Most people will agree that drinking cold brew instead hot coffee is the equivalent of getting an iPhone instead of an Android. You get the benefit of a caffeine rush without the burnt tongue, and it goes down smoother and sweeter than regular coffee. It’s also quite easy to make for yourself. But it turns out that this chilled drink may actually be healthier for you than its piping hot counterpart, and it all boils down to science.
While traditional iced coffee is typically made by chilling brewed coffee, cold brew is made by steeping coffee grounds in water for up to 24 hours. Perhaps the main clincher is that cold brew is less acidic than traditional iced coffee. Our bodies function better in an alkaline setting, and drinking hot coffee only pulls their thresholds closer to the acidic side.
On a small scale, the cooler temperature translates into less discomfort and even less acid reflux. But, since cold brew is more alkaline, it aids in digestion and is better overall for your stomach’s well-being.
Making coffee at colder temperatures also reduces the amount of unfavorable flavor compounds that make their way into the final cup. This lends itself to a sweeter flavor profile, leaving people with less of an inclination to add excess sugar or cream as they do with hot coffee.
Keep in mind that there’s a handful of essential nutrients in coffee beans, including riboflavin, which helps convert food into energy, and potassium, which regulates body fluids and can lower blood pressure. We obviously want to extract as much of these as possible, but using hot water to make our daily cup of Joe doesn’t help. The high temperature burns the coffee beans, denaturing its chemical structure and ruining the vitamins and antioxidants. Why sacrifice the health benefits?
With cold brew hiking in popularity, it’s a good thing that it offers more benefits than regular hot coffee in terms of alkalinity and nutrients. Of course, this doesn’t mean that you should load up on cold brew with every given moment. Just know that when you have the choice of one or the other, you should go for the cold. Besides, you really can’t resist that coffee/cream gradient.