You probably have the same coffee nearly every day, right? Whether it’s a latte, short mac or espresso, your coffee of choice rolls off the tongue without a second thought. But as the weather warms up it’s good to know you’ve got options. Instead of sweltering over a steaming hot latte or searing espresso shot there are plenty of ways to get your caffeine fix while still keeping cool.
Matt Perger the barista at Melbourne cafe St ALi, is something of an expert on the subject. He won the World Brewers Cup earlier this year with a pour-over coffee, a style of coffee Perger says is perfectly suited for the warmer months.
Perger makes his pour-overs by pouring hot water over a bed of coffee that sits inside a paper filter. The water passes through the filter picking up the coffee flavour on the way and ends up in your cup without any of the grounds resulting in a glossy, dark coffee with bright, clean flavour.
Perger says this is easy to adapt as a chilled drink. “You can make a filter coffee, like a pour-over onto ice and brew it a little bit stronger so when the ice melts it’s fine,” he says. “Then add a teaspoon of sugar.”
A pour-over on ice is probably the simplest way to prepare a chilled coffee. Perger says he is seeing a trend towards more pared back methods of serving chilled coffee.
“People are starting to be more adventurous and moving onto cold drinks with more integrity to them,” he says.
One of these cold drinks is a cold drip, which Perger says allows you to really taste the coffee without the distraction of milk and sugar.
Making a cold drip is a complicated and time-consuming process that utilises brewing apparatus with three chambers. Filtered water in the first chamber drips slowly down onto ground coffee in the second chamber over six to 12 hours.
Once it ends up in the bottom chamber the coffee is ready to serve with the end result influenced by the grind, drip rate and brewing time.
The whole idea is that instead of relying on heat to bring out the flavour of the coffee, cold brewing uses the steady drip, drip, drip of time.
The method is the very opposite of the fast and forced extraction of the espresso machine and the resulting taste is unique as well.
Extracting only part of the beans’ flavour leaves a finish that is often described as chocolatey. “We sell heaps of those when it gets warmer as a non milk based pick me up in summer,” Perger says.
So don’t worry, over the hot months of summer coffee shops are hardly sitting abandoned. In fact, Perger says summer is the busiest time of the year at St ALi. “We probably serve more coffee in summer and cold drink sales like iced coffee goes through the roof,” he says.
Many of the methods Perger uses to make chilled coffee behind the counter at St ALi can be replicated at home without much fuss. It’s really easy to do an iced pour-over because of the minimal equipment needed.
“You can easily do a pour-over and leave it in the fridge and then add a little bit of sugar when you want to drink it,” Perger says.
Take a look at the gallery above for a step by step guide and keep your cool this summer.