Its late-summer here in Kansas City and iced coffee is one of the best ways to beat the heat.
Thats why I spoke with Benettis Coffee Experience owner Ben Helt about his favorite way to brew iced coffee: Iced AeroPress.
The AeroPress is a funny-looking tube that sits directly over a cup. Invented by Alan Adler, a mechanical engineer who lectured at Stanford University and who also invented the far-flying Aerobie, the AeroPress has built up quite a cult following in the last few years.
Theres a World AeroPress Championship which China is hosting this year. Many prominent figures in the coffee world have endorsed the device as a perfect extraction.
The AeroPress is a really flexible way to make coffee since it utilizes full contact immersion between coffee and water, agitation, and pressure, Helt said.
He and the team at Benettis have been serving iced AeroPresses for years in the Raytown coffee shop.
Helt pointed out that while were definitely not anti-cold brew, one of the attractions of cold brew is that it lessens acidity. Sometimes we want that acidity. The AeroPress offers it.
If youre planning to maintain the more prominent flavor notes, you can come closer with an iced AeroPress than with a cold brew, Helt said.
When it comes to an iced AeroPress, Helt said to approach with a mindset that youre shooting for 1-1/2 to 2 minutes total coffee contact time with water. Youll use a finer grind than for a hot drink not an espresso grind, but more than youd use for a V60.
Since youll be extracting the coffee onto ice, youll want to make the coffee stronger than normal Helt suggested using around 38 grams of coffee to 250 grams of water.
You can play around with the balance between agitation and steeping: We choose to do a 30 second agitation and 1 minute steep. Then, including press time, thats about 2 minutes.
Use water around 30 seconds off the boil, around 198 to 202 degrees.
Keep in mind that when you first introduce the water to the grounds, itll bloom about 3/4 of the way up the tube, he said. Youll need to stop and break the crust before pouring the rest of the water in.
The folks at Benettis catch the coffee in a small container with a little ice to start the chilling, swirl it until its cold, than pour it over fresh ice.
That way the coffee is cooled in a more controlled fashion.
Some of Helts customers have had success at home with straining the ice from the coffee before pouring it onto fresh ice.
However you make the iced AeroPress, keep in mind that one of the advantages of the extraction is its flexibility. There are hundreds of experiments to try on Youtube, and almost every barista and shop has a different opinion on the best AeroPress extraction.
Its a great conversation starter!
Helt recommends using Kaguyu Auction Lot Kenya AA coffee when making the iced AeroPress.
Its got a citrusy appeal with some chocolate and when you brew it under pressure it makes for a great iced coffee experience, he said.
The coffee retails at $15.50 for 12-ounce bag. It can be ordered online atwww.benettiscoffee.com
or picked up at the Raytown store.
The AeroPress can be found atwww.aeropress.com
or at most coffee shops in Kansas City, including Benettis.