A few months back I was having a discussion with a barista about cold brewed coffee. He mentioned that his shop had secretly stopped serving cold brew to its customers, and instead replaced it with flash chilled iced coffee using a recipe that I've come to really enjoy by Kalle Freese, two-time Finnish barista champion and CEO of Sudden Coffee.

The principle behind this recipe is simple: brew hot, cool down. Sounds simple enough, right? Turns out it's very easy to make at home (arguably easier than even cold brew) and tastes great. By brewing hot and quickly cooling down the coffee, it avoids the problems of dilution when brewing over ice and oxidation when cold brewing. Kalle's recipe also uses a few simple additives to enhance the brightness and sweetness of the final brew, and I've modified the amounts slightly to suit my tastes.

I've found this recipe to be the easiest and most flavorful option for cold coffee this summer. Here's my spin on Kalle's recipe.

What You'll Need:

  • 80g Medium-Coarse Ground Coffee
  • 1280ml of Water (purified) at ~208˚F
  • 8-cup Chemex (or similar large-batch brewer)
  • Bleached Chemex Filter
  • Scale + Timer
  • 15g White Sugar (or 10g Agave Syrup)
  • Quart Sized Mason Jar + Lid
  • Large Pitcher + Ice (galon size)
Looking for cold coffee on a hot day, without the hours of waiting for cold brew or the diluted results from brewing over ice?

Step 1: Brew the Coffee

Without going into too much detail about brewing the coffee, let's assume you're already familiar with pourover brewing on a Chemex (I'll hopefully have a full recipe up here soon). Rinse your paper filter, add 80g of ground coffee and brew normally with 1280ml of water. I tend to stick with a standard 1:16 ratio on the Chemex.

Step 2: Add to Mason Jar

Once the coffee has been brewed, add 15g of white sugar (or 10g of agave syrup) to a mason jar and pour in the brewed coffee. Stir halfway to incorporate all of the sugar. Fill up the coffee to the brim and screw on the lid.

I know, you're probably asking yourself, "Sugar?!" As Kalle explains in his article, this added sugar will help to offset the bitterness from chilling. Just a little goes a long way, so add it sparingly. Though he also advocates adding a small amount of apple cider vineagar to boost up the acidity, I've found the most enjoyable results without it.

One thing I enjoy about this recipe is that there's about one cup's worth of hot coffee left over after filling the mason jar. I like to know how the coffee tastes at both ends of the temperature spectrum, and to see how the chilling process really impacts the overall flavor. (I don't add any sugar to the hot coffee, FWIW)

Step 3: Chill and Refrigerate

Fill up a galon pitcher about 3/4 full with lots of ice and water. Careful not to fill it too full, otherwise it will overflow. So, this is where it gets a bit ... dangerous. Now we're going to submerge the entire piping hot jar in ice water. I know, you're probably asking yourself, "Won't the glass break?!" No, this is why we're using a mason jar, which is able to withstand these drastic changes in temperature. Once you've added the jar to the ice water for about 30 minutes, throw the jar in the fridge to continue cooling.

That's it! Another benefit of chilling a hot mason jar of coffee is that it also creates a seal and keeps the coffee fresh.


I've found unopened jars to still taste great after a week. Opened jars should probably be served the same day. If you're adventurous, you could always try adding different kinds of sweeteneer, or even the apple cider vineagar that Kalle mentioned to the recipe. Also, I've attempted this with metal filters as well, and I'm not a fan of the added oils and sediment to the chilled brew.

As always, this recipe is provided as a starting place. Please feel free to experiment with it, and let me know how your results turned out!