WHAT IS COLD BREW COFFEE?

Cold Brew coffee in a glass with milk

Seems like these days everyone is talking about Cold Brew Coffee, it has also been further popularized by Starbucks. So what’s so special about Cold Brew? Read on to find out!

What Cold Brew is and what Cold Brew isn’t

Cold Brew is usually portrayed as iced coffee because that’s how it is being commercialised, especially by the big coffee chains, but it is so much more than that.

You can drink cold brew with ice, there is nothing wrong with that, but do not be confused by other types of iced coffee such as:

Japanese Iced Coffee
For the Japanese brewing method, ice has placed in the container right under the draining coffee. This way coffee will be immediately chilled after being brewed with hot water. Coffee drops will fall into the ice and remain cold.

Regular Brewed Coffee with Ice
As its name implies it, it is just regular coffee poured into ice so it becomes “Iced Coffee”.

This can be done with any brewing method, the flavor will not change, the only difference is the temperature.

Cold Brew Coffee
The real difference of this brewing method is the water temperature in which the extraction of coffee takes place. While regular Coffee methods use near boiling temperatures to quickly extract the properties of coffee, Cold Brewing exchanges time for temperature, taking from 4 up to 24 hours depending on the method to make a full batch.

The results achieved from these different methods can be so drastically different that you may like one method but not the other one, so it is important to know the differences so when the time comes you can order your perfect beverage.

Cold Brew Benefits

Less acidic, a study made by Toddy indicates that cold brew is 50-67% less acid than regular brewed coffee. This is not to say that acidity is a bad thing, some people like the flavor brought by acidity, but it can also be harmful to your teeth and stomach.

More antioxidants, recent studies show that green coffee beans contain many antioxidants, the problem is that high-temperature exposure destroys many of these antioxidants, so, between the roasting process and hot brewing, most of the benefits of coffee are lost. Cold Brewing does not destroy these antioxidants so it remains a healthier beverage.

Sweetness, cold brew is naturally sweeter than its hot counterpart, this is because of the less acidity contained, this way people who like to sweeten their coffee will not have to do it or will need less sugar to do so, thus making it a lighter and healthier drink.

Convenience, cold brew may take a long time to brew, but after you brew a batch it can stay in your fridge for up to 10 days and remain fresh tasting, so if  you like to have your coffee without the hassle of having to brew it every day, just brew it before the start of the week and you’re set.

Versatility, a great thing about cold brew is that because of its stability in flavor and body, it can be used in many recipes such as alcoholic cocktails, drinks without alcohol, ice cream and even cakes.

Cold Brew Myths and Facts

Myth: Cold brew has to be drunk cold.
Fact: The fact it was brewed with room temperature/cold water does not limit cold brew to be drunk in a single manner, it can also be heated, especially when the day is cold.

Myth: You need ice to make cold brew.
Fact: You can make cold brew with room temperature water all the way to ice-cold water.

Myth: Cold brew has more caffeine than espresso.
Fact: False, with cold brew you can control the caffeine level with many variables such as type of bean, water-to-coffee ratio, brewing time and roast type.

Myth: Cold brew is better than hot brew
Fact: The truth is the same as with wine, the best coffee is the one you like the most, no matter what other people say. Just trust your instincts and drink whatever you feel like drinking, be it cold brew or hot brew.

If you have any doubts or comments about Cold brew or any of the topics discussed in this article please leave us a comment, we will be happy to respond!

 

Photo credit: David Dewitt

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