What Is Flash Brew Coffee? Refresh Yourself Lickety-Split!

Hi! My name is Arne. Having spent years working as a barista I'm now on a mission to bring more good coffee to the people. To that end, my team and I provide you with a broad knowledge base on the subject of coffee.

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Coffee lovers are always looking for innovative ways to enjoy their favorite beans and flash brew coffee is one such method. That's why I decided to take a closer look at this drink and its unique brewing technique.

Coffee lovers are always looking for innovative ways to enjoy their favorite beans and flash brew coffee is one such method. That’s why I decided to take a closer look at this drink and its unique brewing technique.

The coffee landscape is teeming with clever inventions. From cutting-edge cold brewers and innovative super automatics to sophisticated pour-over coffee machines, there are so many ways to enjoy a cup of joe. One such innovation that’s gained popularity in recent years is flash brew coffee.

This high-quality coffee gives you the best of both worlds. It combines the richness of hot coffee and the refreshing coolness of iced coffee or cold brew. Think fast food but the cold coffee version! Best of all, you can make it manually without expensive gear.

If you’re curious about this refreshing iced brew, this blog post is for you! I’ll explore flash brew coffee, its brewing technique and what sets it apart from traditional brewed coffee.

What Is Flash Brew Coffee?

Flash brew coffee is made from flash brewing, a unique hot-brew/cold-brew technique. A typical flash brew recipe calls for water at between 195 and 205 degrees Fahrenheit (90-96 degrees Celsius) and a pour-over device to brew a coffee concentrate. This hot coffee immediately drips into an ice-filled chamber and rapidly cools into cold coffee.

Two crucial things happen when you add hot coffee to ice:

  • The hot water extracts the floral aromatics and acids from the grounds, enhancing the coffee’s flavor.

  • The ice cools the coffee fast, locking in all the flavor.

Fellow Ode Gen 2 Grinds in Filter

But what’s the kink with flash brew coffee? Doesn’t iced coffee or cold brew have the same flavor profile?

Not quite! Iced coffee does benefit from the quick extraction of hot-brewing. Unlike flash brew iced coffee, however, it doesn’t undergo rapid cooling. Besides, with flash brew, the melting ice adds to the drink’s volumewithout affecting the final strength, body, acidity and flavor of the coffee.

You may come across flash brew coffee referred to as Japanese iced coffee. While these coffees are the same in spirit, the brewing technique differs.

With flash brew coffee, hot coffee drips directly onto ice in a lower chamber under a pour-over brewer. In contrast, with Japanese-style iced coffee, you may make hot-brewed coffee using a moka pot, pour-over or an espresso machine. You’ll then pour the drink into a hot cup and serve with ice.

Despite the different brew methods, both flash brew iced coffee and Japanese iced coffee taste delicious! Fast and ingenious, I can’t think of a better way to enjoy my bean juice during the hot summer months!

Flash Brew vs Cold Brew

Cold Brew Caffee

So, how do flash brew coffee and cold brew compare? One of the most noticeable differences is in the equipment and brew methods used.

It only takes minutes to make flash-brewed coffee using a pour-over coffee maker, hot water and ice. On the other hand, brewing a batch of cold brew can take up to 20 hours. You’ll need a cold brew coffee maker or Mason jar, coarsely ground coffee, cold water and lots of patience!

Beyond the water temperature and brew methods, the flavor profile differs in each cold coffee. Flash brew iced coffee yields a bright, vibrant cup profile with a mellow body. Light roast single-estate or single-origin coffees suit this method best. It brings out these coffee beans’ complex flavors, acidity and floral notes.

On the other hand, cold brew is a brew method more suited to dark roasts. Because of the cold water and extended brewing time, the result is a smooth, low-acidity coffee with a fuller body and higher caffeine levels.

Flash-brewed iced coffee brings out the pleasant acidity and aroma of coffee beans. So, I must insist that you drink it black. That said, I’ll allow a touch of sugar or sweetener to enhance its magical flavor.

Cold brew coffee offers a very different experience. Adding milk, heavy cream or half-and-half benefits its rich, full body and low acidity. These add-ons highlight the smooth flavor and carb-rich qualities of cold brew coffee.

Flash Brew vs Iced Coffee

Ice Coffee Latte Macchiato

While flash brew and iced coffee are both cold coffees, that’s where the similarities end. Unlike traditional brewed iced coffee, the flash brew method uses less hot water, with the remaining water as ice.

Brewing hot coffee using a pour-over dripper over an ice-filled chamber is the simplest technique. This quick and convenient method enables you to serve just enough coffee on demand. In contrast, iced coffee is first hot-brewed into a hot cup, chilled to room temperature and served over ice.

Flash brewing yields more complex, brighter results than traditional iced coffee. Granted, hot water quickens the extraction process when brewing both flash brew and iced coffee. But it’s the rapid chill factor of flash brewing that both highlights and locks in all the flavor.

How to Make Flash Brew Coffee

With all that said, I’ll now take you through how to make flash brew coffee. Trust me, it’s pretty simple, with very few brewing variables throughout the whole process. This is one method where a pour-over brewer or siphon coffee maker works perfectly.

Here’s my perfect flash-brewed coffee recipe:

What You’ll Need: 

  • 30 grams of light roast coffee

  • 11 ounces (325 milliliters) of filtered water

  • 75 grams of ice (you may want to have extra ice on hand, just in case)

Equipment

Flash Brew Recipe and Brewing Technique

  • Weigh your coffee beans on the scale.

  • Set your grinder to a medium-coarse grind setting.

  • Grind the coffee and set aside.

  • Using an electric or stovetop kettle, heatcold, filtered water (stick to the volume of water stipulated above).

  • Aim for a water temperature of 195-205 degrees Fahrenheit (90-96 degrees Celsius), just like when making regular coffee.

  • Place filter paper into your pour-over dripper and then add the ground coffee.

  • Place the ice in a lower chamber under the coffee brewing device. This will ensure the coffee directly enters the ice chamber during brewing.

  • Pour the first 2-ounce (60- milliliter) batch of hot water from your gooseneck kettle.

  • Let the coffee bloom. Allow the water to drip through the coffee bed for 30-45 seconds.

  • Repeat the whole process, pouring the same amount of water each time. Remember to carefully pour water in concentric circles.

Pro tip: A gooseneck kettle is a big help with this brewing technique. Its long spout helps you to achieve a slow and steady pour with consistent results.

  • You should finish brewing cold coffee with all the water after approximately two minutes. Use your timer for guidance.

  • Once the brew is complete, serve and enjoy.

  • You may add more ice or sweetener if you prefer, but drink this coffee cold and black to appreciate its nuanced flavors and bright acidity.

In my experience, this specific recipe with a 1:10 coffee-to-water ratio gives me the perfect flavor profile and balance. It’s what I’ve found suits most coffee drinkers and has given me consistent results every time. Just sayin’!

Choosing the Best Beans for Flash-Brewed Coffee

Degass Coffee Beans Without Airscape Plunger

Can you use any ol’ coffee for flash-brewed coffee? Not quite. Light roast single-estate or single-origin beans would be the coffee beans I’d choose when using this brewing method.

Light roast, 100% Arabica coffee beans are ideal for flash brew iced coffee. Look out for specialty coffees from Costa Rica, Colombia, Guatemala, Rwanda, Ethiopia and Kenya. Tanzania Peaberry coffee is also an excellent choice. You can source this coffee from retailers online or at specialty coffee shops.

But why is flash brewing particularly suited to light roasts? The answer is all in the extraction. The brewing process uses hot water to bring out the brighter acidity, mellow body and crisp aftertaste in the cup.

In essence, flash-brewed iced coffee highlights the variety of flavors and unique characteristics of a single-origin coffee. These attributes virtually disappear with darker roasts typical in espressos and cold brew.

Final Thoughts: The Bottom Line on Flash Brew Coffee

Flash brew coffee is a real game changer in the world of coffee innovation. Its lightning-fast brewing technique captures your coffee’s intricate and nuanced flavor. What you get is a bold, vibrant, smooth and well-balanced drink.

If you’re looking to change up your morning coffee routine, or simply beat the heat by drinking coffee cold, this is the beverage to try.

Give flash brew a whirl the next time you’re seeking an exciting coffee experience that defies convention. Believe me, your taste buds will thank you, one satisfying sip at a time!

I hope you’ve enjoyed this blog post on flash brew coffees. Do you routinely enjoy this coffee, or is it on your bucket list? I’d love to hear your views and comments, so please share them with the Coffeeness community below!

Flash-Brewed Coffee FAQ

Flash brewed coffee is concentrated coffee hot-brewed using pour-over equipment and then dripped over ice. The added ice quickly chills and dilutes the coffee while locking in its nuanced flavors.

The flash coffee technique uses hot water and ice to brew coffee. Once you’ve brewed the coffee using hot water, drip the coffee directly onto ice to make a cold coffee drink full of acidity and flavor.

Japanese flash brew coffee, or Japanese-style iced coffee is hot-brewed coffee poured directly onto ice. This brewing process chills the coffee rapidly, resulting in a smooth, sweet, well-rounded coffee.

Flash brew coffee is more vibrant and flavorful than traditional brewed iced coffee. This brew method highlights the acidity and nuanced flavors of the light roast coffee beans. It also avoids the problem of over-extraction, which is common in cold brew coffee.

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Arne Preuss

Hi! My name is Arne. Having spent years working as a barista I'm now on a mission to bring more good coffee to the people. To that end, my team and I provide you with a broad knowledge base on the subject of coffee.

More about Arne Preuss

Hi! My name is Arne. Having spent years working as a barista I'm now on a mission to bring more good coffee to the people. To that end, my team and I provide you with a broad knowledge base on the subject of coffee.

More about Arne Preuss

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