What is Cold Brew Coffee Anyway?

Cold brew coffee has risen drastically in popularity over the past five years. Whereas the latte was once the go-to drink of the chronically cool, the widespread availability of espresso drinks in the U.S. has rendered it somewhat passé. Today the hip kids have moved over to cold brew, rattling their cups of brown ice while resting easy in the fact that they know something we don’t. Now that we offer cold brew coffee packs to make the process easy, we’ve received tons of questions about cold brew. We’re here to explain what it is, how to make it, and why it’s great.

It’s important not to confuse a cold brew with an iced coffee. Whereas iced coffee is a traditionally brewed hot coffee that has been cooled with ice, cold brew was never hot. Rather than brewing the coffee over a few minutes with boiling water, cold brew is steeped at cold temperatures over much longer periods, often overnight. The difference in flavor is significant. Cold brew is often less acidic and less bitter than a coffee brewed at higher temperatures. Because of this, the addition of cream and sweetener can turn cold brew into a deliciously smooth summer beverage.

Some claim that cold brew is slightly healthier, though current research hasn’t shown any significant health differences between it and other types of coffee. Lower acidity may relieve certain conditions, like heartburn, but so can antacids. If you find that cold brew is easier to drink and requires less sugar than a regular coffee, you may also spare yourself some excess calories. Ultimately the advantages of cold brew are a matter of taste. If cold brew tastes better to you than regular coffee, you should definitely drink more of it!

Finally, the last difference between cold brew and hot coffee is that cold brew contains slightly more caffeine. Because of the long extraction time and low temperatures, cold brew is able to pull more caffeine from the ground coffee beans than a much quicker hot brew. As a result, someone used to hot coffee may try cold brew and notice a buzz from over-caffeination. That’s completely normal as you adjust to the greater caffeine content.

So how do you make cold brew at home? Simply measure out a cup of ground coffee, then combine it with four cups of cold water. Place the mixture into the fridge and let the coffee steep for about 12 hours. If you’re trying to avoid coffee grounds in the brew, you may want to invest in some sort of infuser or brew bag. Alternatively, Hugo Coffee Roasters supplies cold brew coffee packs that make the whole process simple. Premeasured, pre-ground coffee is placed into a sachet that allows for a perfect diffusion rate. Place the pack in the recommended amount of water and place it in the fridge. As soon as it’s done, enjoy.

Cold brew is a perfect form of coffee for people who lack time in the morning, as throwing it together is so easy it can be done in seconds. Preparing the brew the night before, then pouring a large thermos of coffee to take to work is a great solution for people who need to get out the door in a hurry.

Other people who love cold brew are campers, backpackers, construction workers, and others who find themselves away from a kitchen or breakroom for extended amounts of time. Outdoorsmen like cold brew because the coffee can be carried dry, added to water when they’re bunking for the night, then be ready in the morning before hitting the trail. Ultralight backpackers especially enjoy it because it requires no fuel or equipment beyond a water bottle. It’s perfect for anyone trying to eliminate weight in their pack while hiking. Lastly, cold brew is popular with people who work long hours without access to a kitchen, breakroom, or even a gas station to get coffee from. Cold water from a cooler can be used with a thermos or water bottle to brew coffee at the start of the shift that will be ready by the afternoon.

If you’re interested in exploring the convenience of cold brew coffee, Hugo Coffee Roasters can provide a meticulously crafted blend that’s guaranteed to satisfy. Even better, our coffee supports animal rescues and sanctuaries. Try our Black Paw French Roast or Roll Over Breakfast Blend and make a “paws”-itive impact on an animal’s life today.