Cold Brewed Iced Coffee ‒ Kylmähaudutettu jääkahvi

This isn't a typical Finnish beverage, not really. Coffee certainly is, but not this version. I'm posting it because I see the potential of it becoming one, especially now that a heat wave is on again.

Generally speaking, Finns don't exactly shy away from coffee. We consume it more than any other nation in the world, 12 kg per capita, when the world average is 1.3 kg. If you look at the statistics, Scandinavian countries in general lead them pretty straight, which might feel surprising considering the darn bush doesn't even grow up here.

There are of course historical and cultural reasons. Coffee used to be regarded as a luxury item, even wellcomed with prohibition laws, and the consumption of those things usually rises in the clouds. A coffee package used to be a valuable gift item even in my childhood but nowadays it's something that stores compete who offers it with the lowest price. The coffee table culture used to be and in some places still is an important social gathering regulated by rituals almost as finely tuned as in the Japanese tea ceremony. I could also speculate that the punctual and hard-working nature of the Scandinavian culture – often called protestant work ethic – might urge you to large caffeine consumption.

The most often used preparation method is filtering. Though other forms are also pretty wildly available, they tend to be called "special coffees" and to the real consumers usually just serve as a sweet piece rather than the real thing and tend to cost at least double as much. My spouse is the only person I've ever heard to drink decaf. Another thing worth mentioning is that the coffee is practically always arabica and usually roasted only lightly. Milk and sugar are common additions and people tend to choose a very fixed side in whether to use them or not.

The iced version on the other hand has never been a favourite, perhaps because of the short warm period we have. The ones I've managed to find have mostly consisted of milk and sugar, which I don't find that pleasing at all. When visiting Japan during summer heat a whole new world opened up to me. Ice coffees and teas were sold cheap in automatic machines behind every corner, and they actually tasted like the real thing. My normal breakfast started to look like this.

Now, the first way of making iced coffee that comes to mind to most people is just brewing hot coffee and cooling it down. That works but it's not necessarily the best method. Cold brewing makes coffee smoother, less acidic and perhaps even a little bit sweet. I find it brings out the flavour profile pretty well so you'll want to use good quality coffee here. This is also why cold brewing is a great way to experiment with different varieties and roasts. The ratio of coffee and water is of course up to your personal taste and depends on the coffee type but here's a thumb rule to help you to begin with:

- 1 dl ground coffee
- 5 dl water

Place the coffee in your preparation container. Pour the water on it. Stir. After the coffee has started floating, stir again. Cover and let the two just sit there together until the next day. Filter and enjoy.

Now, if you still want to ruin the experience with milk and sugar, feel free. But first take a sip to taste how it's like without them. Ice cubes are a great idea but remember to take the added water into account.

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