing out more bright flavors.

Pouring Iced Coffee

How to Make Iced Coffee Japanese Style

Let us now look at the recipe to make Japanese iced coffee at home.

Ingredients and Equipment

The main ingredients and the equipment needed to make a decent cup of Japanese iced coffee are listed below:

  1. 30 grams of medium fine ground coffee beans.
  2. Eight ounces of hot boiling water in a kettle with a long neck to have ease of pour-over.
  3. Eight ounces of ice cubes.
  4. Any pour-over coffee maker like the Chemex, Kalita Wave, or Hario V60 with a paper filter.
  5. A large carafe or mason jar (more than 16 ounces).
  6. A Sugar syrup (depends on taste)
  7. Digital measure.


Collect all the ingredients and tools listed above in one place and follow the steps listed below.

  1. Measure the amount of coffee on the digital measure or the kitchen scale. If you do not have the digital measure, you can use scoops or tablespoons. A standard scoop is equivalent to two tablespoons of coffee, and each tablespoon carries about 5 grams of coffee grounds.
  2. Add the water to your kettle and bring the water to a boil. Wait for 30 seconds to a minute before pouring the water into your grounds.
  3. Pour the ice cubes into the carafe or the mason jar.
  4. Place the dripper cone onto the carafe or the mason jar.
  5. Prewet the coffee filter with hot water, drain the water, and place the filter onto the pour-over cone.
  6. Add ground coffee to the filter.
  7. Pour the hot water over the cone slowly and steadily till the grounds are just covered with water. Allow the grounds to bloom for about 30 to 45 seconds, and let the water poured so far drip into the carafe or the jar.
  8. Pour the remaining hot water in a slow circular motion around the cone in an even fashion.
  9. Wait for the entire water to drip through. If the grinding was not too fine, the entire dripping process, including the bloom time, should be over in about 3 to 4 minutes.
  10. Remove the filter with coffee grounds and serve the drink in a glass.
Japanese Iced Coffee in a Glass


Hope that you prepare the Japanese iced coffee at home and enjoyed the drink. It would be really appreciated if you could share your experience with our readers in the comment section below.

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