1. Grind fresh!
As soon as coffee is ground it starts to lose its more delicate, memorable flavors. Ideally, it’s best to grind coffee right before you brew. If not, store your ground coffee in an airtight container to extend its life.
2. Get your water hot!
Many of the delicious components of coffee only dissolve and release at temperatures around 200F. Bring water to a boil, then let it cool about 20 seconds off the boil. We aim to add water to the coffee when it’s around 205F.
3. Contact time
This varies for each brew method. A general rule is the larger the grind, the longer it should be in contact with water, and vice versa for smaller grinds.
4. Coffee to water ratio
Coffee brewing is all about ratios. The ratio that many people find enjoyable is 1 part coffee to 16 parts water.
5. Great tasting water = Great tasting coffee
Around 98% of brewed coffee is actually pure water. Filtered water is ideal.
6. Coffee, like all agricultural products, is seasonal.
Coffee is only harvested once, sometimes twice, per year depending on where it’s grown. Though it can be stored in its raw, dried state for up to a year we find it most delicious when consumed under 9 months.
—Joshua Littlefield, former Irving Farm Director of Education, founder of the Great American Coffee Tour
Learn more about our coffee education program, aimed at seasoned professionals and curious coffee enthusiasts alike!
It’s summer in the city, which means there's a throng of tourists in a hot, smelly garbage cloud following you everywhere, your "cozy" fifth-floor walkup doesn’t feel like such a great deal anymore, and the office A/C just broke on the hottest day of the year. The last thing you need to worry about is getting extra-sweaty carrying your thermos of hot coffee around! If our team at Irving Farm HQ can do anything to help improve your summer (while you’re not at one of our cafés), it’s offering you our failproof iced pour-over coffee method.
While many cafés offer batch cold-brewed coffee, we find that the nuance and acidity that’s naturally within each coffee bean shines brighter in an iced pour-over. We do our large-batch and hand-brew methods over ice because they result in the most flavorful cup of coffee, but it’s also the most convenient method for the at-home barista! If you didn’t prepare a cold brew batch the required 12 hours ahead of time and you need your caffeine kick now, here’s how to make an iced pour-over coffee using a standard pour-over cone and decanter.
(scroll down for the at-home version)
1. Place 200g ice in the decanter.
2. Add 30g coffee (ground slightly finer than for a hot pour-over) in the filter.
3. Pour 60-70g hot water onto the coffee and allow to bloom for 1 min. Then slowly pour the rest of the water—about 130-140g. Total amount of water should be 200g.
4. Total brew time should be about 3 min 30 sec.
5. Swirl and pour over a glass of ice.
If you don't intend to use a scale to calibrate your daily coffee in grams, these directions aren't as painstakingly exact—but they're close enough!:
1. Place 8 or 9 ice cubes in the decanter (hot tip: a pint-sized mason jar, Pyrex pitcher, or regular ceramic mug will also work—as long at it's a vessel that's meant to withstand boiling water).
2. Add about 1/3 US cup coffee (ground slightly finer than for a hot pour-over) in the filter.
3. Pour about 60-70ml (about 1/3 US cup) hot water onto the coffee and allow to bloom for 1 min. Then slowly pour the rest of the water—about 130-140ml. Total amount of water should be 200ml—a little less than 1 US cup.
4. Total brew time should be about 3 min 30 sec.
5. Swirl and pour over a glass of ice...and enjoy!
We who love coffee know that without food, there would be no coffee, because we all would have starved to death. Sustainable food, then, goes hand in hand with sustainable coffee, and it was with excited hearts that we welcomed our friends at Slow Food NYC to our Flatiron training lab last Monday for a hot summer night that was all about staying cool.
We led a class of 14 Slow Foodies on a guided adventure of cold brewing, icy pouring-over, and of course...cool coffee cocktails, all based on our summery sweet Amaro Gayo coffee from Ethiopia.
This was our first time teaming up with Slow Food NYC...and definitely not our last. We're looking forward to more collabos and classes in the future, and we'll be sure to let you know.
In the meantime, here's a peek at our night with Teresa, Josh and Angelika schoolin' Slow Food on cool coffee. Iced Pour-Over (Japanese-style) Cold Brew (24 hours) Affogato (espresso over fresh ice cream) Amaro Gayo Egg Cream (espresso, chocolate & vanilla syrups shaken and topped with soda water) Purple Reign (Amaro Gayo, Aperol orange bitters, dry vermouth, grapefruit. Served neat or over ice.) Espresso & Clouds (espresso over citrus simple syrup foam)
We had a blast cooling off these true food enthusiasts, and can't wait to start warming up for the next class soon!