Cold brew coffee seems to be everywhere these days. Cold brew cocktails have been popping up in bars all over the country, and Starbucks just rolled out a Pumpkin Cream Cold Brew, its first new pumpkin coffee drink in more than 10 years.
But what exactly is cold brew coffee? Isn’t it just glorified iced coffee?
There are actually some pretty major distinctions. Death Wish Coffee breaks down the differences between cold brew, iced coffee, hot brew, and espresso:
Basically, cold brew coffee is brewed with cold water and steeped for at least 24 hours, whereas iced coffee is brewed hot and then cooled down. Cold brew coffee is less diluted and has a much smoother flavor profile.
While it may seem that cold brew coffee has had a surge of popularity recently, its actually been rising in ranks for the past few years. Why is cold brew becoming so popular?
- It has surprising health benefits. Obviously, like hot coffee, cold brew has caffeine, which can boost your body’s metabolic rate. But unlike coffee, cold brew has been found to be slightly less acidic, which means it may irritate your stomach less.
- It’s smoother than hot or iced coffee. Because cold brew has never been heated, its chemistry doesn’t change so the coffee maintains its mellow flavor. It’s often less bitter and sweeter as well.
- It has the same caffeine content as hot coffee. Iced coffee gets diluted with the addition of ice. Cold brew, however, should have the same amount of caffeine as hot coffee as its brewed cold from the start.
- It lasts longer. While hot coffee generally only tastes good for a few hours after brewing, undiluted cold brew coffee can be stored in the fridge for up to two weeks.
- It makes for some amazing cocktails. Its smooth, sweet flavor profile makes it the perfect accompaniment to many different spirits to create a variety of interesting cocktails. Perfect for brunch!
What do you think? Does cold brew coffee live up to the hype?