Japanese Style Iced Coffee: Easy to Make Recipe

I always find Japanese cuisine quite intrinsically intriguing. Occasionally, I leave my barista duties to indulge in sushi or ramen, and a Japanese iced coffee to wash away the unique tastes completes a worthwhile experience. 

Did you know? 

Despite years of open hostility, Japanese cuisine bears a significant influence from China. After the Meiji Restoration of 1868 which eliminated the long-standing feudal structure of Japan, the door to a variety of cultures opened, and with it, Chinese cuisine.

It is then no surprise that Japanese iced coffee has come to be an integral part of the culinary tradition; cold brew coffee delivers a unique flavor profile that is both smooth and refreshing. Today I’m here to show you how to make the perfect Japanese cold brew. 

What is Japanese Style Iced Coffee? 

what is japanese iced coffee means

Japanese cold brew is a method of preparing coffee by steeping the grounds in room temperature or cold water for an extended period of time, usually 12 to 24 hours. Some people use the term ‘Japanese-style iced coffee’ to describe the preparation process for this type of coffee. From our local coffee club, a consensus exists that the easiest method of making Japanese iced coffee is the best. 

Japanese iced coffee infers to coffee brewed with hot water, and then directly onto ice. This results in the rapid chilling of the coffee. It explains why, in some circles, Japanese iced coffee is also known as a chilled Japanese brew. The choice on methodology depends on your expertise and preference. In my experience, I recommend pour-over devices such as V60 or Chemex. Irrespective of the equipment used, one must set the dripper over a vessel large enough to contain the whole brew (ice and coffee). 

Pro tip 

You can always use an electric coffee brewer that carries ice in the carafe.  This will help to avoid the hassle of readjusting any equipment.

Brewing Japanese Iced Coffee: Best Recipe 

Making this type of coffee does not require you to be a master barista or have extensive knowledge of coffee brewing. All you need is coarse ground coffee, cold (or room temperature) water, and patience! 

Japanese Style Iced Coffee - Recipe

Making this type of coffee does not require you to be a master barista or have extensive knowledge of coffee brewing.
Course Drinks
Cuisine Japanese
Keyword Japanese iced coffee
Prep Time 4 minutes
Cook Time 5 minutes
Total Time 9 minutes
Servings 1 people
Calories 5kcal


  • Kettle to boil water
  • Kitchen scale
  • Timer
  • Coffee Grinder
  • Hario V60 cone (or Chemex)
  • Hario filter (or Chemex filter)
  • Carafe


  • 1 oz Coffee
  • 7 oz Water
  • 7 oz ice 


  • The following is a step-by-step guide for how to make Japanese-style iced coffee:
    First, you need to measure the coffee, water, and ice using a kitchen scale. We suggest using the same amount of water and ice. Measure 1 oz (25 g) of coffee, and 7 oz (200 g) each of water and ice.
    Next, boil fresh water. It's best to use a gooseneck kettle like the Hario Buono for the best results.
    If you have a coffee grinder, grind your coffee to a medium consistency, similar to what you would use for a traditional hot pour-over. If you're using pre-ground coffee, you can skip this step.
    Whether you're using V60 or Chemex filters, rinse the filter before brewing. This helps eliminate any papery taste and preheats the brewer for better extraction.
    After rinsing the filter, add the ice to your carafe and place the brewer on top (if using a V60). Add the coffee to the brewer and start your timer.
    Pour about 2 oz (60 g) of water over the coffee grounds in a concentric pattern, spiraling outward as you go, to wet the grounds evenly. Wait 45 seconds.
    Once 45 seconds have passed, slowly pour the rest of the water - 5 oz (140 g) - over the coffee in a circular pattern. Ensure you pour evenly across all the coffee grounds and don't linger too long in the center.
    After pouring the water, give the brewer a quick swirl to knock any grounds stuck to the sides of the filter back into the water. Wasted grounds that are "high and dry" don't contribute to the coffee's flavor.
    Now you only have to wait for the water to drain through. Once done, serve and enjoy!


What is the Difference between Japanese Iced Coffee and Western Iced Coffee 

Japanese are reputed for their sophistication, and the Japanese iced coffee brew differs from your usual Starbucks morning pick-me-up. 

Unlike western-style iced coffees, which are generally brewed hot and then chilled quickly in order to reduce bitterness, Japanese iced coffees are brewed cold over a long period of time. This method helps to smooth out the acidic notes and create an incredibly flavorful and balanced cup of coffee. The result is a delicious, refreshing beverage with subtle aromatics and flavors. 

What is the Difference between Japanese Iced Coffee and Cold Brew Coffee

Cold brew and Japanese-style iced coffee are two popular methods for making iced coffee. Cold brew involves steeping coffee grounds in cold water for several hours, resulting in a smooth, low-acid concentrate that can be diluted. Japanese-style iced coffee, on the other hand, involves brewing hot coffee directly over ice, producing a bright and aromatic cup with more pronounced acidity and flavor notes. Ultimately, the choice between these methods comes down to personal preference in taste and brewing style.

Read more about Cold Brew VS Japanese-Style Iced Coffee

Japanese Iced Coffee Taste

The taste of Japanese iced coffee is quite different from western-style as the steeping process helps to reduce bitterness, and brings out the fruity tones. The final brew has a light and clean profile with notes of citrus and chocolate. Additionally, it has a creamy mouthfeel due to its low acidity level. It’s perfect for those hot summer days! 

Pros & Cons of Japanese Iced Coffee 

Pros of Japanese Iced Coffee

  • Rich aromatics and flavors 
  • Makes one of the fastest cold brews 
  • Doesn’t require fancy equipment thus easily prepared at home
  • Low acidity level 
  • Creamy mouthfeel 
  • Refreshing and flavorful beverage perfect for hot days 

Cons of Japanese Iced Coffee

  • Long process as it requires a minimum of 12 hours of steeping time, and for people who wish to find the authentic taste.  
  • Needs patience and precision in order to get the right balance of flavor and aromatics 
  • Can be expensive depending on the quality of beans used.
  • Makes a single serving at a time 
  • If not keen on measurements, one can fail to achieve the right coffee strength


Japanese iced coffee is a delightful way to enjoy the taste of coffee without bitterness. The extended steeping process produces a subtle and smooth flavor, which makes it an ideal choice for both experienced and novice baristas alike. With these simple instructions, you’ll be able to make the perfect Japanese iced coffee to enjoy at home. Give it a try! You won’t be disappointed. 

Happy Brewing! 🙂

Frequently Asked Question on Japanese Iced Coffee

Is Japanese iced coffee popular in Japan?

Yes, Japanese iced coffee is a popular beverage in Japan and it’s becoming increasingly popular around the world. The unique flavor and subtle notes have people longing for that cup of iced coffee.

Is Japanese iced coffee more expensive than regular coffee?

Depending on the quality of beans used, Japanese iced coffee can be more expensive than regular coffee. However, it’s worth the price as the flavor is much smoother and fuller. 

Japanese Style Iced Coffee: Recipe

Best Recipe for Japanese Iced Coffee

Easy to make japanese iced coffee recipe.

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