Coffee review

Can stainless steel ice cubes be put in coffee? Which cools down better, stainless steel ice grains or homemade ice cubes?

Published: 2024-07-21 Author:
Last Updated: 2024/07/21, Some time ago, while Qianjie was chatting with friends about ice rush, he found that most coffee shops use regular ice cubes to cool down. Every time he drinks the last few mouthfuls, the iced coffee will always turn to room temperature, and the taste is not as strong as at the beginning, and even has a sense of water. So he quietly sent it to the front street

Some time ago, when Qianjie was talking about ice hands with friends, he found that most cafes used regular ice cubes to cool down. every time they drank the last few sips, the iced coffee always became normal temperature, and the taste was not as full-bodied as it was at the beginning, even with a sense of water. So he quietly asked the street: why don't you use stainless steel ice cubes?

What is stainless steel ice cubes?

Stainless steel ice, also known as stainless steel ice particles, its outer layer is generally made of 304 or 316 stainless steel, inside is not hollow, but contains colorless and tasteless liquid, shaking at room temperature can feel the sound of liquid sloshing. There are two main types on the market, one is a mixture of water and alcohol, the other is a mixture of water and glycerin.

If only from the structural point of view, compared with the traditional edible pure ice, stainless steel ice does have many advantages. First of all, it will not melt with the heating of the liquid, it can always stay in the cup when drinking, as long as the temperature of stainless steel ice is lower than the liquid, it can continue to bring cooling effect to the drink.

Second, the use of unmelted ice particles is relatively time-saving and time-saving. Because the traditional edible ice cubes need to be frozen in a mold 4 to 6 hours in advance, while stainless steel ice can be added to the drink after being placed in the frozen layer for about an hour. After cleaning, it can be directly put back into the freezer for preservation, and then taken out when needed.

However, since they are all called "ice cubes", what people value most is its cooling effect and practicality. In order to solve this doubt of our friends, Qianjie specially Amoy 4 stainless steel ice grains. Next, let's make a comparison from multiple perspectives to see whether this legendary cooling tool works well in our coffee industry.

Comparison of volume / weight / cooling rate

By comparison, the daily edible ice cubes used in Qianjie stores are larger, with a small cube 2.5 centimeters wide, and a single grain weighs about 30 grams. On the other hand, stainless steel ice cubes look smaller, 1.5 centimeters wide in the shape of dice, and the weight of a single piece is similar to that of our homemade ice cubes, about 29.7 grams.

Next, Qianjie followed the merchant's advice (50ml drinks had the best cooling effect with a piece of stainless steel ice), found two identical glasses and poured 100ml of drinking water into each. First, at room temperature, the water temperature was 27 degrees. Then one self-made ice cube and two stainless steel ice cubes were put into two cups of room temperature water respectively, and the cooling conditions of both were observed and measured.

In the first two minutes of adding ice, both cups of water immediately showed a cooling trend, but the cooling rate of self-made ice was much faster. After 2 minutes and 30 seconds, the temperature of self-made ice group dropped to 12 °C, while that of stainless steel group dropped to 19 °C. And because of the high density of the metal ice, it sank directly at the bottom of the cup, when the water below cooled first, but the water on the surface has not cooled down yet. After five minutes, the edible ice has almost completely absorbed heat and melted, and the water temperature has dropped to 8.1 °C. the liquid capacity of the stainless steel ice group remains unchanged, but the temperature is maintained to 16 °C.

At present, the street has replaced two cups of drinking water with cola and milk at room temperature. although the cooling effect is slightly different, the cooling rate of stainless steel ice is far less than that of homemade ice.

Thus it can be seen that although this kind of metal ice cube has the advantage of not melting into water, it is difficult to apply it to the cooling link in coffee extraction because of its average cooling effect. After all, our ice cubes have a separate name, which is called "quench hand flushing". I wonder if the effect of using it to maintain the low temperature of iced coffee is long-lasting.

Try a pot of ice hands.

Considering that there are not enough stainless steel ice cubes in hand, and the cooling rate is relatively slow, and want the coffee to achieve a better chilled taste and flavor effect, Qianjie made a little adjustment to the original ice flushing scheme. Replace 2 transparent ice cubes with 4 stainless steel ice cubes.

This is done for two purposes: one is to reduce the dilution caused by melting too much ice into water, and the other is to cool the coffee as soon as possible while maintaining a moderate flavor concentration.

Coffee beans: Sidamo Huakui 8.0 powder: 160g powder / water ratio: 1:10 (160g hot water) ice cubes: 180g (2 homemade ice cubes + 4 stainless steel ice cubes) Grinding degree: Ek43s scale 9.5g water temperature: 92 °C filter cup: V60 water injection technique: three-stage type

For comparison, Qianjie also uses conventional ice flushing (adding 120 grams of ice, that is, 4 ice cubes) to extract the same coffee bean with the same parameters. Finally, pour the two pots of coffee into an ice glass prepared in advance.

On the palate, the taste temperature of the mixed ice group is 18.9 °C, the entrance is not ice, it belongs to a slightly cool state, with the aroma of raisins, sweet orange and black tea, the taste is round, and the taste begins to heat up for about 17 minutes.

The second pot of pure ice group uses only self-made ice cubes to cool down, the coffee liquid can drop rapidly to 6.9 °C almost in a moment of shaking, with aromas of citrus, blueberries and cranberries, and clearer acidity. As the ice melts into water, the coffee begins to heat up in 11 minutes, and the flavor weakens slightly.

Considering all kinds of factors, as a new type of recyclable ice, stainless steel ice particles are difficult to replace the status of traditional edible ice in terms of cooling effect, taste assistance, practicality, and safety (easy to break glass). When these requirements are placed on the link of coffee brewing, the role of ice is immediate. Guess for the previous street, this is why very few coffee shops use stainless steel ice cubes.


Front Street Cafe

No. 10 Baoqian street, Yandun road, Dongshankou, Yuexiu district, Guangzhou, Guangdong province