Have you heard the latest coffee buzz? Iced coffee is out. Cold brew is in. What’s the difference? Well, there is one. Iced coffee is when you take regular drip coffee, which has been brewed with hot water, and simply pour it over ice. But cold brew starts with cool water and steeps for hours or overnight. The resulting brew is black as a jaguar, so smooth it practically purrs, and has an extra concentrated dose of caffeine that springs like a jungle cat. (Tread carefully, or you could turn nocturnal.)
Cold-Brew Coffee Flavor & Benefits
“We fell in love with the flavor,” says Grady Laird, founder of Grady’s Cold Brew, made and bottled in Brooklyn. “Cold brewing produces a smooth, pure quality without any of the bitterness that comes from heating coffee up.” Although there isn’t much research yet, cold brew may contain less acid than regular drip coffee—up to 67 percent less when made with Toddy, a third-party tested home brewing system. “Black coffee can be anywhere from 4.3 to 5 pH, and our cold brew comes in at 4.9, so it’s on the less acidic side,” explains Laird. “We’ve had many people tell us they had to give up coffee, but are able to drink cold brew, because it’s easier on the stomach.” For runners in particular, that’s super appealing. Instead of slamming several cups of hot coffee before a big race, you can have a quick shot of concentrate, get your buzz going, and get out the door fast.
But whether or not you’re an athlete, cold brew is cheap, easy, and convenient. You can make it ahead and store it in the fridge for weeks. Compared to a morning latte habit, it can save you hundreds of dollars. Plus, it’s a seductively delicious way to stay cool and caffeinated this summer. So pull out your favorite mason jar. Here’s how to master the art of cold brew.