Why Yirgacheffe Coffee is great on ice
A long-time favorite of Cafe Campesino, the Yirgacheffe region of Ethiopia consistently produces bright, floral, light-bodied coffees. In the heat of the summer, these lemon-citrus flavors practically beg for iced coffee cocktails. Yes, you can enjoy it hot or without booze (and we do!). But brewing Yirgacheffe as an iced coffee can temper its citrus notes and allow for a sweet, floral cup. Our preferred brew method for iced Yirgacheffe is the Japanese Iced Coffee method- a quick and easy way to brew coffee that will leave you feeling like a pro. Yes, you will need a scale.
Japanese-style Iced Coffee
Popularized in Japan, this method of brewing coffee is quite simple. Brew coffee over ice, separating your total water volume between hot water & ice. Unlike making “cold brewed” coffee, this method of making iced coffee is quick- taking only about 5 minutes. It also locks in some of the sweetest flavors from the brewing process, creating an interesting, complex cup of coffee, which we love for the Yirg.
We start by using a 1:16 coffee-to-water brew ratio. This means that for every gram of coffee, we use 16 grams of water (a brew ratio that works well with hot coffee, too). In this recipe, half of our water will take the form of ice, and the other half will come from hot water. For example, if you start with 20 grams of ground coffee, your total water weight would need to be 320 grams to achieve a 1:16 water-to-coffee brew ratio. To brew using the Japanese iced coffee method, we pour about 155-160 grams of hot water over 20 grams of coffee that drips on to about 150-160 grams of ice.
So the total “water weight” is about 320 grams, but half of that comes from the ice.
When the hot water has fully drained through the 20 grams of Yirgacheffe, your iced coffee is ready to drink. Get step-by-step instructions for brewing our Ethiopia Yirgacheffe using the Japanese-style method.
Iced Coffee & Bourbon Cocktail
Once you have iced coffee on-hand, the sky’s the limit on what you can do with it. Maybe you want to kick-off Saturday morning with a coffee-bourbon cocktail? If so, we’ve developed a play on the traditional Manhattan that can become a great substitute for (or addition to) your brunch Mimosas. Fresh-squeezed orange juice, maraschino cherries, 13th Colony Southern bourbon and a little Iced Yirgacheffe are all you need to get a Bourbon & Yirg started. Get that recipe here.
Iced Coffee & Vodka Spritzer
If you only have vodka lying around the house, then we’ve developed a coffee cocktail recipe for that, too. Starting again with Iced Ethiopia Yirgacheffe coffee, this recipe incorporates orange-zest simple syrup, sparkling water, vodka and Tulsi Basil, or Holy Basil. This particular variety of Tulsi Basil has a sweet, anise-like flavor, but you could use any type of basil or even mint, depending on what you have available. Get our recipe for a Tulsi and Yig vodka coffee cocktail here.
Local & Fresh Cocktail Ingredients
Finally, make your ingredients count. If you care enough to source Cafe Campesino’s Ethiopia Yirgacheffe coffee, you probably care about sourcing from small, independently owned businesses. In Americus, we have products from two Georgia-based businesses on-hand at all times.
Americus-based Thirteenth Colony Distillery offers delicious vodkas, whiskeys and gins at reasonable price points. Their Southern Bourbon that we use in our Bourbon & Yirgacheffe cocktail is sweet, tasty and pairs very well with coffee. Their Plantation Vodka that we use in our Tulsi & Yirg Spritzer is an easy-to-drink vodka at a great price.
Montane- another Georgia-made favorite – comes from the Pine Mountain-area and is quickly becoming the caffeine-free drink-of-choice at coffee shops across the South. A sparkling water in a variety of flavors, Montane has captured our hearts, finished-off our cocktails and filled our refrigerators for months on end. We could not recommend these two products more.
Also, don’t forget the power of your own garden or local farmers’ market to jazz up your cocktails. Peaches, blueberries, basil, mint– they’re all fresh and tasty additions to any summer drink. We encourage you to take advantage of the season and have a little fun with your coffee this summer.