Coffee is a staple in many homes. It’s a favorite morning drink and an afternoon pick-me-up, and it’s something you often want to share with others. But what are the pros and cons of different methods of brewing coffee?
One popular way is cold brew iced coffee. Cold-brew is notorious for being filled with caffeine. It is advertised as a renowned coffee to drink when you are exhausted and need more energy.
But, does it contain more caffeine content? Is there any difference between hot coffee and cold brew?
Keep reading to find out!
In this Article
What Is Cold Brew?
Cold-brew is a type of brewed coffee with coarsely ground beans in cold or room temperature water for a long period of time.
It’s usually served over ice and sometimes with milk and/or sweetener. Whole beans are put into a container filled with water and allowed to sit overnight or for up to 24 hours before being strained and enjoyed over ice.
Cold Brew Versus Hot Coffee
The main method of brewing coffee is hot water extraction. For cold-brew coffee, the beans are soaked in cold water for anywhere from 12 to 24 hours. Then grounds are added and the mixture is left to sit in the refrigerator for up to 7 days before being served.
Some people prefer to let their cold-brew sit for more days, up to a month. This is called cold-brew concentrate and is diluted with water before it’s served.
Cold brew coffee has less acidity and a smoother taste than hot brew methods. This is because it's brewed at a low temperature for a long amount of time.
Also known as cold drip or toddy coffee, cold brew has become popular in the last few years as consumers look for better-tasting coffee options. It’s often called a healthier version of regular iced coffee because it uses less acid-producing ingredients and contains more antioxidants.
Whereas Hot Coffee is a quick and efficient method of brewing coffee. Most commonly, hot coffee is brewed at temperatures ranging from 190 to 200 degrees Fahrenheit (88 to 93 degrees Celsius).
The grounds are placed in a container and then water is poured over the grounds. After the coffee has brewed, it’s then poured into a mug, ready for consumption.
One of the main differences between hot coffee and cold brew is that it takes longer for hot coffee to extract the oils from the beans.
The slow brewing method will leave you with a smoother taste. Hot-brewed cups also tend to have a stronger, bolder flavor compared to cold-brewed ones because of the slower process.
Now for the main point of this article –
Does Cold brew have more Caffeine than hot Coffee?
One of the more debated aspects of cold-brew coffee is whether or not it contains more caffeine than a cup of hot-brewed coffee.
But it’s not that simple.
And now, things get a bit complicated, and the answer to “Does cold brew coffee have more caffeine?” isn’t exactly straightforward.
The difference in the amount of caffeine in a cup of cold brew coffee, compared to a cup of brewed coffee can be attributed to several factors, such as:
- Extraction time and temperature.
- The ratio of water to ground beans, and the types of coffee used.
- The amount of time spent extracting the coffee grounds; an over-extraction will result in more caffeine being pulled from the grounds than is optimal for taste and quality.
- The type of coffee bean used.
There are several other factors, but these three have the biggest effect on the outcome.
Let’s break these factors down one by one.
Extraction time and temperature
The first thing you need to know about cold brewing coffee is that less caffeine will be extracted from the grounds in a shorter period of time than hot-brewed coffee. Therefore, it’s important to take the time to grind your beans and then let them brew for a long enough period of time.
We recommend a minimum of 12 hours to allow the grounds to expand and mingle. If you’re having trouble finding 12 hours, try brewing for 24-36 hours. This is the most critical factor in cold-brewing your coffee, so don’t skimp on this step.
Temperature is also critical. As mentioned before, coffee extracts more caffeine when brewed at lower temperatures.
In order to achieve the highest quality, you want your water to be between 50-55 degrees Fahrenheit for cold brewing. The best way to control a consistent temperature is with an ice bath.
The ratio of water to grounds
The ratio between water and grounds is another important factor in how much caffeine will be extracted from your coffee grounds during the brewing process. Using more grounds and less water will result in a coffee that has a higher concentration of caffeine. We recommend starting out with a 15:1 ratio of water to grounds.
Type Of Coffee Used
If your coffee beans are ground too finely, it will result in a higher extraction rate, resulting in more caffeine. Keep your grounds coarse for optimal caffeine levels.
The type of bean that you use also plays an important role in how much caffeine you will extract. Robusta beans will usually yield more caffeine than Arabica beans because Robusta beans are denser and contain more caffeine than Arabica beans.
To summarize, cold brew coffee has about the same caffeine content as a cup of hot brewed coffee. The only difference is, the more you brew your coffee at a lower temperature, the less caffeine you will extract.
If you like having stronger cups of coffee, cold brew may be for you. Cold-brewed coffee is a bit dissimilar from regular hot-brewed coffee because it’s not made with heat.