In a world where wellness opinions run the gamut, coffee (and when to drink it—if ever) is no stranger to a brewing controversy. You either love it, hate it, or are trying to quit it. But for those of us who need our coffee fix, today we’re dipping into a house favorite: cold brew coffee. With its mellow demeanor and refreshing nature, cold brew is an underrated elixir—IMO. Poured over ice, nothing compares to those first few sips (especially on a hot summer day!). That said, coffee’s lack of wellness perks is a common nutrition myth. It’s time to change that narrative and unravel cold brew benefits. Let’s dip into the advantages of this beloved bean—a chilled champion to savor all season long.
Cold Brew Coffee Enthusiasts, Unite
For most months of the year, hot coffee steals the spotlight. But with warm weather underway, let’s explore the underrated benefits of cold brew coffee. From its delicate and flavorful profile to its digestive-friendly nature, this chilled delight has so much to offer.
With an extended shelf life, surprising health perks, and better caffeine control, cold brew coffee is a versatile companion for both coffee aficionados and health enthusiasts. When the craving for caffeine strikes, consider sipping on a glass of cold brew (or a delicious iced caramel latte). Cheers!
How is cold brew coffee made?
Via a simple brewing process. A ritual in and of itself—with or without a dreamy coffee nook—cold brew coffee is a delight to make. Cold brew begins with coarse coffee grounds that are soaked, for an extended period, in cold or room temp water (think: 12-24 hours). As the grounds steep, flavors and compounds release. Eventually, the liquid is filtered to separate the grounds and concentrated coffee extract. The result? A concentrate that’s smooth and flavorful.
From here, it’s enjoyed as is or diluted with water or milk. Thanks to the absence of heat, cold brew results in a less acidic and less bitter flavor profile. In turn, showcasing the beans’ natural sweetness and nuanced flavors.
Hot Brew Vs. Cold Brew Coffee
Ultimately, this comes down to personal preference. If you’re a coffee drinker, you likely know that hot coffee offers a more traditional and robust flavor experience. It’s a great choice for enjoying the aromatic and bold characteristics of coffee. On the other hand, cold brew has a smoother and less acidic taste, making it a favorable option for a milder cup. It’s also a popular choice for sensitive stomachs.
Hot Brew Coffee
This is the classic brewing method, and it involves pouring hot water over ground coffee beans. Making hot coffee is relatively quick (as in, a few minutes). This results in a robust and aromatic cup of coffee with a wide range of flavors—from fruity and floral to nutty and chocolatey.
Cold Brew Coffee
Cold brew coffee, on the other hand, is a brewing method that involves steeping coarse coffee grounds in cold or room-temp water—for an extended period. The slow and gentle extraction process gradually extracts the flavors, oils, and caffeine. The resulting brew is a concentrated coffee extract. It’s known for its smooth and less acidic taste (compared to hot brew).
7 Benefits of Cold Brew Coffee
Beyond its refreshing allure, this underrated brew holds a trove of hidden benefits. Grab your favorite tumbler and get sipping! Below are a few lesser-known advantages of cold brew coffee.
Smooth and less acidic
Thanks to its extended steeping time (and lack of heat extraction), there’s less acidity and bitterness—compared to hot brew coffee. In turn, this makes cold brew a gentler option for sensitive tummies.
Lowers caffeine jitters
Cold brew coffee is often brewed with a higher coffee-to-water ratio, resulting in a more concentrated brew. That said, this works in your favor! You have the flexibility to dilute it to your desired strength. Enjoy the flavor and caffeine content without experiencing the jitters that especially affect women’s hormones and are often associated with hot coffee.
Due to its lower acidity levels, cold brew coffee is generally easier on the digestive system. It may cause less discomfort for individuals who are prone to acid reflux, heartburn, or other digestive woes.
Long shelf life
Prepare it in large batches when you meal prep and store in the refrigerator for up to two weeks.
Versatile and refreshing
When it comes to enjoying cold brew, the sky’s the limit. Serve it over ice for a refreshing bevvie, or diluted with water or milk. It’s a great base for creative iced coffee drinks.
Potential antioxidant benefits
Like hot brew coffee, cold brew coffee contains antioxidants. And these can help fight inflammation. Additionally, coffee’s antioxidants may have a positive impact on brain health. Studies suggest that regular coffee consumption may lower the risk of neurodegenerative diseases, such as Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s disease.
That’s right. Cold brew coffee’s lower acidity may be less harmful to tooth enamel compared to hot brew coffee, which can erode enamel over time.
How To Drink Cold Brew Coffee
Let your taste buds guide the way. When it comes to enjoying cold brew coffee, there are numerous ways to savor it:
- Iced cold brew. Fill a glass with ice cubes and pour cold brew coffee over them. The melting ice will dilute the concentrate to your desired strength.
- Cold brew latte. Combine equal parts of cold brew coffee and your choice of milk (dairy or plant-based) in a glass filled with ice. Stir well. For a touch of sweetness, add a drizzle of honey, monk fruit drops, or a sprinkle of cinnamon.
- Cold brew milkshake. Blend together a scoop of vanilla ice cream, a splash of cold brew coffee, and milk until smooth and frothy. Yum, yum, yum.
- Cold brew affogato. Scoop a generous serving of ice cream (chocolate or vanilla) into a wide glass. Pour cold brew coffee over the ice cream and watch as it melds into a luscious combination of flavors and textures. This treat is irresistible.
- Cold brew mocktail. Mix cold brew coffee with sparkling water or tonic water for a fizzy and invigorating non-alcoholic beverage. Add a splash of citrus juice, a sprig of fresh mint, or a dash of flavored syrup.
Ways To Make Your Cold Brew Healthier
- Sip it with (or after) breakfast. This will support blood sugar and hormone balance.
- Dilute and hydrate. Cold brew concentrate can be quite strong, so dilute it with water or unsweetened plant-based milk to reduce the overall caffeine content. Adding water not only helps achieve your desired strength but also keeps you hydrated.
- Opt for natural sweeteners. Avoid adding excessive amounts of refined sugars—opt for a bit of maple syrup, honey, or for a blood sugar-friendly option, monk fruit.
- Choose high-quality, organic coffee beans. Ensure you’re getting the best possible flavor and minimizing exposure to pesticides!
The Best Cold Brew Brands
Craving a tall glass of cold brew? Same. These are our go-to brews for shuttling kids around town, tackling an overflowing inbox, and ritualizing a quiet afternoon moment.