When it comes down to comparing cold brew Vs hot brew we need to know a lot more than cold brew is cold coffee and hot brew is hot coffee. This article compares both coffee drinks, their differences and aims to answer most, if not all, the questions that you have.
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Keep reading as we dig down and talk about cold-brewed coffee and hot-brewed coffee.
Cold Brew Vs Hot Brew – What Is The Difference Between A Cold Brew And Hot Brew Coffee?
Just about the most obvious difference between cold brew coffee and hot coffee is the lower (or higher) temperature in which they are brewed at.
Coffee fans and coffee lovers know that the difference between these two coffees is huge, a world of difference. A simple sip of each of the two coffees and you will immediately know that there is a huge difference.
Hot coffee is brewed using any number of techniques including a pour over coffee maker, French press, siphon, espresso machine, drip coffee maker, a percolator, a moka pot or any other known coffee making device or technique.
The brewing temperature is from 195F to 205F (92C to 96C) and extracts the high temperature compounds that affect the temperature.
Cold brew coffee is brewed using water that is cold water, ideally as cold as you can get it without freezing and then leaving it in your fridge to extract and brew overnight. The ideal brewing temperature is ideally 35F to 41F, which is 2C to 5C.
This cold temperature extracts the low temperature compounds during the brewing process and gives a very different flavor profile.
Cold brew is not iced coffee and should not be confused with each other. An iced coffee is brewed using hot water and thus extracts the same flavor compounds as a regular hot brewed coffee. Once brewed, using regular hot brewing techniques, an iced coffee is then chilled using ice.
It is a hot brewed coffee served with ice and chilled by the ice.
Cold brew coffee never gets hot and is not brewed with hot water. A different set of flavor compounds are extracted.
Here is a brief list of the differences between a cold brew Vs hot brew coffee:
- A cold brew has a lower acidity than a hot brew and is easier on your stomach.
- Cold brew coffee takes 12 to 24 hours to brew. Hot brew takes minutes to brew.
- Cold brewed coffee is brewed in cold water, preferably as cold as you can get. Hot brewed coffee is brewed in water just below boiling point.
- Cold brew is mellow, far less bitter and has a more rounded flavor profile.
- Hot brew is more bitter and sharper in taste.
- Cold Brewed coffee is less bitter than s hot brewed coffee.
Read: Is iced coffee good for you?
Cold Brew Vs Hot Brew Caffeine Content
It is hard to compare the caffeine content of a cold brew Vs hot brew coffee as you must use the same beans and the same grind size to have an accurate measurement of how much caffeine is in each drink.
In short, the fewer variables there are, the more accurate the comparison will be.
Generally, speaking, a cold-brewed coffee will have more caffeine than most hot-brewed coffee due to having a much stronger and more concentrated coffee to water ratio with a typical coffee to water ratio being 1:4 or 1:5 for cold brew and 1:8 to 1:12 and even 1:15 for hot brew – depending on which brewing technique is used.
Read: Can you heat up cold brew coffee?
Cold Brew Vs Hot Brew Taste
This is one of the most important aspects that people and coffee drinkers want to know, how does cold brew and hot brewed coffee compare in the taste test.
Let’s start with the taste profile of a cold brew coffee.
Cold Brew Coffee Taste Profile
A cold brew has a smooth, sweet and light and bright taste that is low in acid. The method of brewing is slow and seems to take an eternity, but this brewing method extracts the natural flavors, which is why a lot of people love cold coffee brewing.
Depending on your beans and their roast, you can expect to draw out the fruity flavor and floral notes.
Hot Brewed Coffee Taste Profile
Hot brewed coffee is more bitter and more acidic than a cold brew. This stands equal for all roast levels when comparing the two brewing techniques.
The coffee plant and its berries and seeds – which are effectively what we brew are very sensitive to temperature and brewing time. Hot brewing is quicker but also extracts more of the compounds and results in a greater level of acidity.
What Are The Benefits Of Drinking Cold Brew Coffee?
There are many benefits to drinking cold brew coffee, one of which is the fact that it is an amazingly delicious and refreshing summer drink that you can enjoy.
It’s low in acid which reduces the possibility of acid reflux and has many health benefits that do include being easier on your stomach.
Some would say the higher caffeine content is a plus point, particularly as there are health benefits associated with that such as improved physical performance at the gym and increased metabolic rate, which would make cold brew coffee good for maintaining body weight and hitting weight goals.
As a coffee lover, for me the stand-out benefit is enjoying the unique flavors of the origin with your specialty coffee beans and a different and unique flavor of coffee than you would have had you hot brewed your beans is what I love cold brew for, and it is certainly a big plus.
If you are a daring and gifted home barista, you can attempt to make a truly amazing coffee that is a blend of hot and cold brew mixing both the high and low temperature compounds.
Pro Tip: To make you cold brew coffee beverages, you better make cold brew coffee ice cubes and use those instead of regular ice cubes. The result will be a coffee that does not dilute as the ice melts as you slowly sip away.
Can I Heat A Cold Brewed Coffee?
A common question that gets asked is about cold brew coffee and enjoying it warm. The great news is that you can do that with no worries at all.
When you do heat up your cup of coffee that has been originally cold brewed, it will taste more or less the same as it does when it is cold. The flavor profile is not changed.
You can play around with your cold brew coffee and use it to make an iced latte, Frappuccino or as the base for other coffee drinks that you wish to enjoy cold.
Frequently Asked Questions About Cold Brew Vs Hot Brew
Is Cold Brew Better Than Hot Brew?
What is better is subjective, what can be said is that cold brew and hot brew are both different and produce different tasting coffees. I love a great, and well-made cold brew in the summer and enjoy a proper hot coffee during the cold winters.
Some coffee enthusiasts and coffee lovers would prefer and say that a cold brew is better because it is on average 66% less acidic and less bitter than hot coffee.
Is Cold Brew Healthier Than Hot Coffee?
Yes, it has been claimed in many studies and proper peer reviewed research that cold brew has more health benefits than regular hot brewed coffee. This is predominantly because of the reduced acidity and fewer calories from the added milk and sugar as cold brew is more often than not enjoyed black and sugar-free.
Is Cold Brew Stronger Than Regular Brew?
Regular hot extraction coffee brewing methods extract a greater amount of caffeine from the coffee beans but the greater concentration of coffee to water in the coffee to water ratio used when brewing cold brew coffee results in a greater amount of caffeine in a cold brew.
Is Starbucks Cold Brew Stronger Than Espresso?
There is more caffeine in a 12 ounce (360 ml) cup of cold brew coffee than a once ounce shot of espresso at Starbucks.
On a per-ounce basis, an espresso has more caffeine.
Is Cold Brew Coffee Healthier Than Hot Coffee?
Technically speaking hot coffee is healthier than cold brew coffee due to the hot water extraction being able to extract a greater concentration of antioxidants, flavonoids and healthy phenolic compounds.
due to the greater coffee to water ratio of cold brew coffee you have a greater concentration of them.
What does this mean?
If the coffee to water ratio is the same for both a cold brew and a hot coffee, then the hot coffee will be the healthier of the two. Since the ratios are often 1:16 for hot brewed coffee and 1:8 for cold brew coffee, the cold brew has the greater concentration and is better for you.
What Is Difference In Hot And Cold Brew Coffee?
The biggest difference between the two is the temperature and the brew time.
The result of brewing at different temperatures, which for a cold brew coffee is the extraction of the low temperature compounds, which produces a rounder, well-balanced coffee that is less bitter and has a lower acidity than hot brew coffee.
Why Do People Prefer Cold Brew?
The cold brew method of brewing with cold water using coarse ground coffee beans and a very low temperature water produces coffee that is very easy to drink, tasty and is excellent for coffee drinkers that suffer acid reflux. It’s a coffee shop favorite because it tastes great and is easy to enjoy without sugar or milk added.
Is Cold Brew Easier On Stomach?
Yes, due to cold brew coffee producing a coffee that has up to 66% less acidity than other hot coffees or other regular coffee beverages means it is much easier on your stomach and easier to digest.
Frappé-Ing It All Up – Cold Brew Vs Hot Brew
I hope you have enjoyed that comparison of cold brew Vs hot brew coffee and rather than choosing one cup of coffee over the other or one brewing method vs another. I honestly encourage you to try both or try the coffee that you are the least familiar with to expand on your brewing skills and coffee knowledge.
…After all, coffee is love and love is coffee!
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