Cold Brew Coffee: The What and The Why
Everything You Want and Don't Want to Know About Cold Brew Coffee
For many years, coffee was seen primarily as a hot beverage – a warm mug of java juice that that would warm both body and spirit on a chilly morning.
And then came iced coffee.
And then cold brew.
No longer is coffee limited to the realm of the warm or cozy; it claims the right to be refreshing, invigorating, and peppy.
Cold brew coffee has especially become the rage in the last few years with its popularity growing exponentially every year. We don’t want to be left out of this trend and don’t want you to be either. So, here is everything you need to know (and more) about….
What is Cold Brew Coffee?
Cold Brew Coffee is coffee that has been steeped in cold water for 12-24 hours. The grounds are then filtered out, giving a stout concentrate that is then diluted to personal taste with water or cream. Cold brew coffee is especially notable for its smooth, sweet flavor and low acidity.
What is the Difference Between Cold Brew and Other Coffee?
The most notable difference between cold brewed coffee and hot brewed coffee (outside of the obvious temperature difference) is its flavor. Cold brew coffee doesn’t have the familiar acidic zip of a hot mug of coffee, rather it is very smooth and sweet, making for a completely different coffee drinking experience.
The chemical compounds in cold brew coffee are significantly different from hot coffee, which is largely the reason for this difference in taste. Water temperature makes a large difference in how much of coffee’s unique oils, acids, and aromatics are extracted during the brewing process, having a large impact on the chemical composition of the finished product. Water temperature also makes a large difference in how much oxidation (oxygen molecules absorbing oils, acids, and aromatics) happens during and after brewing.
Cold brewed coffee doesn’t extract as much acid from the grounds as hot coffee but tends to preserve the aromatics in the liquid rather than losing it to oxidation. So you will likely not get the normal “coffee” aroma out of a cup of cold brew, but that is good news because it means that “aroma” will be enjoyed inside by your taste buds instead.
What are the Health Benefits of Cold Brew Coffee?
- Lower Acidity, Easier on the Stomach
The acid levels are significantly less in cold brew coffee, making it much easier on sensitive stomachs. If regular coffee upsets your stomach, you should give cold brew a try.
- More Antioxidants
High temperatures generally destroy antioxidants. Green coffee beans are rich in antioxidants, but the roasting process often destroys upwards of 60% of these antioxidants. Coffee that is cold brewed is much more likely to extract and preserve the remaining antioxidants so that they can work their charm on your body. Chlorogenic acid, which is a proven metabolism booster (among many other benefits) is especially more prominent in cold brew coffee.
- Lower Calorie and Sugar Potential
Since cold brew is sweeter and smoother than normal hot-brewed coffee, most people are less likely to use as much sugar with their coffee drink.
- Increased Happiness and Improved Emotional Well-being
OK, not science here, but common sense. It tastes good and it is a refreshing drink, why wouldn’t it make you happier and more emotionally stable.
What are the Best Ways to Drink Cold Brew Coffee?
Cold Brew Coffee is often a strong concentrate that is generally diluted with cold water, milk, or cream before drinking. Our personal favorite is the 5-Star Restaurant Blend Coffee served over ice with a good splash of half-and-half. It makes a delightful drink on a warm summer afternoon.See the Guide for Making Cold Brew Coffee