If you’re looking to have a refreshing cup of iced coffee, cold brew isn’t your only option.
In this guide, I will teach you how to make iced Chemex coffee, but Japanese style. What does that even mean?
Well, instead of soaking the ground coffee in room-temperature water for 12 hours, as I showed you in my cold brew guide, we are going to use the pour-over method and brew over ice cubes.
When making Japanese-style iced coffee, you need to use the same coffee-to-water ratio as you’d normally use when brewing in a Chemex.
Nevertheless, you have to exchange a portion of the water for ice and place it in the carafe.
The rest of the water you’re going to heat as usual and pour it over the coffee bed.
The hot water is going to extract more of the flavors and the aroma compounds from your ground beans compared to using room-temperature or cold water.
In contrast to cold brew, the Japanese style coffee is more complex, flavorful, and therefore, more enjoyable.
The iced Chemex coffee, made through the use of this method is bright, crisp, and full of flavor, so you’ll love it for sure.
You won’t need any condiments such as milk, sugar, or syrups, even if you’re used to adding them to your iced caffeinated beverage.
So without further ado, let’s dive into the recipe instructions.
How to make Iced Chemex Coffee – Instructions
To make iced Chemex coffee you’re going to need:
- Ice Cubes.
- Ground Coffee. When it comes to grind size, a medium-coarse grind is the way to go.
I recommend grinding your coffee at home instead of buying a bag of pre-ground beans. If you don’t have a grinder you can check out my guide on the best grinders for pour-over to find some great products that produce a consistent grind on coarse settings.
When it comes to the iced Chemex ratio, below you can find a helpful chart that shows how much coffee, water, and ice you should use, depending on the amount you want to brew:
|Hot Water:||Ice:||Ground Coffee (by weight)||Ground Coffee (by volume)|
|130 grams (~ 4.5 oz.)||70 grams (~ 2.5 oz.)||12 grams (0.5 oz.)||1.5 – 2 tbsp.|
|230 g (8.1 oz.)||120 grams (4.2 ounces)||21 grams (0.7 ounces)||2 – 3 rounded tablespoons|
|330 grams (11.6 oz.)||170 grams (6 oz.)||30 grams (1 oz.)||3.5 – 4.5 rounded tablespoons|
|495 grams (17.4 oz.)||255 grams (9 oz.)||45 grams (1.6 oz.)||5 to 7 rounded tablespoons|
|660 grams (23.2 oz.)||340 (12 fl. oz.)||60 grams (2 oz.)||6.5 – 8.5 rounded tablespoons|
As you can see I recommend exchanging approximately a third of the water volume for ice (34% to be precise).
To be fair, it will be a bit hard to eyeball the water measurements, so using a kitchen scale is a must if you are to make Japanese-style iced coffee in your Chemex carafe.
The best approach is to also weigh your coffee beans precisely.
You can check out my guide on the best scales for coffee if you still don’t own one, but you want to step up your coffee brewing game.
Now that we’ve cleared that up, here are the Iced Chemex coffee recipe instructions:
1. Rinse the paper filter.
Rinsing the thick Chemex paper filter is necessary to avoid the paper taste in your coffee.
I usually rinse the paper, discard the rinse water from the carafe, and move on to the following step.
When making Japanese-style Chemex, you can rinse your paper with room-temperature water under the sink.
2. Add 170 grams (6 ounces) of ice cubes to the carafe.
3. Place the Chemex filter and add 30 grams (1 oz.) of coffee grounds.
Then you can shake the carafe to level the coffee bed.
4. Create a well in the coffee bed.
This way you’re making sure that the coffee grounds will be evenly soaked during the next step – coffee blooming.
5. Slowly pour 80 grams (2.82 oz.) of hot water over the coffee bed.
This is the blooming phase, during which the coffee releases CO2 gases. The fresher the coffee beans the more the bubbles that form on the surface of the slurry.
During the coffee blooming phase, you should follow the rule of thumb of adding 2 to 3 grams of water for each gram of coffee. Since I used 30 grams of coffee grounds, I should add 60 to 90 grams of hot water. For this coffee dose, I usually go for 80 grams (2.82 ounces) of off-the-boil water.
After you pour the water over the coffee grounds wait for 45 seconds for the coffee to degas before you move on to the following step.
6. Pour the rest of the water over the coffee bed in a circular motion.
You should start from the center and move out to the edges. Pour slowly and evenly.
If you’re too harsh you may disrupt the coffee bed too much and cause channeling, faster drawdown, and therefore – unsatisfying extraction.
When it comes to the water temperature, I go for 185°F – 194°F (85°C – 90°C) when brewing with darker roasts, and 200°F – 205°F (93 °C – 96°C) when making iced Chemex coffee with a lighter roast.
It’s always easier to pour with precision with a gooseneck kettle.
Furthermore, some great kettles also have a built-in thermometer or variable temperature control feature that allows you to monitor the temperature of the water that you for your pour-over coffee.
If you’re interested, you can check out my guide on the best gooseneck kettles to see the reviews of my top picks.
7. Gently stir and swirl.
You should stir two times in opposite directions, making sure you also remove the grounds that are stuck to the sides of the coffee filter. Then you should take your Chemex carafe and move it in a circular motion (swirl it).
This step adds agitation and improves the extraction.
8. Wait for the coffee to draw down over the ice cubes.
The drawdown in this case should take around three and a half minutes. When making Japanese-style Chemex coffee, the hot coffee melts the ice cubes in the carafe. Since you’ve already accounted for that in your measurements, the ice will dilute your brew just enough so that you end up with the perfect coffee strength.
9. Remove the filter and enjoy your iced Chemex coffee.
If you follow this recipe precisely you should end up with around 450 milliliters (15.2 fl. oz.) of coffee. You can serve it in a glass over ice cubes.
I hope that you found this iced Chemex coffee recipe useful. I prefer making Japanese-style iced coffee instead of cold brew, as the former is more complex and lets me enjoy more of the pleasant flavors of my specialty coffee beans. Leave me a comment below if you have any questions, or simply share how your iced Chemex turned out.