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Cold Brew Coffee vs Regular Coffee — What’s The Deal?

How do you like your coffee? Smooth and sweet, or floral and more acidic? Do you drink it black or do you always find yourself putting cream and a hint of sugar in each cup? Everyone has their distinct coffee preference, it seems. Though some people are more particular about what makes up their cup of joe than others, one thing remains constant: the love of coffee! That’s something that everyone can get behind.

Exploring Cold Brew Coffee

When it comes to coffee preferences, are you in the know about cold brew coffee? Of course, cold brew coffee is nothing new to hit the barista scene. We’re hardly touting this chilling alternative to regular hot coffee as a brand new trend, but cold brew has gained notable popularity in the past few years. So why bring it up in today’s blog post? Fair question.

Purchasing Gourmet Coffee Online? Think Cold Brew!

As a shameless plug, we’d like to inform you that Unique Coffee Roasters, your source for gourmet coffee online and in Staten Island, offers some of the very best cold brew whole bean coffee known to man. Our signature Guatemala Cold Brew Blend consists of single-origin, fair trade organic beans from the Quetzaltenango region of southwestern Guatemala. Perfect for those just getting into cold brew coffee, our gourmet coffee enthusiasts rate this as a three out of seven on our roast intensity scale. A perfect balance of light and sweet, this cold brew blend is something that you don’t want to miss out on.

Perhaps we’ve enticed you, perhaps we haven’t — enough about our incredible cold brew blend. You’re here to learn more about how cold brew coffee differs from regular coffee, so we’ll have to deliver on that topic.

More Than Just Iced Coffee

That’s right — you can’t take regular hot coffee and put ice in it and call it “cold brew” just because the temperature of the beverage has changed. As the name implies, cold brew coffee concerns the way that the coffee itself is actually brewed. Generally, cold brew coffee is brewed at room temperature or cold water over a 12 to 24-hour time period depending on the beans used. The coffee grounds are soaked during this time and are eventually strained like you would make tea. As no hot water is used during the brewing process, cold brew coffee generally has more of a full body flavor compared to its conventional hot counterpart, while being a little less acidic than iced coffee

A Concentrated Mix

Let this be clear: freshly-brewed cold brew coffee is mean to be cut with water because it comes out extremely concentrated. Yes, if you need to wake up on a dime, cold brew will get you where you need to be energy-wise. However, once the coffee is steeped, this potent concentrate is generally cut about 50/50 with water. Now, you have a drinkable cold brew that’s stronger than regular coffee, tastes less acidic (and is more palatable), and is also a nice, refreshing way to catch a caffeine buzz on a hot summer’s day. Sounds pretty good to us!

Traditional Hot-Brewed Drip Coffee

Standard drip coffee is simple: this tried-and-true method just involves drizzling hot water over dry coffee grounds and letting the solution drip through a filter and straight into a cup or a pot. Made very quickly in a matter of minutes, hot coffee is better for a quick and easy coffee fix, but generally has a stronger aroma with more of a sour or acidic taste to it as compared to its cold brew counterpart.

Looking At Some Chemistry

Without getting too “sciency” here, bear with us. When coffee grounds are mixed or soaked with water, chemical reactions occur that activate solubles from the beans. This gives the liquid coffee product its distinct “coffee” smell and taste. Coffee solubles generally dissolve the best between 195 to 205 degrees Fahrenheit, and so traditional hot-brewed coffee has more of that full-bodied, robust flavor profile as compared to cold brew. Additionally, hot water pulls these solubles from the coffee beans more quickly, making them more volatile, meaning that the solubles easily evaporate into the air and make their way to your nose.

More About Solubility

While solubility is a natural part of the coffee brewing process, too much solubility is not necessarily a good thing. Boiling water is hot enough to cause the chemical compounds in coffee to degrade and oxidize, similar to rust on metal. This gives coffee its sour and bitter taste, which may or may not be a good thing depending on your palate and taste preferences. For those who don’t fancy bitter and harshly acidic flavors, this is where cold brew coffee truly reigns supreme.

It’s true that oxidation and degradation still occur to the coffee beans when they’re cold brewed, but this process occurs much, much more slowly. As a result, cold brew coffee tends to go down nice and smooth. Additionally, cold brew coffee can even stay fresh for longer period of time than regular hot-brewed coffee, lasting up to 2-4 weeks if it's refrigerated (though we recommend drinking it fresh!).

Go With Our Gourmet Coffee Online Or Drop By Our Staten Island Coffee Shop Today!

Your taste buds will thank you and your productivity levels will thank you when you go with our gourmet coffee beans. For even more convenience, consider our mail order coffee subscription! Shop Unique Coffee Roasters today.