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Hot brewed vs. Cold-brewed Coffee: All You Need To Know

Hot brewed vs. Cold-brewed Coffee: All You Need To Know

Published by Programme B

166.63 million bags of coffee, each weighing 60 kilograms, are consumed every day globally. This makes coffee the world’s most consumed beverage. 

People love their coffee for different reasons and consume it in different ways. A common debate among coffee lovers is whether to take the beverage hot or cold. Does it even matter how you consume it? 

Well, here is all you need to know about your favorite drink. 

Hot vs. Cold

One thing about cold coffee is convenience. Today, you can find the best cold brew coffee in stores packaged in bottles. You buy and drink on the go.

How does either come about? The common assumption is that cold-brewed coffee is brewed hot then allowed to cool or cooled with ice. Well, not really. That is an iced coffee. 

Cold-brewed coffee is brewed with cold water. Hot brewed coffee is brewed with hot water. 

The final result from the two methods differs in acidity, taste, aroma, and bitterness. 

Cold vs. Hot Brewed Coffee: The Differences

There are more significant differences between hot and cold-brewed coffees than temperature. 

For ardent coffee fans, a cold-brewed coffee tastes mildly different from a hot brewed coffee. This is because the ingredients released vary depending on how the coffee is brewed. 

Here are the fundamental differences between the two:

  1. The main one is that cold-brewed coffees are never hot at any point. They are not made by cooling hot brewed coffee: they are made from brewing coffee in cold water.
  2. Cold brewed coffee is less bitter: acids break down into bitter compounds at hotter temperatures. Cold brewing extracts compounds much slowly and changes what is extracted.

The result of a cold brew is a less acidic, less bitter drink. 

  1. Cold brews are mellower, smooth, and more give more rounded flavors. On the other hand, hot brews have a sharper taste which is more direct and can get slightly bitter
  2. Hot brews are ready in a matter of minutes, while cold brews take hours to brew. A good cold brew should take a minimum of 6 hours to prepare. An excellent one should take 12 to 24 hours. 

Can You Heat a Cold Brew Coffee?

Say you love hot beverages. But then again, you love the qualities of a slow cold-brewed coffee. Do you have to give up one for the other? 

The answer is no. You can heat your cold-brewed coffee to enjoy all the rounded flavors and enjoy it hot or warm. 

The Verdict

While hot-brewed coffee is more common and takes less time, a cold-brewed coffee gives you a milder, more enjoyable mug of coffee. 

Lowered acidity levels in cold-brewed coffees also allow people with certain health conditions to enjoy their coffee without suffering adverse effects.

Photo by Taryn Elliott from Pexels