Cold brew coffee is everywhere. You’ll find it in local coffee shops and the likes of Starbucks. McDonald’s even tested the cold beverage in some of its outlets in 2018. It’s really easy to make, has a smoother taste than the bitter warm coffee that puts a lot of drinkers off, and there is a host of benefits of cold brew coffee that at least warrant giving this cold, caffeinated drink, a second look.
In our list of the benefits of cold brew coffee, we are looking at those advantages that are specific to cold brew. There are plenty of benefits to drinking a moderate amount of hot coffee every day. Many of these are shared with cold brew coffee, but what about the advantages of cold brew over hot brew?
It CAN Have A Higher Caffeine Content… Or Lower
You extract caffeine from coffee beans by adding water. Warmer water extracts more caffeine from the individual bean. You are getting less caffeine from each bean when making a cold brew. However, when making cold brew coffee, you use about 2.5 times the coffee beans you would when making a hot brew of the same volume. Therefore, you end up with a higher caffeine concentration.
It is also worth noting that most people dilute cold brew at a ratio of one part coffee concentrate to two parts water, and this actually leaves you with a coffee that has a lower caffeine level than a hot brew. If you mix with a one to one ratio, you still get a good caffeine level and can enjoy more of the rich depth of coffee flavors.
Depending on how you drink it, cold brew coffee can, therefore, have a higher or lower concentration of caffeine, according to your preferences.
Avoid Coffee Stomach Pain
Some people suffer from stomach pain and gut discomfort after drinking coffee. This can be caused if you are insensitive to caffeine or the acids in the coffee.
Cold brewing extracts far less acid than hot brewing, and you can still enjoy a flavorsome drink even when you dilute the cold drink. This means that you can enjoy great-tasting coffee and potentially avoid stomach pain and cramps.
Enjoy More Flavors
If you’ve read the back of coffee bean packs or tasting notes, you’ll have undoubtedly seen beans that have a toasted marshmallow or a milk chocolate flavor. Or perhaps undertones of cherry? If you’re lucky, you will be able to detect and enjoy these flavors, but this isn’t the case for all coffee drinkers.
Hot brew coffee extracts a lot of acid, and this becomes the dominant flavor. Because cold brewing extracts less acid, it allows the additional flavors to burst out, so you can enjoy a greater depth and range of flavors from a cold brew.
It’s Easy to Prepare at Home
One of the benefits of cold brew coffee is that it is easy to make at home. Mix the desired ratio of coarsely ground coffee to cold water in a mason jar, leave it in the fridge for about 16 hours, and then strain the grounds out. You’re left with a cold brew that can be necked straight for a major hit of caffeine or diluted with your choice of water, milk, or milk substitute.
You can use a French press, which negates the need to have a separate strainer. But, importantly, you don’t need a coffee machine of any sort.
Cold Brew Makes A Great Summer Drink
Many of us relish the taste of coffee and our bodies crave the routine caffeine hit. And, while we’ll tell doubters that hot drinks like coffee actually do a good job of summer cooling, they simply aren’t as refreshing. You can serve cold brew with ice and a dash of milk. It is cold, refreshing, and still provides you with the caffeine and flavor that you crave.
You can even make cold brew coffee soda floats!
Enjoy the Benefits of Cold Brew Coffee
So, cold brew coffee is cooler, more refreshing, less acidic, and caffeinated according to your serving preferences. It is also easy to make and doesn’t require a coffee maker. We’re not suggesting you will want to replace your entire coffee intake with cold brew, but it’s certainly worth exploring.
How To Store Cold Brew Coffee
You should store cold brew coffee in the fridge. This prevents it from going rancid as quickly. Stored in the fridge it can last a couple of weeks. If you leave it out of the fridge, you really need to drink it on the day.
How Long Does Cold Brew Coffee Last in The Fridge?
Hot coffee starts to degrade in taste after a few hours. On the other hand, because the beans have not been heated, the chemistry hasn’t changed. You can leave the undiluted brew in the fridge for two weeks. It will start to lose flavor after about a week, so we do suggest that you drink it within this time, but it is still far better than the two or three hours you’ve got to consume your hot brew coffee. Yet another benefit of cold brew coffee.
What Is the Difference Between Cold Brew and Iced Coffee?
Cold brew and iced coffee sound similar and both are caffeinated cold drinks. However, iced coffee is a hot brew that you serve with ice. Whereas you brew cold brew using cold water. The two use different brewing techniques, which results in a different flavor.
Can You Heat Cold Brew Coffee?
All of the caffeine and acidity extraction has been completed by the time your cold brew is ready. As such, you can add warm water to the drink and it won’t affect its caffeine or acidity levels, other than watering them down. If you enjoy coffee warm and dislike it cold, use warm water.
How To Sweeten Cold Brew Coffee
Sugar is the most commonly used coffee sweetener. However, it doesn’t work well with cold brew. You will find it very difficult to dissolve granulated sugar in cold liquids.
We do suggest trying the coffee without sweetener first, because cold brew is naturally sweeter, and nitro cold brew, which has been infused with nitrogen, is even sweeter. If you do want a sweeter tasting brew, try these techniques:
- Use a coffee syrup – this is basically just liquid sugar. You can make your own by mixing one part water and two parts sugar in a saucepan over medium heat. Stir the mix until the sugar dissolves. Add a tablespoon of lemon juice to prevent the liquid from solidifying. Store in an airtight container and add one or two teaspoons to your cold brew. It will last for a month or two on the shelf.
- Infuse nitrogen – this sounds complicated and potentially dangerous, but it really isn’t. Use a cream dispenser and a canister of nitrogen and follow a decent nitro cold brew recipe. Not only does this sweeten the coffee but it also makes it smoother tasting.
Calories in Cold Brew Coffee
First, the number of calories in any cup of coffee is primarily determined by the additives you put in. The milk and sugar you add to your morning brew contain a lot more calories than the coffee itself. What’s more, the number of calories in your cold brew will be determined by the amount you drink and the coffee bean you use. However, a reasonable estimate is that a single cup of cold brew will have between 3 and 5 calories!