It's simple.

 

What are your ways for preparing an iced americano? And why?

 

I feel like the beverage is kind of forgotten because most will opt for iced coffee.

 

I've been messing with some different ways to prepare it. I'm trying to not drastically drop the temperature of the espresso. I've noticed just pouring espresso over ice bitters the coffee and it starts to not resemble any of the flavors that are tasted when cupped or in a hot beverage.

 

What I've done-Poured my espresso over semi hot water(rocks glass), then poured into a cup of luke warm water, THEN adding ice at the very end.

 

It's a timely task...perhaps I'm not doing it the most efficient way possible. But the results are quite good. It's also not super cold. Cold but not super cold.

 

I should also mention the reason this is timely is because we don't have our water filtration system hooked up to a source that produces room temperature water. It's only hooked up to our 2 water towers, ice machine, and espresso machine. This is soon to change when we get our drinking water faucet on the espresso bar.

 

So yeah...what do you all do? anything different? similar? hows it tasting? I want recipes! 

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Jordan, I'm surprised to hear this. I've done a very similar experiment and noted zero difference between the drinks.

 

Maybe I need to repeat this experiment? Maybe it would work better if I wasn't tasting them blind?


Jordan Guenther said:

when I'm teaching new baristas about iced drinks, I always start with this experiment.  I pull two sets of shots and dump the first directly over an 8oz cup of ice.  the second set of shots goes into the 8oz cold cup with 2 or so oz. of luke warm water, to which ice is added after the shots.  After having the trainee taste both drinks it brings home the idea that espresso needs to be tempered in order to be kept from going bitter and sour.  the difference in the two drinks is extreme.  it's a quick and easy way to tell which way is going to taste better. 

there is a speed and efficiency angle that has to be addressed at our shop due to the long lines of customers and drinks.  this method works well for us because we can add a splash of luke warm water while the shots are pouring and not lose any time on drink preparation.  

maybe it depends on the coffee


Brady said:

Jordan, I'm surprised to hear this. I've done a very similar experiment and noted zero difference between the drinks.

 

Maybe I need to repeat this experiment? Maybe it would work better if I wasn't tasting them blind?


Jordan Guenther said:

when I'm teaching new baristas about iced drinks, I always start with this experiment.  I pull two sets of shots and dump the first directly over an 8oz cup of ice.  the second set of shots goes into the 8oz cold cup with 2 or so oz. of luke warm water, to which ice is added after the shots.  After having the trainee taste both drinks it brings home the idea that espresso needs to be tempered in order to be kept from going bitter and sour.  the difference in the two drinks is extreme.  it's a quick and easy way to tell which way is going to taste better. 

there is a speed and efficiency angle that has to be addressed at our shop due to the long lines of customers and drinks.  this method works well for us because we can add a splash of luke warm water while the shots are pouring and not lose any time on drink preparation.  

That sounds reasonable and would explain quite a bit.

Deferio said:

maybe it depends on the coffee


Brady said:

Jordan, I'm surprised to hear this. I've done a very similar experiment and noted zero difference between the drinks.

 

Maybe I need to repeat this experiment? Maybe it would work better if I wasn't tasting them blind?


Jordan Guenther said:

when I'm teaching new baristas about iced drinks, I always start with this experiment.  I pull two sets of shots and dump the first directly over an 8oz cup of ice.  the second set of shots goes into the 8oz cold cup with 2 or so oz. of luke warm water, to which ice is added after the shots.  After having the trainee taste both drinks it brings home the idea that espresso needs to be tempered in order to be kept from going bitter and sour.  the difference in the two drinks is extreme.  it's a quick and easy way to tell which way is going to taste better. 

there is a speed and efficiency angle that has to be addressed at our shop due to the long lines of customers and drinks.  this method works well for us because we can add a splash of luke warm water while the shots are pouring and not lose any time on drink preparation.  

We use a light roast espresso blend, although that's all I could tell you about it due to proprietary secrets and what not (seriously. my own roasters won't tell me whats in the blend, where it's from, what conditions its grown under, etc.  I'm running blind here)

 

it is peculiar that they don't taste any different for you...

Maybe our process is different for this experiment?

 

What I did was:

1. Split a good shot.

2. Pour 1 over ice, stir to chill, then strain into a shotglass.

3. Take the other and add cool water to match the volume of the first shot+icemelt.

4. Add a little ice to both to make the temperatures match.

5. Mark the bottom and have someone switch up the cups.

 

The last step is the most important for me... your preconceptions can be your worst enemy when it comes to stuff like this.

 

I'll try this experiment again tomorrow, as well as the one you've described. The concept of "shocking a shot" seems too prevalent for me to just dismiss after a couple of experiments. Thanks for taking this up, by the way. I've kinda been trying to discuss this for a while, with no takers.


Jordan Guenther said:

We use a light roast espresso blend, although that's all I could tell you about it due to proprietary secrets and what not (seriously. my own roasters won't tell me whats in the blend, where it's from, what conditions its grown under, etc.  I'm running blind here)

 

it is peculiar that they don't taste any different for you...

Just had a quick two cents to spice up the conversation

 

Another thing to consider is that as stated in Rao's book, when adding espresso to water (either hot or cold) the fines and insoluble solids contained in the crema  and throughout the shot are so diluted that they are no longer affecting your evaluation of the drink. Often these particles will coat your tongue and lend slightly sweeter notes to your espresso. So, perhaps your espresso is tasting different in americanos because of this reason.

I'm with Brady here, e straight onto the ice, as an iced drink there is definitely not going to be as many taste-able qualities left in your espresso. I do wan't to try some of these other options as well. I don't believe many of them would be feasable on a production bar but some sound really good...

 

ah... before posting this i tried most of these methods. result. at the cold temperatures the difference in taste between methods was almost undetectable.

 

i pour my shot into room temp water and then pour the whole affair over ice. I honestly think it tastes much rounder than pouring it straight on icy water.

the devil might be in the details here, my process is slightly different, the biggest difference may be I'm using doubles on both my "drinks" so the difference be more noticeable.  we serve doubles on 12 and 16oz drinks so that's why I'm not splitting shots.

 

1. prep and start both sets of shots at same time.

 

2. one shot goes into the cup filled with ice, one shot into the 1-2 oz of luke warm water.  repeat with second shots.

 

3.add ice to the luke warm water until volume of ice and water is roughly the same as the shots over ice. 

 

man, I wish I would of paid more attention in science class, I'd probably be better able to describe my process...

 

Brady said:

Maybe our process is different for this experiment?

 

What I did was:

1. Split a good shot.

2. Pour 1 over ice, stir to chill, then strain into a shotglass.

3. Take the other and add cool water to match the volume of the first shot+icemelt.

4. Add a little ice to both to make the temperatures match.

5. Mark the bottom and have someone switch up the cups.

 

The last step is the most important for me... your preconceptions can be your worst enemy when it comes to stuff like this.

 

I'll try this experiment again tomorrow, as well as the one you've described. The concept of "shocking a shot" seems too prevalent for me to just dismiss after a couple of experiments. Thanks for taking this up, by the way. I've kinda been trying to discuss this for a while, with no takers.


Jordan Guenther said:

We use a light roast espresso blend, although that's all I could tell you about it due to proprietary secrets and what not (seriously. my own roasters won't tell me whats in the blend, where it's from, what conditions its grown under, etc.  I'm running blind here)

 

it is peculiar that they don't taste any different for you...

I guess the important thing is that you find a method that works well in your environment and with your coffees.

I did try this experiment again today, by the way, and multiple blind tasters found little to no difference in flavor.

Jordan Guenther said:

the devil might be in the details here, my process is slightly different, the biggest difference may be I'm using doubles on both my "drinks" so the difference be more noticeable.  we serve doubles on 12 and 16oz drinks so that's why I'm not splitting shots.

 

1. prep and start both sets of shots at same time.

 

2. one shot goes into the cup filled with ice, one shot into the 1-2 oz of luke warm water.  repeat with second shots.

 

3.add ice to the luke warm water until volume of ice and water is roughly the same as the shots over ice. 

 

man, I wish I would of paid more attention in science class, I'd probably be better able to describe my process...

 

Brady said:

Maybe our process is different for this experiment?

 

What I did was:

1. Split a good shot.

2. Pour 1 over ice, stir to chill, then strain into a shotglass.

3. Take the other and add cool water to match the volume of the first shot+icemelt.

4. Add a little ice to both to make the temperatures match.

5. Mark the bottom and have someone switch up the cups.

 

The last step is the most important for me... your preconceptions can be your worst enemy when it comes to stuff like this.

 

I'll try this experiment again tomorrow, as well as the one you've described. The concept of "shocking a shot" seems too prevalent for me to just dismiss after a couple of experiments. Thanks for taking this up, by the way. I've kinda been trying to discuss this for a while, with no takers.


Jordan Guenther said:

We use a light roast espresso blend, although that's all I could tell you about it due to proprietary secrets and what not (seriously. my own roasters won't tell me whats in the blend, where it's from, what conditions its grown under, etc.  I'm running blind here)

 

it is peculiar that they don't taste any different for you...

Hmmm. My tasters all used straws, which would take crema out of the picture. I'll bet that might have something to do with our different observations as well.

Joshua Taves said:

Just had a quick two cents to spice up the conversation

 

Another thing to consider is that as stated in Rao's book, when adding espresso to water (either hot or cold) the fines and insoluble solids contained in the crema  and throughout the shot are so diluted that they are no longer affecting your evaluation of the drink. Often these particles will coat your tongue and lend slightly sweeter notes to your espresso. So, perhaps your espresso is tasting different in americanos because of this reason.

Just for fun, I did this experiment again today... on different gear, with a different barista, with different tasters, and with a different espresso.

 

Same result - zero if any detectable difference.

 

BTW, I thought the barista was going to hit me when he saw what I meant by "help with an experiment"... as he put it, "pouring shots over ice goes against everything I know is right".

 

In both samples, the resultant drink was a totally different experience than the shot when hot. Less sweet, less bright, more bitter. In this case, the shot looked great - this shop does everything right and this barista is one of the best I know. The coffee was Toscano, btw. The act of cooling this shot, in either way, took an outstanding espresso and flattened it into something totally different. I liked the drink, made either way, but it was not as great of an experience as the shot would have been hot.

 

What I did hope to confirm by doing this again, though, was that the preparation method didn't make the difference. A cold espresso tastes the way it does not because you did or didn't "shock it", but because you cooled it to a certain temperature. Whether the mechanism is the loss of crema (not convinced - remember the "scooped crema" craze?) or some physiological factor... which is my theory. Cold matters, method not so much.

 

FWIW, after the experiment, we all enjoyed freshly-made "Japanese method" glasses of CC Burundi. It was a much more enjoyable drink than Toscano on the rocks, by the way.

 

Brady said:

I guess the important thing is that you find a method that works well in your environment and with your coffees.

I did try this experiment again today, by the way, and multiple blind tasters found little to no difference in flavor.

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