Don’t we all have a memory or two with hot brewed coffee? That neat little bed of coffee ground laid out on the filter top and stacked tight. Pouring some piping hot water on it and waiting as some super-hot, fresh coffee extract drips through the filter into the tumbler below. Mmm.
We have all seen this happen as children, haven’t we? In fact, we have gotten so used to it that we don’t really sit back and think about other (or better) ways of making coffee. After all, why bother when hot brewed coffee is a tried and tested method, right?
Hold on for a second there, because it sure is worth a second thought!
Yes, hot brewed coffee does bring out a whole lot of flavor from the coffee ground. But did you know, that along with the flavor, it also pulls out some really bitter and acidic compounds? And that too much of it could mess your belly up and give you about of acidity?
Enter the Cold Brewed Coffee. 2017 and 2018 were the years of the cold brew as it became one of the most readily adopted coffee variants all over the world. It’s different from hot brews in a number of ways, starting with the most basic difference- the way it’s made!
How Is Cold Brewed Coffee Different From Hot Brewed Coffee
Here, it’s the temperature of the water that does the trick. Hot water, when poured into the coffee ground, settles into it and pulls out a variety of compounds. Really hot water causes some of the acidic compounds to mix with oxygen and become extra bitter. And if the water is a few degrees less hot, the coffee becomes sour because it wasn’t hot enough to let the flavor balance out. Both ways, it’s a real headache.
Cold brews, on the other hand, play an entirely different game. The cold water makes the extraction process look like a super slo-mo version of the normal one. It takes anywhere from eighteen to twenty-four hours for the cold water to settle in and bring the compounds and flavors out.
And this makes ALL the difference in the world. Since the water is cold, it allows for a whole bunch of other compounds to wake up and sneak into the mix. This radically changes the flavor by kicking out the more acidic compounds and bringing in the softer ones.
So, those annoying little acids that become bitter or super acidic with hot water? Nope, they don’t even show up here. This makes cold brews extra smooth and easy to drink, making for a truly fascinating coffee experience.
Cold Brewed Coffee Tastes Better Than Hot Brewed Coffee
‘I got the right temperature to shelter you from the sto-o-orm’, sang Sean Paul in his hit 2009 single. This is relevant because it’s basically the exact thing cold water would say to the coffee ground when being poured into it.
Hot water is like a slap on the face for the coffee ground, shocking it and waking up just about everything inside it in an instant. Among the things that wake up are a bunch of aromatic oils. All that heat not only wakes them up but also causes them to evaporate into the air, giving hot brewed coffee its famous aroma.
Cold brew, like good old Sean Paul, shelters these guys from the storm. Rather than waking them up and pushing them to evaporate, cold water keeps these guys hanging around in the extract. And this changes cold brewed coffee’s entire flavour profile. Although less aromatic than hot brewed coffee (since the oils stay put), cold brews make up for it with the taste, thanks to these oils!
This gives cold brews their rounded off, sweeter, and gentler taste. In fact, if your palate is delicate enough, you’ll even be able to taste some floral notes in cold brews, which will hugely add to your experience!
Cold Brewed Coffee Is 100X Less Acidic Than Hot Brewed Coffee
Picture it like this. Hot water is that frantic little child that storms into the houses and knocks on every single door, waking everybody up. He is super impatient and waits for no one, literally dragging people off their beds in some cases. Yep, total nutcase.
Cold water, however, is a gentler and more relaxed kid. She just walks up to people’s doors and knocks, waits, knocks again, and keeps doing this until they decide to wake up on their own and come out.
This is exactly what happens within the coffee ground. Hot water brings out everything, including the bitter and strong acidic compounds that go harsh on your tummy and cause acid reflux This is why that second cuppa of the morning causes that burning sensation down your throat.
On the other hand, because cold water takes its own sweet time to go about its business, cold brews tend to taste gentler and softer. This also means that they’re vastly less acidic and bitter, going super easy on your tummy and never failing to refresh you.
Cold Brewed Coffee Mixes Well With Lots Of Drinks
The real fun comes when you start mixing your coffee with other things. This is where cold brews really step it up and come into their own.
Although hot coffee has its dedicated bunch of fans and is (according to them) oh-so-amazing, it is still just hot coffee at the end of the day. It doesn’t really go well with other things and is best had on its own.
Cold brews on the other hand, taste absolutely awesome when mixed with just about anything.
✔️ Cold brew with condensed milk?
✔️ Cold brew with almond milk?
✔️ Cold brew with tonic water and lime?
✔️ And here’s the real kicker- cold brewed coffee served hot? Check! Just mix the cold brew with some hot water, and you’re good to go!
After years of fighting acidity caused by hot coffee, discovering cold brew felt like unlocking the next level in the game of life for us. This is why we go to such great ends to get the best of the best Arabica beans from India and brew small and tasty little batches of some ready-to-drink cold brew from them.
The next time your stomach acts up or you find yourself craving for all that coffee awesomeness without the burn, look no further than your doorstep.