When you think of coffee, the first thing that can come to mind is "Wow that's hot!" Although it is the most common way to drink coffee, it is not the only way to enjoy it. Many types of coffee can be prepared as cold drinks.
At this juncture, you might ask, "Does drinking cold brew coffee have any benefit?"
Coffee is the second most consumed beverage in the world, only behind water. Some figures indicate that about 2 billion cups are consumed per day. That's so many cups of coffee.
But what happens when summer comes? With quite high temperatures, do you still fancy a coffee?
Although there are many people who remain faithful to a good hot coffee, there is a more fitting alternative in the middle of July and it is cold or iced coffee.
This can be a more refreshing substitute, but you have to keep in mind that it may not provide the same benefits as standard coffee, since the temperature influences its properties.
By drinking 3 cups of how brewed coffee a day, you could potentially reduce the risk of serious conditions such as cancer or neurological diseases. But what benefits does cold brew coffee have on the body?
What is a cold brew coffee?
First, cold brew coffee is not the same drink as iced coffee. Iced coffee is nothing more than regular coffee served over ice, mixed with milk, or left unflavored.
This process is exactly the same as the preparation of iced tea. Cold brew coffee is made from coffee beans, which have been previously soaked in cold water for 12 to 24 hours. That is enough time to extract the flavor, caffeine, and sugars directly from the coffee beans, just like hot water would.
The process of soaking is more beneficial for the coffee bean since it does not end with the bitter taste that can be produced by the roasting process.
What differentiates cold brewed coffee from iced coffee?
- Cold brew coffee is coffee made from coffee grounds that have been soaked in water for several hours at room temperature, while iced coffee is cold coffee, usually sweetened or flavored and served with ice.
- One basic difference between cold coffee and iced coffee is that cold coffee is made with room temperature (sometimes cold) water, while iced coffee is made with hot water.
- When making cold coffee, you must let the coffee sit in water for several hours; however, making iced coffee does not require this.
- Another notable difference between cold brew and iced coffee is that cold brew is less acidic and less bitter than iced coffee, as it is not brewed with hot water.
- In most restaurants and coffee shops, cold brewed coffee is more expensive than iced coffee.
Benefits of drinking cold brew coffee
Like hot coffee, cold brew coffee is an extremely important source of energy.
Cold brew coffee not only preserves its properties but also multiplies its benefits; its flavor and aroma are better appreciated, it is healthier, hydrates more, and makes you happy.
So if you are a “team-cold-coffee” in summer, pour yourself a cup of cold brew coffee while you discover all the amazing benefits that come with drinking it!
1. Bigger flavor
When you drink cold brew coffee, its flavor intensifies, as well as its aroma, something that is not appreciated as much with hot coffee, as the nuances can be sometimes lost due to the heat. For this reason, many recommend to drink hot coffee once it has cooled for a bit. This allows those flavors to oxidize and develop.
Drinking cold brew coffee is healthier. Above all, it is healthier for the stomach and for the enamel of the teeth, since the acidity of hot coffee is more harmful. So by being cold, the acidity is lowered. Thus once in the body, it helps you to digest and feel better.
It is also an additional source of hydration, especially on hot days. Cold brew coffee consumed in moderate quantities provides hydrating qualities very similar to those of water. In addition, it is a plus, because when you are thirsty you take it off instantly since you do not have to wait for it to heat up. All advantages!
4. Improves physical performance
Coffee releases fatty acids from our adipose tissue, improving the physical performance of people who drink it before playing sports. The benefits of caffeine, coupled with refreshing cold brew coffee, gives you energy, relieves fatigue and drowsiness, and keeps you alert. In addition, it prepares the body for exercise and helps you lose weight and burn calories. Full of power!
5. You feel happier
Studies affirm that people who drink coffee tend to show a higher degree of happiness and have a lower risk of depression. Of course, this is something multifactorial, but diet greatly influences our mood and our brain. This benefit increases in the case of cold brew coffee since it is usually associated with a moment of relaxation, rather than with the cup of hot coffee that you drink to wake up in the morning or after meals. This too, however, is a matter of preference and habits.
Although there are special vessels to prepare cold brew coffee, you do not need any special equipment, other than:
- A coffee grinder
- A container to make the mixture and
- A strainer with a cloth or paper filter.
In case you want to make yourself a cold brew coffee but are confused about how to prepare it, here’s a recipe for you.
The recipe for cold brew coffee
You just have to put coarsely ground coffee in water, at the rate of one part coffee to four parts water by weight. With these proportions, a highly concentrated coffee is obtained, designed to be taken with ice.
With cold brew coffee, is it recommended to soak the ground coffee in room temperature water for at least 12 hours.
- 250 g of coarsely ground coffee
- 1 liter of room temp, weakly mineralized water
- Grind the 250 g of coffee so that it is thick.
- Put the freshly ground coffee and add the water.
- Stir slightly so that all the coffee is soaked and covered with a cloth or plastic or a lid.
- The coffee is left to rest for at least 12 hours and up to 24, either in the refrigerator (oxidation is attenuated), or at room temperature on the counter. We can gently stir it every 6 hours.
- After that time we filter the coffee through a cloth or a paper filter. The advantage of the fabric is that it allows us to squeeze it and accelerate the filtering, which we cannot do with the paper filter. That you have to be patient. Sometimes, cafes will also use a combination of both paper and cloth. This way, by filtering with both, the body of the coffee has no muddy fine grounds whatsoever.
- The concentrated coffee that is obtained must be diluted to consume it, adding twice or thrice as much water (or milk).
Common mistakes you should never make
Cold brew is not the same thing as pouring hot coffee over ice. Master the craft of perfect, rocket fuel-strength cold brew concentrate at home by avoiding these common blunders.
Cold brew is not just hot coffee poured over ice. No, the staggeringly expensive, shockingly strong iced coffee that runs through our veins all summer long is an entirely different beast, made by slow-steeping coffee beans before straining them out. The result is dark, intense, and can often be very bitter. Although it's not rocket science, figuring out how to make cold brew at home is a little more complicated than pouring water over a batch of beans and forgetting about it.
Avoid these common mistakes, and you'll have a good cold brew coffee.
1. Using the good beans
While we don't advocate using year-old beans from the sale rack at the grocery store, it would be a mistake to "waste"
your super-fresh, super high-end, single-origin beans on cold brew. But how old is too old?
You can still get a quality batch of cold brew with beans that are several weeks old. I wouldn’t let them get too far out (as in months) or you will start to notice some pretty lifeless qualities but yes, the cold brew process is much more forgiving in regards to the age of coffee.
2. Grinding the beans too fine
Some methods of brewing, like pour-over, call for finely ground beans. But in cold brew, because you're steeping them for upwards of 12 hours, you should grind the beans coarsely. Coffee that is too finely ground will "over-extract."
Over-extracted (steeped for too long) coffee is bitter coffee, which no one wants (although it does explain a lot about some recent cups of cold brew we've had).
3. Using the wrong ratio
The basic formula for cold brew is one pound of ground coffee beans to one gallon of water. Unless you're running a small café out of your kitchen (or just plan on being really productive), you likely won't need to make that much. A more home brewing-friendly ratio is a quarter-pound of beans to four cups of water. Scale down or drink up.
4. Freaking out about the water temperature
Despite what you may have heard in the past, you can start the steeping process with whatever temperature your heart desires. Hot water kick-starts the brewing party, which is useful if you're in a hurry — say, if you're starting a batch at 10 p.m. and you'll need it at 6 the next morning. That said, hot water might highlight different flavors in the coffee — which could make for a fun experiment if you're the scientific method type. But if it's a classic, simple cup of cold brew you want, start with room-temperature water.
5. Not diluting the concentrate
The standard time for steeping is 24 hours. Be aware that will result in an intensely flavored (and caffeinated) coffee concentrate. When you're ready to drink, dilute it with water (adding cream or alt-milks will also cut the intensity). When made according to the 1 pound:1 gallon ratio, your cold brew will contain roughly twice the amount of caffeine as a hot drip coffee. Phillips suggests cutting that 50/50 with water. Not only will that keep your caffeine consumption at bay, but it will also mitigate the bitterness.
6. Storing it Too Long in the Fridge
Unlike hot coffee, which is pretty much crap after a few hours, cold brew will keep in your fridge. As an undiluted concentrate, it'll keep for up to two weeks, although the flavor quality will degrade after the first week. If you've cut the concentrate with water, that shortens the shelf life to a mere 2-3 days.
The temperature of the cold brew coffee facilitates its consumption, as it can be consumed at the time of serving. In addition, you do not require a special container to conserve heat, as is the case with hot coffee. You can pour it into a plastic bottle and drink it at any time.
Try the delicious taste of cold brew coffee and add this incredible drink to your daily routine, regardless of whether you prefer it hot or cold.