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Brewing coffee is definitely an art in and of itself. That’s why there are a dozen of different brewing methods that you can try. And undoubtedly one of the most popular ones is the cold brew technique. But what is cold brew coffee?
Cold brew coffee is a coffee made with cold or room temperature water instead of hot water as in espresso or regular drip coffee.
It relies on time instead of heat in order to extract all the oils, fats and solubles of the coffee beans.
And this brewing method is best paired with coarsely ground coffee that is then steeped in water for between 12 to 24 hours before serving.
That’s exactly what cold brew java is – coffee that’s isn’t made with hot water.
Let’s now take a closer look at all the details and why this brewing method is different from iced coffee, regular coffee etc.
Table of Contents
What Exactly is Cold Brew Coffee?
Cold brew coffee is a brewing technique that’s made using room temperature or cold water, instead of hot water as in regular coffee.
Now, the fact that the cold brew method relies on water that’s not hot means that the steeping period is way longer (typically 12-24 hours).
But thanks to the longer steeping time and cold or room temperature water, cold brew java has a taste that’s more balanced and mellow.
And that’s one of the primary reasons for the rise in popularity of cold brew java over the last couple of years.
What’s the Difference Between Cold Brew and Regular Coffee?
The main difference between the two is the brewing method used:
- Regular coffee is brewed using hot water
- Cold brew coffee is brewed by steeping the coffee beans in cold or room temp water for 12-24 hours
Clearly, it takes more time to prepare cold brew but once brewed (assuming you didn’t brew a single cup only), you have readily available coffee at your disposal.
While regular java doesn’t taste as good when it’s not hot anymore so you’ll have to brew a fresh cup each time for the best taste.
Some more differences between cold brew and hot coffee include:
- Bitterness – regular java is more bitter than cold brew
- Acidity – cold brew is less acidic than hot brew
And taste-wise, the difference is even more apparent:
- Regular (hot) brew – rounded flavor, gentle sweetness, pleasant aroma and crisp acidity
- Cold brew – smooth flavor, gentle hits of acidity, plentiful sweetness and zero bitterness
Lastly, both regular and cold brew coffee contain similar amounts of caffeine when diluted.
But it’s worth pointing out that cold brew is much more caffeine-packed when not diluted with water, milk or cream.
How Do You Make Cold Brew Coffee at Home?
First, get some coarsely ground coffee and then steep them for 12 to 24 hours in cold or room temperature water.
After that, here’s what you’ll need and how to actually prepare it…
Needed Ingredients And Equipment:
- 1 cup of coarse ground coffee beans (4 oz.)
- 4 cups of water (32 oz.)
- 1 large (48 oz.) plastic, glass or ceramic container
- Cheesecloth or a flour sack cloth
- Mason jar or a bottle for storing the coffee
- A strainer
How To Prepare Your Cold Brew:
- Put the coarsely ground beans into the 48-oz container
- Pour enough water on top so that all coffee is nicely steeped (1:1 ratio)
- Stir the coffee-water mixture gently for several seconds
- Cover the container with a lid (or even a small plate) and let it steep for 12-24 hours
- Strain your cold brew by using the strainer and cheesecloth (or flour sack cloth) and pouring it into a large container, bowl or a bigger cup
- Serve the coffee by diluting it with water or milk (add as much as you want)
- Pour the remaining cold brew java into a mason jar (or a bottle) and put it in the fridge (store for up to 1 week)
Cold Brew Coffee Benefits
There are plenty of awesome benefits when it comes to drinking cold brew coffee and here are the best ones:
Cold Brew Is Less Acidic (And Easier On Your Stomach)
Do you suffer from heartburn or acid reflux related to drinking regular coffee?
Then you might want to try cold brew as it contains less acid than its hot counterpart and it’s also smoother.
The pH of cold brew is 6.31, while hot coffee’s pH is 5.48 pH, making cold brew more alkaline and less acididc!
That’s because the heat used when brewing regular coffee means that more oils are released, which results in a more acidic drink!
All of this will be great news if regular coffee upsets your stomach.
Cold Brew Is Naturally Sweeter
Thanks to its less acidic nature, cold brew is naturally sweeter than hot brew.
This is greats for those of you who have a sweet tooth but also for those of you who keep track of their calorie intake.
Drinking a naturally sweeter cup of Joe means that you’re less likely to add sugar or other artificial sweeteners to your java.
And not adding any extra calories to your coffee is especially great if you have certain weight loss goals.
Cold Brew Provides A Stronger Caffeine Kick
Cold brew coffee is much as x2 more caffeine-laden than a hot brew, which is great news if you want an extra caffeine kick.
However, this is only the case if you don’t dilute your cold brew drink, if at the very least if you dilute it only slightly.
Because regardless of whether you’re adding water, milk or cream to your cold brew, they all dilute it, decreasing the caffeine concentration.
So if you want a stronger drink in terms of caffeine content, consume your cold brew as less diluted as possible.
Nonetheless, there are several factors that affect how powerful the caffeine kick of your cold brew will be:
- The kind of coffee beans that are you using (Robusta beans contain more caffeine)
- The amount of water, milk etc. that you’re diluting it with (less diluted = more caffeine)
- The steeping time (the longer it steeps, the more concentrated it’ll be)
What Is The Difference Between Cold Brew Coffee and Iced Coffee?
Iced coffee is brewed using hot coffee, while cold brew is made with cold or room temperature water.
Another key difference is that when preparing cold brew java, you steep the coffee beans in water for 12 to 24 hours.
Both cold brew and iced coffee are served cold, unlike regular (hot) coffee.
Iced coffee, on the other hand, is prepared just as you’d brew your typical cup of Joe.
However, to make iced coffee icy you have to let it cool after it’s brewed and then add ice cubes.
What Is Dunkin Donuts Cold Brew Coffee?
Dunkin’ Donuts’ cold brew coffee drink saw the day of light in 2016 and it’s characterized by a 12-hour steeping period (in cold water).
This results in a cold brew drink that has an inherently sweeter flavor with notes of dark chocolate.
Also, Dunkin’ Donuts offers cold brew packs of their legendary cold brew for effortless, hassle-free preparation.
All that you have to do is steep each pack in cold water for 8 to 12 hours and you’ll have your smooth and rich cold brew java in the morning!
Now you finally know the answer to the puzzling question – what is cold brew coffee?
It’s simply a different brewing method that utilizes cold (or room temperature) water instead of the hot water that’s generally used for brewing java.
And of course, it typically takes around 12 to 24 hours to prepare cold brew coffee.
That’s because you have to steep the coffee beans in water for quite a bit before all the good stuff is extracted.
Have you personally tried cold brew coffee and/or have you ever using this brewing method?
Drop a comment in the comment section below with your answer!
Last update on 2021-01-11 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API