You may have noticed lately that in every coffee shop and even grocery store cold brew coffee seems to be the newest beverage craze. Is buying cold brew at the coffee shop worth it?

Health.

Coffee contains many phytochemicals, antioxidants and other nutrients that research has shown to be beneficial to our bodies. But unfortunately for some people, drinking hot coffee can sometimes cause acid reflux or similar issues. Thankfully, research has shown you can still have your daily coffee of you brew it cold. You see, coffee brewed hot is far more acidic than cold-brewed, according to a number of scientific studies, and some say cold-brewed coffee even has a sweeter taste because of its lower acidity. One of the studies done by Toddy, said that cold-brewed coffee is 67 percent less acidic than hot-brewed. Without all that acid, some of the “burnt and acidic” flavors that plague hot-brewed coffee is eliminated. Plus, the reduced acid makes it healthier for your stomach and your teeth.

We spoke to Tori Nakano, our resident nutritional therapy practitioner and she said, “In general, our bodies require a delicate balance (pH) of acidity and alkalinity to function and heal. The human body thrives with a higher level of alkalinity than acidity, and the foods and drinks we ingest determine, in part, our pH levels. When you drink high-acidity coffee your body’s pH becomes unbalanced, often creating discomfort for the consumer.”

The Other Side of the Argument.

Believe it or not, cold-brew has a poor reputation in some coffee circles. According to those critics, cold brew’s selling point — its absence of acidity — is actually a flaw. Their belief is that the best coffees in the world, the ones grown at high altitudes, command higher prices specifically because of their complex acidity: Brightness is a virtue. Why give up one of the defining characteristics of a great coffee? In addition, detractors say, the long exposure to air during the steeping process can leave cold-brewed coffees tasting flat and oxidized. There is also the factor of money in business, which causes some coffee shops to treat cold brew as a dumping ground for lesser coffees — mostly old beans that are losing their flavor or uninteresting beans that couldn’t stand up to conventional brewing.

Taste & Longevity.

With a temperature change comes a change in taste. Most cold-brew experts say that since cold-brewing coffee eliminates most of that temperature change, flavors are locked in. Or in other words, your day-old cold-brew won’t taste stale like day-old hot and cooled coffee.

Not As Smelly.

While cold brew may be more palatable to some, it doesn’t smell as fragrant as drip coffee since cold and room temperature liquid doesn’t volatilize the aromatic compounds. This gives cold brew a more subtle smell when compared with hot coffee.

$$$

Cold-brew takes more time and more coffee for your coffee shop to brew, causing the coffee shop to have to charge premium prices to make their predetermined profit margins.  Small cups of cold-brew will set you back about $4-$5 these days.

Ease: A Cold Brew Coffee Recipe.

Cold-brewing coffee couldn’t be easier! The essential structure is the same in most cold brew coffee recipes — coffee, water and time. All you need is a pitcher or a jar with a lid and something to strain the grounds.

  • Put 100g of coarsely ground beans securely into a filter, cheesecloth, or nut sack.
  • Combine with 4-5 cups of filtered water, give the mixture a good long stir (a couple of minutes) and let the magic of infusion go to work.
  • If you want sweetened coffee, now is the time to add the sugar. Depending on your taste, try around 1/4 to 1/3 cup.  Stir.
  • The mixture should sit in your refrigerator for about 12 hours, so make a batch at night and it will be ready to drink in the morning.
  • Before drinking it, remove the coffee.
  • The batch will last 2 to 4 weeks unless you drink it first, which is always the problem.

In the morning, grabbing your cold-brew will take an entire 10 seconds and then you’re free to go out the door! You just saved time, money and have a great cup of delicious cold-brew that you made yourself. Look how smart you are!

Is buying cold brew at the coffee shop worth it?  In our opinion, no it is not.

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