Freeze Distilled Coffee : A New Method for Strong Iced Coffee?


Today I tried out a little thought I had.

I was in bed the other day, thinking about what to write about in my next post. It’s getting closer to summer in Japan, so I wanted to do something related to iced coffee.

hmm… iced coffee. right, so ice. Could I do something with frozen coffee?

Everyone has heard of the ‘hack’ of using frozen coffee ice cubes for iced coffee, so that it does not dilute the drink.

Then it hit me. I remembered about the freeze distilled milk I wrote about a while back. What if I tried the same thing with coffee?

I thought this might be fun to experiment with, which brings us to this post.

Just to recap quickly about freeze distilled milk. This is a method to get concentrated milk by freezing the milk once, then melting half of it.

The fats in the milk melt faster than the water in the milk, which allows you to get most of the milk part while extracting excessive water out of it to.

It’s a well known method, commonly used in competitions.

Jumping to the conclusion, I think that freeze distilling coffee does work! It resulted in this strong coffee which is very different from espresso.
It’s an interesting method, and it would be useful as a way to make great iced lattes.

Let me share some details.

Trying it out

I first prepared a normal pourover.

I used 20g to 350g of water with Kasuya’s Switch method. (I’m really liking it recently)

Then I split the brew in to two batches.

One cup went into the fridge. The other was put in the freezer.

The frozen one turned out like this.

Once frozen, it’s time to melt.

We want to separate the melted concentrated coffee from the block of ice as soon as possible. So I used this shaky setup to flip the container.

After melting about half the weight, its ready. (took a few hours)

The freeze distilled coffee looks like this. I really could not tell the difference visually.

Twirling the coffee in the cup, it ever so slightly looked more viscous than the normal cup, but I was most likely imagining things.

So how does it taste?

I compared the two cups, one freeze distilled and the other simply chilled in the fridge.

There was an obvious difference, the freeze distilled one was clearly stronger. I did not expect it to work so well.

Espresso is what people would imagine as strong coffee.

But this being a paper filtered brew tasted much cleaner. I would say espresso is stronger, but is also a very different type of strength.

I think where this would be most useful together with some milk.

I added milk at the same ratio to the two cups and compared them. 45g coffee to 15g milk.

The right one is the freeze distilled one. Its a bit difficult to see in the photo but to the naked eye there was a noticeable difference in the color.

You know how adding milk to pour-overs result in these very watery, hollow iced lattes? Kind of like the milk and coffee canceled each other out, rather than mixing together?

I really don’t like this, so I always use espresso for my iced lattes.

But to my delight, the freeze distilled coffee latte did not have this hollowness!
The coffee was not over powered by the milk. The strength again is weaker if you compared it to espresso, but it has this cleanness that I do not get with espresso. It’s simply pretty good!

The real advantage is that you do not need to have an espresso machine to make this.
It does take a bit of time to prepare, but I really recommend that you try it!