Written by: Dušan Matičič, Head roaster at GOAT STORY
Cold brew coffee is on the rise. A steep rise! There wasn’t a coffee shop last summer that didn’t offer at least one version of this (now) popular caffeinated beverage.
Many call it a novelty, we call it the new normal. Yup, cold brew conquered the coffee world.
But many are confused … what is it about cold brew coffee that is different from hot brewed coffee and why should we even drink cold brew coffee?
Here are 5 reasons why we love to drink cold brew. Maybe you should try it out as well?
#1 Cold brew has lower acidity and less bitterness
Acidity in coffee? What the …
It’s something one needs to get used to and then never look back. But if you still aren't convinced, cold brew might be the answer.
Yes, cold brewed coffee is less acidic than hot brewed coffee.
Let’s learn why. The key word here is extraction.
Extraction is the process when water dissolves soluble components from ground coffee – sugars, acids, oils and other stuff that can be dissolved.
Some are good, some are bad.
In general, we brew coffee with water at 195 to 205 degrees Fahrenheit (90 – 95 degrees Celsius).
Use hotter water and your coffee will be bitter. Hot water will destroy the acidic components and turn them into bitter components.
Use colder water and you’ll turn the sweet acidity into a horrible sour taste. Cold water just doesn’t have the punch to quickly dissolve non-acidic compounds that create balance in your coffee.
Again – not good.
Now let's play a little trick ... Let's use cold water and increase the time.
We're taking it from 3 minutes to 20 hours.
Cold brewing plays by its own rules. The cold water slows down the extraction of the tasty parts of coffee.
AND it actually changes what is extracted and what is left in the ground coffee.
Compared to hot brewed coffee, a cup of cold brew can be 60% less acidic and bitter.
That happens because the acids that turn to bitter don’t get extracted.
And the acids that add that sharp bite to hot brewed coffee don’t oxidize.
And what you get? Smooth, refreshing coffee.
#2 Cold brew has TONS of flavorOkay, so cold brew is less bitter and less acidic than hot brewed coffee. And with less oxidation and degradation of flavor compounds in coffee, you will notice a very clear change in flavor of coffee.
There is a lot of science for professors of chemistry to explain, but we won’t open that can of worms. Let’s just say that the chemical picture of cold brewed coffee is different.
Try this ...
Brew a pour over and a cold brew with the same beans. Yes, the core flavors are the same. But you’d be surprised how different they taste.
A nice cup of pour over coffee has a balanced flavor, lovely aroma, it’s gently sweet and has a crispy acidity that gives it that lovely flavor punch. Add to that a little bit of the bitter notes to give it a bit more character and body.
A nice cup of cold brewed coffee has a smooth flavor that is combined with sweetness and just a hint of acidity. Oh and it has almost no bitterness!
Bottom line – pour over can be described as rich while cold brew is smooth.
The secret that makes these two coffees so different are the oils.
These are aromatic oils that are stacked in coffee. And if you heat them up (with hot water) these oils will get volatile and evaporate quickly.
Oils are unpredictable when hot. That is why dialing your water temperature for pour over is sometimes difficult.
By brewing your coffee with cold water these oils will remain stable and will smoothly extract into your beverage. And because they are aromatic, these oils will hit your nose with aromas that the brain will interpret as vibrant floral and fruity flavors.
#3 King of mixology!Okay, don’t get me wrong … I love hot coffee!
There’s nothing like a nice cup of freshly brewed single origin filter coffee.
But there are limits to hot coffee when you try to mix it with anything else.
Not very versatile …
Cold brew coffee on the other hand, is the king of mixology! Especially if you steep your coffee stronger, you’ll get a cold brew concentrate that is just perfect for mixing with other drinks and foods!
Here are a few tips for mixing your cold brew:
• Iced coffee: mix it with ice and a little cold water.
• Hot coffee: cold brew with a splash of hot water makes sense when you do not have time to brew hot coffee, as you can store cold brew in your refrigerator.
• Cold Brew Latte: add ice and milk.
• Cold brew cocktails: a whole plethora of recipes possible! Play with your brew, add booze, juices or anything you might think will fit the flavor.
• Cold Brew Tonic: one part cold brew and two parts tonic + ice. YUM!
• Cold Brew Lemonade: a no-brainer!!! Even if it sounds strange.
• Cold Brew Soda: Add soda water and a bit of sugar (if you like it sweet).
#4 Cold brew has less caffeineGood news for coffee lovers!
Cold brew is less caffeinated than hot coffee.
Remember #1 about extraction with hot and cold water? Cold water does not extract as much caffeine.
That means you can drink more of it!
Of course it all depends on the type of beans you use, but we could generally say that cold brew has about 30% less caffeine than regular hot coffee.
#5 Cold brew is good for your health
Coffee is considered a superfood when consumed modestly.
There is research that proves positive effects of coffee when it comes to reducing risk of heart disease, makes you more alert and alive, some even say it can be beneficial for diabetes patients.
There’s even research that says coffee can help prevent Parkinsons and Alzheimers disease.
Bottom line is that coffee is a strong antioxidant and that fact itself says: drink coffee!
As for cold brewed coffee it can be a solution for those who suffer from reflux and other stomach acidity problems.
A lot of people claim that they can not drink hot coffee as the heartburn is killing them. But cold brew can solve those problems.
One more reason to enjoy it!
WOW YOU MADE IT TO THE END OF THIS LOONG BLOG POST!
You deserve a reward for that! Check our SHOP section (especially focus on the Cold Brew stuff) and shop with a 15% discount. Just use the coupon code COLDBREW