Culture

What Is 'Flash Brewed' Coffee and Why Is it So Delicious?

When I lived in Japan (back in my day and get off my lawn), I became a fan of a brand of canned coffee called Boss Coffee.

Well, that’s not really accurate. I was more than a fan. I love the stuff. Boss had the best flavor, the best varieties, the best logo and branding, and the best TV ads.

Yes, that’s Tommy Lee Jones as a Japanese fisherman. He’s done a whole, weird Boss Coffee campaign.

Boss Coffee has no advertising peer. It even enlisted the Big Guy himself, Gojira!

After returning to these United States, I noticed gaps in my life. Happy to be home, I still missed certain things about life in Japan. Tokyo looks like the opening sequence of Blade Runner from certain angles, it’s about as close as I’ll ever get to living on another planet without leaving this one, and it’s just a generally fun and wacky place.

Boss Coffee was one of the things I’ve missed the most. It wasn’t available anywhere I’ve lived in the U.S. most of the time.

It has turned up in Austin a few times, and this week, this version appeared at Asahi, one of the local Japanese markets:

Coffee
Boss Coffee. Photo by Bryan Preston.

My colleague Matt Margolis asked a good question when he saw the photo, which is, what’s flash brewed coffee?

I had no idea. I just knew that this particular can of Boss is one of the best cans of coffee I’ve ever had. It’s smooth and rich and delicious. I cold brew coffee frequently and love the flavors that result. I also hot brew like everyone else, mostly during the week because cold brew takes forever. I avoid burned coffees such as Starbucks unless I have no other choice. Flash brew is new to me.

Death Wish Coffee has a definition of “flash brewed coffee.”

The only con of cold brew is how long it takes to make — steeping coffee for 24 hours in cold water isn’t for the impatient. Luckily, for those who can’t wait, there’s an answer: Flash brew. Flash brewing is a method where you intentionally chill coffee as fast as possible in order to create a drink over ice without sacrificing the flavors of the brew.

Flash brewed coffee — also known as Japanese-style iced coffee — is brewed in a Chemex just like hot coffee. The main difference? The ice, of course. To make flash brewed coffee, you change the water to coffee ratio.How do you change the ratio? Replace 1/3 or 1/2 of the water amount with ice instead.

They have a recipe over on their site. I’ll probably try it sometime, and if I do you’ll hear about it on the VIP Gold Chat where we talk about air fryers and other essential cultural artifacts of our times.

Boss is the boss of canned coffees. I’ll fight you on this. There’s nothing better out there.

Flash brewing is new to me but I’m officially intrigued.