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Cold Brew versus Hot Coffee

Jan 05, 2022

Cold Brew versus Hot Coffee

No coffee lover can imagine themselves without a cold brew in hand during the hot summer months! The refreshing, fruity and fresh flavour of cold brewed coffee is gaining ground fast against hot coffee. But what is it that makes the cold brew so different to hot coffee?

This is exactly what I am going to explore today. Let’s find out about all the differences between hot coffee and cold brew and I am sure that by the end of this article you will know which one is for you!

Cold Brew vs Hot Coffee: A Comparison

The Water Temperature

Compared to conventional coffee preparation with hot water, cold brew preparation requires either cold or room temperature water. For all of you coffee connoisseurs out there, this basically means a great change in flavour. 

Simply put: the hotter the water, the more bitter substances are released. Exactly the opposite happens with cold brew: the longer the coffee is extracted in cold or room temperature water, the more aromas are released from the coffee, making it taste fruitier and milder.

The Flavor Profile

Cold brew coffee is often referred to as cold drip coffee because the process involves a prolonged extraction of water over ice. This results in a much lower acidity, which makes it more fruity and fresh than hot coffee.

The smooth flavour profile is also caused by the longer brewing time and the cool water temperature. Cold brew coffee has a flavour profile that is clean and crisp. It also has a light and smooth mouthfeel and a floral aroma.

In contrast to this, hot coffee is often associated with bold flavour profiles and intense notes. It has a full body, heavy mouthfeel and a hint of smokiness. Basically, the flavour profile of hot coffee is all about balance.

The intensity of the flavours match with the intensity of the aroma and mouthfeel to create an addictive tasting experience that leaves no doubt as to what you are drinking - a hot cup of coffee!

The Versatility

When it comes to hot coffee, there are so many different coffee drinks you can choose from! The versatility of hot coffee is something that has made it one of the most popular beverages around the world.

From filter coffee and espresso, all the way to instant coffee and K-Cups, you can find a hot coffee style that suits your taste buds better than any other beverage on the planet! Cold brew, on the other hand, is not as versatile as hot coffee, but it can be used in other creative ways, including making cocktails and coffee sodas.

The Caffeine Intake

A common question is whether or not there is more caffeine in hot coffee or cold brew. Cold brewed coffee generally has more caffeine than hot coffee. And I say generally because it is not always the case. Let me explain.

If I was comparing equal amounts of coffee beans and water for brewing both hot coffee and cold brew then hot coffee would have more caffeine. That happens because hot water extracts more caffeine than room temperature water. 

However, when making a cold brew, we typically use more coffee than we do for a hot brew, so in this case we are not exactly comparing equal amounts of coffee beans and water, are we? So, this is why cold brew generally offers a more intense caffeine boost than hot coffee.

You can already tell that there are some pretty significant differences between cold brew and hot coffee. Many people enjoy the perks of a cold brew drink during the summer. It’s a great way to beat the heat and have a refreshing beverage at the same time. Although, there is nothing stopping you from drinking it all year round!

As for hot coffee, it has been a staple in people’s lives for such a long time, I am not sure it will ever be dethroned. At the end of the day, it’s all a matter of personal preference, so enjoy whichever one you choose!