Cold Brew is its Own Breed
Throughout the summer months and often year round, coffee fanatics turn to either iced coffee or cold brew for a blast of chilled caffeine. Iced coffee has remained a favorable option for many, but the popularity of cold brew increased when it was added to the Starbucks menu in 2015, leaving many customers confused on the differences between the two coffee cousins. Although a common misconception, cold brew is not the same as iced coffee and here’s why:
Simply put, iced coffee is cooled coffee poured over ice. It’s brewed as hot coffee with a brew time of a few minutes. Meanwhile, cold brew is made with ground coffee soaked in cold water for 12-24 hours, creating a coffee concentrate that can be diluted with milk or water. The longer the cold brew steeps, the stronger the flavor will be. Cold brew refers to the temperature of the brewing process, not the end product.
Because cold brew uses time instead of heat to extract the coffee’s oil, the flavor is usually less acidic and less bitter than regular coffee. This steeping method maximizes flavor and minimizes bitterness. Cold brew’s smooth, aromatic, and sweet taste can last up to 2 weeks while iced coffee tastes best within one day and may often taste diluted.
Cold brew provides many benefits compared to coffee, offering drinkers a smoother and healthier version of their favorite morning beverage. On average, cold brew contains more than twice the amount of caffeine than regular coffee due to its longer contact with water. Cold brew tends to be easier on sensitive stomachs and less likely to stain teeth due to its low acidity content, thanks to its long steeping process where oils are released. Cold brew may contain more antioxidants than traditional coffee. Without heat involved in the brewing process, there is less extraction of nutrients, including chlorogenic acid, the body’s natural anti-inflammatory.
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