Cold brew coffee is nothing new. However, it’s only in the last few years that it has become more mainstream.
If you are yet to join this train, here are 7 cool facts that make cold brew coffee one of the most famous drinks to make at home today.
1. It’s worlds apart from Japanese-style iced coffee
Iced coffee and cold brew coffee are 2 warm-weather favorites for most people, but cold coffee is not iced coffee. Although none is better than the other, the 2 are prepared differently and, therefore, yield distinct flavors.
In iced coffee, you brew you prepare a double batch of coffee the regular way, cool it down, and then pour it over ice cubes. On the other hand, the process of preparing cold brew coffee does not involve heating anywhere. Here, a double batch of coffee is steeped in fresh water (35.6 and 70 degrees F) and left to extract for 12-24 hours.
Later, the coffee grounds are filtered and voila! You have cold coffee concentrate enough to take you up to a week, of course, depending on how much you brew. To serve, you combine the concentrate with water for (ideally) a 50/50 split. Cold brew coffee is best served black if you want to taste its robust, full-body and heavy mouthfeel. You could also add some dairy if you wish, though.
2. Tastes sweeter than regular coffee
Cold-brew coffee snobs will tell you that it’s much sweeter and smoother than regular hot brew coffee. The reason for this is the chemistry behind the extraction process.
When coffee grounds are soaked in hot or cold water, compounds start dissolving into the brew to give your beverage its quintessential coffee taste. However, certain compounds dissolve more readily in hot water than in cold water. Coffee experts say that solubles that don’t dissolve easily in cold water are the ones that cause unfavorable tastes. Consequently, cold brew coffee features a much sweeter profile than hot brew coffee.
3. Less acid
Have you ever sipped a tantalizing cup of joe only to realize that the taste didn’t quite live up to the smell? Subjecting coffee grounds to hot water releases oils that are full of acidic compounds and which cause the bitter bite in hot coffee beverages.
While this acidity may be a good thing for some people, others feel that it mutes the subtle nuances of luscious fruitiness that they demand in their coffee drinks. This could explain why most people resort to adding lots of milk and sweeteners to their hot coffee.
Cold coffee uses a different chemistry to bridge the smell-taste gap. Most of the oils that release acidic compounds into the brew do not dissolve readily in cold water. Thus, they remain in the grounds where they are tossed away.
A study done by Toddy suggests that an ounce of cold-brewed coffee has 67% less acid than a similar amount of hot brewed coffee. This difference in acidity levels is what makes cold brew coffee popular with people looking for ways to drink coffee without having that annoying sick feeling.
4. Has a higher dose of caffeine
Brewing cold coffee requires patience. By patience, we mean being able to wait for up to 24 hours. However, if you demand a stronger caffeine kick in the a.m, this style of making coffee is for you.
Cold brew coffee has almost double the amount of caffeine in over ice and regular hot brewed coffee drinks. It all comes down to the method of preparation.
Contrasted to regular coffee brewing, cold brewing takes double the amount of coffee. It also requires steeping the coarsely ground coffee in cold water for a much longer time than what regular beverages take. Consequently, a shot of cold brew coffee essentially has a higher caffeine level.
5. Gives your workouts an edge
Did you know that a shot of caffeine is a superb workout enhancer? Even the US Special Forces and elite athlete coaches understand this.
When ingested, caffeine rapidly gets into your bloodstream. It hits peak levels in 90-100 minutes, and its effects can remain for 3-4 hours. What makes caffeine a better option compared to most supplements is that it works on all cells, including those in your muscles and brain.
In the brain and nervous system, caffeine is known to reduce tiredness while maximizing energy and focus. Research also shows that caffeine helps in boosting thermogenesis, which helps in burning calories.
If you are going to rely on coffee as your source of caffeine, then a cold brew cup of cuppa is going to do you more justice. First, it has a higher caffeine concentration, as we’ve just mentioned above. Second, you won’t have to wait for it to cool down while at the gym during the warm summer months.
6. Takes long to get stale
You probably know how regular coffee tastes like after sitting for some hours- disgusting. Here is the explanation for that.
Boiling water extracts oils and acids from your coffee beans to bring out the full-bodied flavor and aromas. However, immediately after extraction, these oils start being oxidized, thereby giving your coffee a sour taste. The acids, too, start degrading and they give your brew a weird bitter taste.
Of course, the oils and acids in cold coffee brew will oxidize and degrade, too. However, these processes are much faster where hot water is used. This explains why a jug of cold brew coffee can last you over a week while regular coffee starts getting stale within the first hour.
7. Very easy to make
At a time when we are all debating between hot brew coffee and over ice, it’s easy to think of cold brew coffee as another giant altogether. That’s not the case, though. Making cold brew coffee couldn’t be any easier. The best part is that you don’t need a complex coffee making machine. Neither do you need to fret about getting the water temperatures wrong. Here is all you’ll need: a mason jar, coarse ground high-quality beans, clean, fresh water, and a sieve.