You could have noticed that the cold brew coffee craze has taken the nation by storm over the past few decades. And for many people who don’t know and don’t understand, maybe don’t care at all about coffee as long as they take their daily dose of coffee cups they’re probably lack of curiousity about what exactly is the different between cold brew and ice coffee? What is cold brew and how does it differ from plain old coffee? They’re both coffee anyways right? Well, at least that’s what many people are thinking of.
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– Coffee brewed with cold/room average temperature water
– Long brew time
– Brewed as a coffee concentrate
– Reduced acid content and milder taste
– Can mute the flavour of the bean
– Coffee brewed with warm water and chilled or poured over ice
– Quick brew time
– Could be made using a wide range of brewing Procedures
– Could be weak or bitter
So what’s the differrence?
While ordinary coffee is brewed with water only cold brew is made by introducing coffee grounds to cold or room average temperature water and letting them steep for up to 48 hours to extract maximum flavour. Coffee is rather simply cooled. Common ways to make iced coffee include brewing a batch of coffee and letting it cool, or brewing hot coffee over ice. The brew time is much faster but the results can be combined.
How about the flavour?
Iced coffee that is good will keep the flavour extracted through the warm brewing process, as long as the brewed coffee is not left too long to oxidize. Cold brew is much more of an acquired taste. The nature of extraction may mute the flavours inherent in the bean, which suggests the coffee could lose its sophistication.
Nevertheless, a standard cold brew made with first-rate beans may still offer a full-flavored coffee encounter up. Given its sweetness, lightness and mild flavour, cold brew may take some getting used to, but the market is currently full of different varieties to try. Should you wish to make cold brew in your home, you are able to experiment to find what works best.
There’s lots of science that goes into a cup of coffee, with different brewing procedures or methods, also the brewing time and the roasting profile of the beans and temperatures affecting the flavour and acidity level of the finished cup. The important point to note is that at temperatures flavour is extracted and acidity is released.
This is the reason why a) brew times are much longer for cold brew and b) cold brew is known for being smoother and milder than regular coffee.
How about the amount of the caffeine?
The jury is out with regard caffeine content of brew. Some argue that the larger ratio of coffee to water signifies the caffeine content is significantly greater. Remember though that the cold brew system creates a concentrate that is usually further diluted.