What Is Japanese Style Iced Coffee?

What’s up, y’all? It’s that time again: sunny days, warm weather, and a deep desire for some ice-cold coffee. After all, what’s better than waking up to the summer sunrise and grabbing some cold brew to brighten your day?

Actually, I’ll tell you what’s better: Japanese-style iced coffee. (In cases of disagreement, please note this comment is made for entertainment purposes only). Also called ice brew, this version of coffee is amazing.

What Is Japanese-Style Iced Coffee?

So, what exactly is Japanese-style iced coffee? It’s a brewing method for cold coffee that originated in Japan. Fairly simple. Fortunately, the brewing method itself is just as straight forward.

The coffee is brewed using hot water and immediately chilled over ice. The best part is that it can be made with zero preparation and takes only minutes to complete.

Iced coffee

How to Make Japanese-Style Iced Coffee

Side note: this process will take around ten minutes and can make a couple cups of coffee at a time.

If you’ve ever made a pour-over, the process is incredibly similar. You’ll need:

  • A kettle for hot water
  • Ice to make it cold
  • A paper filter for your coffee grounds
  • Coffee beans for flavor
  • A pour over device to bring it all together

If you’re not sure which coffee beans to grab for your ice brew, try out one of our green coffee beans from Brazil, Colombia, or Nicaragua. The flavor profiles of these coffee beans are highlighted nicely when poured over ice. Now, let’s get into how to make a Japanese-style iced coffee.

Pour your coffee grounds into the filter at the top. Place the ice in the bottom part of the container or pour over. Then, just pour hot water over the grounds and watch the magic happen.

Here is where there’s a bit of coffee science. The ice is going to melt while it cools the coffee, which will dilute the flavor. Because of this, you want to start with a stronger brew.

The flavor comes down to the ratio you use. This is, ultimately, up to preference. But you may want to pull out your scale to determine the exact amount of coffee grounds and water needed.

One final nifty coffee trick is to bloom the coffee. To bloom the coffee, wet the coffee grounds with the boiling water. Let the water and grounds mixture site for about half a minute. Then, pour the rest of the water over the grounds.

Iced coffee with cream

Cold Brew v. Japanese-Style Iced Coffee

Odds are you’ve been wondering why you should make a Japanese-style iced coffee instead of the simple cold brew. After all, ice brew takes five whole minutes, why would you wait so long? Of course, cold brew takes 24 hours, but once it’s prepared, it’s ready right away. And that’s really where the question comes in: which style of cold coffee works best for you?

Cold brew certainly has its benefits. It’s incredibly easy to create a large batch of strong coffee. If you enjoy reaching into the fridge to pour some coffee in under a minute, cold brew is a great option. Equally, if you’re having a large gathering, it would be a lot easier to prep some cold brew.

Cold brew also shines with the addition of milk or creamers to balance out the darker, acidic taste.

But Japanese-style iced coffee does have its own benefits. For starters, you don’t have to decide that you want coffee now 24 hours ago.

Ice brew also extracts more flavor by using hot water in the brewing method. Chilling and consuming the coffee immediately allows the brew to maintain maximum flavor.

There’s also some flexibility with ice brew, as you can change the ratio in order to achieve different strengths. The dilution from the ice and the lighter flavors from the brewing process make ice brew a great, black coffee.


To summarize, Japanese-style iced coffee is a fantastic brewing technique that results in bright, flavorful, cold coffee ready to be consumed instantly. It maintains the flavor profile of a hot cup of coffee with the summer appropriate temperature of cold brew. Japanese-style iced coffee is perfect for iced, black coffee lovers, who want to enjoy the drink by itself.