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Japanese Iced Coffee: Which Brewing Method Is The Best?

Summertime is the perfect time for cold drinks like iced tea and lemonade. But what about coffee? There’s something so refreshing about a cold glass of iced coffee on a hot day. And when that coffee is flavored with delicious Japanese flavors, it’s an even better cold way to enjoy your morning cup of joe. Plus, it’s easy to make at home with just a few simple ingredients. If you’re looking for a unique and tasty summer drink, check out this recipe for Japanese iced coffee and keep reading to learn how to make it yourself. You’ll be glad you did!

Coffee culture in Japan

Japan has a long and proud history of coffee culture. Coffee was introduced to Japan in the early 1800s, but it wasn’t until the 1950s that Japanese people began drinking it regularly as a breakfast beverage. Nowadays, Japanese people have adopted many different styles of brewing and drinking coffee – from cold brew to iced latte. And one of their most popular drinks is Japanese iced coffee.

What is Japanese iced coffee?

Japanese iced coffee, or as it’s known in Japan, “Neru Kohi” is a cold-brewed drink made with fresh-ground coffee and cold milk, which gives it a unique flavor compared to regular hot-brewed coffee. Coffee grounds are steeped in hot water before being cooled down quickly. 

This concentrated coffee syrup is mixed with cold milk and poured over ice for a refreshing, creamy beverage. The cold brew process extracts the flavors of the ground beans while preserving their subtle nuances, resulting in a sweeter and more balanced cup of joe. It’s similar to an iced latte but made in the Japanese style. Many people enjoy adding other flavors like milk, sugar, and syrups to their Japanese iced coffee for a more intense flavor.

japanese iced coffee
japanese iced coffee

The history of Japanese iced coffee

The popularity of Japanese iced coffee began in the 1950s, when coffee shops in Japan started offering it as a refreshing yet energizing summertime beverage. The drink has been embraced by Japanese culture and is now a staple at many cafes and restaurants across the country.

This method of brewing was invented by a Japanese businessman named Sanzaburo Kawata, who wanted to provide an easy way for people to enjoy their morning cup of joe without having to heat it on the stove. Since then, it’s become a popular drink throughout the country and is often served in restaurants, cafes, and even convenience stores.

What does Japanese iced coffee taste like?

Japanese iced coffee has a unique flavor compared to other coffees. It’s sweeter and more mellow than regular hot-brewed coffee, with a subtle nutty taste that comes from the cold milk. The cold-brewing process also brings out the flavors of the beans in a different way, making it smoother and less acidic.

How to make Japanese Iced Coffee

Making Japanese iced coffee at home is surprisingly easy! All you need are some freshly ground coffee beans, cold milk, and ice. Here’s a step-by-step guide to making your own perfect cup of Japanese iced coffee:

Ingredients for Japanese Iced Coffee

• 2-4 tablespoons of coarsely ground coffee beans (any blend will do) or Cold brew grounds (like our Sumiyaki Blend)

• 2-4 cups of cold water

• 1-2 cups of cold milk

• Sugar or sweetener (optional)

Instructions for Japanese Iced Coffee

1. Start by grinding up about 30 grams of fresh coffee beans (about two tablespoons). You can use either a coarse or fine grind depending on your preference.

2. Put the grounds in a French press or in a large bowl or another similar container, then add one liter of cold water and stir until all the grounds are completely saturated

3. Pour the cold-brewed concentrate into a container with a lid and store in the refrigerator until ready to use (up to one week). 

4. If you use a French press, after the cold-brewing process is complete, press the plunger down and pour the coffee concentrate into a pitcher. 

5. Once the cold brew is ready, strain out the grounds using a coffee filter, cheesecloth, or fine-mesh strainer. 

6. Fill four glasses with ice cubes and pour in the coffee/milk mixture until each glass is about ¾ full. 

7. Add a tablespoon of the cold-brewed coffee concentrate, plus sugar or sweetener if desired or extra flavors like maple syrup. Stir until combined. Then enjoy your homemade Japanese iced coffee! 

Japanese iced coffee is a unique and delicious way to enjoy a cold cup of joe on a hot day. With its sweet and balanced flavor, it’s no wonder that Japanese iced coffee is so popular in Japan.

Coffee Beans that you can use in Japanese iced coffee

You can use any type of coffee beans for Japanese iced coffee, but light to medium roasts are the best. You’ll want to choose a bean that has mild acidity and sweetness so that it doesn’t overpower the other flavors in the drink. We recommend our Sumiyaki Blend, which is specially blended for cold brewing, or our Kona Blend for a milder cup of joe.

No matter what type of beans you choose, make sure you grind them fresh right before brewing! This will ensure that your Japanese iced coffee is as flavorful as possible.

Bonus tip: If you want to make an even smoother cup of Japanese iced coffee add some cold milk or cream while stirring and enjoy!

What are the best types of milk to use in Japanese iced coffee?

In general, any type of milk can be used in Japanese iced coffee. Dairy milk like whole milk, 2%, and almond milk all work well, but oat milk and coconut milk are also tasty options. Feel free to experiment with different types of milk until you find one that suits your taste!

Is there a difference between cold brew and iced coffee?

Yes, there is a difference between cold brew and iced coffee. Cold brew typically involves steeping coffee grounds in cold water overnight to produce a concentrated beverage which is then diluted with more cold water or milk before serving. Iced coffee, on the other hand, is pre-brewed hot and then cooled down with ice.

The benefits of drinking Japanese iced coffee

Japanese iced coffee has many benefits that make it a great choice for anyone looking to enjoy a cold cup of joe. 

For starters, the cold-brewing process helps preserve flavor compounds better than traditional hot-brewed coffee, resulting in a smoother and more balanced brew with subtle nuances. The lack of heat also reduces the acidity found in regular coffee, making it easier on your stomach. 

Additionally, because the beans are steeped in cold water rather than hot, they retain much of their antioxidant content while still providing you with a caffeine kick. 

Finally, because the concentrate is made ahead of time and stored in the refrigerator for up to one week, Japanese iced coffee can easily be prepared in advance, making it perfect for those busy mornings.

japanese iced coffee
japanese iced coffee

The best time to drink Japanese iced coffee

Japanese iced coffee is great any time of day, but it’s especially perfect for hot summer afternoons when you need a refreshing pick-me-up. 

The cold and creamy brew will provide the perfect balance to a hot day, while still giving you that much-needed caffeine boost. 

Plus, since it contains less acidity than regular coffee, drinking Japanese iced coffee won’t irritate your stomach like some other coffees might. 

So the next time you’re craving something cool and refreshing to beat the heat, look no further than Japanese iced coffee.

How to store Japanese iced coffee beans

Once you’ve brewed your Japanese iced coffee concentrate, it can be stored in the refrigerator for up to one week. To make sure that your beans stay as fresh as possible, store them in an airtight container or Ziploc bag away from heat and light. 

If you plan on making a large batch of concentrate, dividing it into smaller portions and freezing them is another great way to ensure that your coffee stays fresh.


Japanese iced coffee is the perfect drink to help you stay cool and refreshed this summer. It’s can be stored in the refrigerator for up to one week, making it perfect for busy mornings. Plus, its low acidity makes it easier on your stomach than regular coffee. 

So next time you need a delicious pick me up on a hot day, reach for Japanese iced coffee and enjoy its sweet and balanced flavor. With the recipe is simple and easy to follow, and the results are delicious. Be sure to try it out for yourself and let us know what you think!

Other Articles


What makes Japanese-Style Iced Coffee so good?

What makes Japanese iced coffee so unique and delicious is its combination of freshly ground coffee beans, cold milk, and ice. The cold-brewed coffee gives it a unique flavor that’s richer and more balanced than hot-brewed coffee, as well as a smoother texture. The addition of cold milk adds sweetness and creaminess to the drink, while the ice helps keep it cold and refreshing.

Why is it called Japanese iced coffee?

Japanese iced coffee is named after the popular Japanese style of cold brewing coffee. The process used to make it involves steeping ground coffee beans in cold water overnight, giving it a smooth, balanced flavor that’s unlike any other type of coffee.

Can I use regular ground coffee to make Japanese iced coffee?

No, regular ground coffee won’t work for making Japanese iced coffee because it isn’t meant for cold brewing. Instead, you’ll need to use a coarse grind specifically designed for making cold brew. This type of coffee is typically labeled as “cold brew grounds” or “coarsely ground coffee beans”.

What is a Japanese cold brew?

A Japanese cold brew is a type of coffee that’s made using the traditional Japanese style of cold brewing. The process involves steeping coffee grounds in cold water for 12 hours or longer, resulting in a smooth and balanced concentrate that’s ready to drink or mix with milk and ice.

What is the difference between iced coffee and chilled coffee?

The main difference between iced coffee and chilled coffee is how they’re made. Iced coffee is typically brewed hot and then cooled down with ice, while chilled coffee is brewed using cold water from the start. Chilled coffees tend to have a richer flavor than iced coffees since no heat is used in the brewing process.

Is Japanese coffee sweet?

Japanese coffee is not sweet on its own, but it can be sweetened with sugar or other sweeteners. When making Japanese iced coffee, you may want to add a bit of sugar or syrup to balance out the bitterness of the cold brew concentrate. This will give it a delicious sweetness that pairs perfectly with cold milk and ice cubes.

What is Japan’s most popular drink?

Japan’s most popular drink is green tea. Green tea has been enjoyed in Japan for centuries and is a staple of the culture. Other popular drinks in Japan include beer, sake, and soft drinks like Ramune. However, Japanese iced coffee is gaining popularity as more people discover its unique flavor and convenience.

Can Japanese iced coffee be made with decaf beans?

Yes, Japanese iced coffee can be made with decaffeinated beans if you’d like to enjoy it without the caffeine kick. Decaffeinated beans will still provide you with the same smooth taste and texture that makes this beverage so unique, but they won’t give you the energy boost of regular coffee beans. Keep in mind that however much less caffeine there is in decaf beans, it’s still not 0%. So if you’re looking for a totally caffeine-free drink, you should look elsewhere.

Can I make Japanese iced coffee without milk?

Yes, you can absolutely make Japanese iced coffee without milk! Simply omit the cold milk from your recipe and enjoy the concentrate on its own or mix it with a bit of sugar or syrup to sweeten it up. You can also add some water to dilute the concentrate if it’s too strong for your taste. For an even more refreshing drink, try adding a squeeze of fresh lemon juice or a splash of soda water before serving.

What is Japan’s favorite drink?

Japan’s favorite drink is green tea. Green tea has been a staple of Japanese culture for centuries and can be enjoyed hot or cold. It’s often served at meals, along with snacks like rice crackers and seaweed. Other popular drinks in Japan include beer, sake, and soft drinks like Ramune. However, iced coffee is becoming increasingly popular among younger generations who appreciate its unique flavor profile and convenience.

What is Tokyo style coffee?

Tokyo style coffee is a type of cold brew that uses very finely ground coffee beans that are steeped in cold water overnight. It produces a concentrated, deeply flavored, and smooth beverage that’s usually served over ice or milk.

What is Korean iced coffee?

Korean iced coffee is typically made with espresso and milk, but can also be made using drip-style coffee as well. The drink is usually sweetened with sugar syrup or condensed milk and then poured over ice cubes for a refreshingly cool beverage.

What is Kyoto iced coffee?

Kyoto iced coffee, also known as Kyoto-style pour-over, is a method of preparing cold brew by slowly dripping cold water through a bed of fresh grounds at room temperature rather than steeping them in water overnight.

Is cold brew healthier than coffee?

Cold brew coffee can be healthier than regular coffee because it is often less acidic since the grounds are not exposed to high temperatures during the brewing process. Additionally, cold brewed coffee has a higher caffeine content than hot-brewed coffee, so you may find that you need less of it in order to feel the effects. However, this does depend on individual preference and tolerance. Ultimately, both types of coffee offer unique benefits depending on what your needs and preferences are.

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