5 Ways Cold Brew Is Superior to Iced Coffee
Cold brew is all the rage in hipster coffee shops around the world right now. And slowly but surely, it is becoming the cold coffee drink of choice among casual drinkers.
But it’s important to make the distinction between cold brew and iced coffee, as they’re very different beasts.
What Is Cold Brew Coffee?
The iced coffee that people have consumed for many years is usually just an ordinary batch of hot-brewed coffee that has been chilled down. You simply brew your coffee in the normal way, chill it, and add ice.
If you’re using quality beans, a simple iced coffee can be a lovely thing. But if you really want to explore the complex flavor characteristics of the bean, a cold brew is probably the way to go.
Cold brew coffee is made using cold water. The extraction process takes up to 24 hours as a result, but the results are as intense as they are refreshing. There’s no heat involved at all, so the flavors are often more mellow than those delivered by hot-brewed varietals.
So why go to all the bother of making cold brew, when you’ve been happily drinking iced coffee for years? Well, there are several reasons, but here are five of the most compelling.
1. It Just Tastes Better
While there are some coffee-lovers out there who prefer iced coffee, more and more people are beginning to make cold brew their preferred option. Yes, the brewing process can be a pain (you constantly need to plan ahead), but the flavor is more condensed and refined. A lot of the bitterness is lost, and the hot water never burns the beans. The result is a mellow, balanced and refreshing drink that that possesses qualities iced coffee doesn’t.
2. It’s Never Watered Down
One of the main problems with iced coffee is the fact that adding ice usually waters down the drink and adversely affects the flavor. But cold brew doesn’t require ice, as it comes straight out of the fridge after a 24-hour brew. You get consistently great coffee every time.
3. It’s Less Acidic
The average batch of cold brew is significantly less acidic than iced coffee. While some acidity in coffee is a good thing, too much can leave it feeling overly sharp and bitter. Acidity also causes various health ailments, such as heartburn and tooth damage. A longer brewing time means the natural flavors of the bean are extracted gradually, so you don’t get the unwanted acidity at the end of the process.
4. You Can Serve It Hot
Now that you’ve learned about the benefits of cold brew, imagine it served hot. You get all of the benefits associated with a longer brewing process, as well as the hot cup of coffee you rely on every morning. Simply pour your coffee in a pan, and heat it on your stove. Those same, balanced flavor profiles will still be intact when you take your first sip.
5. There’s No Waste
You should be able to keep cold brew in your fridge for up to two weeks. A lot of people who make batches of hot coffee can’t drink it all before it goes cold — and end up throwing most of it away. Make large batches of cold brew in advance, and date dot them to ensure you consume them in order. Whether you want to drink them cold or heat them up, they’re always there for you.
If you haven’t already done so, give cold brew a try — you might just get a lovely surprise.