How To: Japanese Iced Coffee

It’s been an exciting journey for Repose since we opened in September of 2014, and over the past two years, we’ve spent time developing our shop, getting to know our customers, and paying close attention to the details that have crafted our business into what it is today. As we grow and evolve, we try to consistently improve - perfecting our beverages, refining our processes, and learning how to serve our community in the best way we can.

It goes without saying, but as a business, the most important decisions we make at Repose center around our coffee: the ways it’s roasted, prepared and served. When we were creating our menu, we decided to experiment with Japanese Iced Coffee - an alternative to cold-brew that was suggested by one of our first baristas.

Now one of our most popular menu items, our iced coffee sparks a few questions.

Is it the same thing as cold brew? What’s with the name? And most importantly, why do we do it?

The short answer:

Japanese Iced Coffee is different from cold brew, the name has to do with the brewing method (which originated in Japan), and we serve it this way because it simply tastes better!

The long answer:

How is it made?

  1. We brew our Espresso No. 9 blend with 50% of the water we usually use, resulting in a stronger, more concentrated drip.

  2. Immediately after brewing, we pour the hot espresso over ice, and then refrigerate immediately.

What makes it taste different?

We brew hot to fully extract a dynamic flavor, and cool instantly to lock in the full-bodied aromatics of the blend.

When water is heated, its molecules move faster and create more energy, allowing it to actively break down soluble materials, like coffee. So, when the grounds of the Espresso No. 9 dissolve in hot water, the flavor is developed to the fullest extent possible: the brighter, more-nuanced compounds in the beans simply wouldn’t be released if the water was cold or room-temperature, like it is in cold-brew. Finally, pouring the hot espresso directly over ice shocks the coffee, preserving the floral, lemony notes of the blend and perfectly diluting the brew.

Simply put, we think that the Japanese method highlights even the most subtle flavors of the espresso. Brewing hot and cooling fast results in a strong, crisp and dynamic iced coffee that’s sure to get your day started in the most refreshing way possible.