The Best Cold Brew Starts with the Right Green Coffee

Cold brew

As the mercury keeps rising, café customers are seeking reprieve from the heat in iced coffees. With the option of multiple brewing methods to highlight different flavors, finding just the right coffee for your preferred method can be a challenge. So, below are a few ideas for improving your cold brew and flash brewed/Japanese iced coffee methods.

Cold Brew

The end product is “really like a milkshake,” says Head of Providence Trading Gerra Harrigan. The cold brew method draws out acidity and leaves a smooth, creamy mouthfeel.

To achieve that great, flavorful, chocolate-milk-like taste, “You need a coffee that has a great acidity to begin with,” Gerra advises. Without a little extra acidity in the coffee profile, a cold brew can often come out tasting flat.

Some fantastic recent arrivals we suggest for your next cold brew batch are:

Organic Guatemala La Voz Atitlan
Cherry, cocoa, pink lemonade; bright acidity, creamy body.

Guatemala Santa Rosa Los Alamos
Milk chocolate, citrus, red fruit; winey acidity, medium body.

Colombia Fincal Palmichal
Pineapple, mixed berries, black tea; bright acidity, buttery body.

Flash Brew/Japanese Iced Coffee

Flash brew, also called Japanese iced coffee, can be made with any hand-brew method or scaled up with a larger brewer. The preparation involves using more ground coffee and less water than a normal brew and dividing the amount of water used between what’s used to brew the coffee and the ice it’s poured over.  As the coffee brews, it drips directly over the ice and cools down immediately, creating an iced coffee.

Gerra describes coffee prepared this way as “snappy, lively and bright” and of course, “very refreshing.”

Because flash brew also tends to highlight fruit notes in a coffee and, as Gerra puts it, “traps the aromatics in the cup,” we suggest using washed Africans for this method. We're loving:

Ethiopia Yirgacheffe
Fruity, citric, floral; very complex, great body.

Kenya Baragwi Guama
Dark chocolate, citrus, floral, grapefruit.

Kenya Nguvu AA Plus
Cane sugar, stone fruits, herbaceous; complex acidity, rich, molasses body.

Kenya Barichu Gatomboya AB  
Coconut, green tea, dark chocolate; winey acidity.

Whichever method you choose to keep your customers cool this summer, we hope it’s delicious! And of course, don’t hesitate to reach out. Says Gerra, “We’re always happy to chat about an iced coffee program. Give us a call anytime!” •


Victoria Brown is the QC Intern at IAC’s Providence office. While new to the world of coffee, she studied food history and food policy at Sarah Lawrence College. In her spare time she enjoys reading, knitting, drawing and cooking. Her full portfolio can be found at: https://www.clippings.me/victoriaabrown.

Caption: IAC San Diego Trader Dana Andrews was a judge at Cold Brew City Fest. 

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