Ultimate guide to the perfect cold brew coffee (and what makes it different to iced coffee)

  • For most of us, nothing compares to sipping a refreshing drink while soaking up the hot summer sun
  • Here’s a guide to making the perfect cup of cold brew
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Cold brew gets its name from the fact that it’s made with either cold or room temperature water. Photo: Shutterstock

From lattes to espresso, there are so many types of coffee out there, each with a different method of how to make it.

Cold brew has steadily become one of the most popular ways to consume coffee. Though the beverage may appear to be just like iced coffee, cold brew has its own method.

Making cold brew coffee is easier than it looks. Once you master your inner-barista skills, you’ll be making the perfect cup of (cold) joe in no time, whether it is a hot summer day or a chilly winter afternoon.

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How to make cold brew coffee

To get started, you will need coarsely ground coffee. You can ground your coffee at home if you prefer, but store-bought ground coffee will work just fine.

The ratio of ground coffee to water is adjustable, but the rule of thumb is for every 237ml cup of water, you will need 28 grams of ground coffee.

In a mason jar or any wide-mouth, large jar, add the desired amount of water and coffee grounds together and stir (Tip: If you are trying for the first time, use 710ml of water to 1 1/2 cup of coffee grounds).

Cold brew coffee is made by steeping coffee grounds in either room temperature or chilled water for an extended period of time. Photo: Shutterstock

Cover the jar and allow this mixture to steep overnight, or for about 12 hours and up to 24 hours. Once the coffee and water mixture is done steeping, pour it into a coffee filter placed in a strainer over a bowl or measuring cup.

The liquid that strains from the mixture will be the cold brew concentrate which you can dilute with water or milk to taste. Serve with ice or any other add-ins and enjoy.

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What is the difference between iced coffee and cold brew?

Iced coffee and cold brew look the same upon first glance, but the two beverages are made differently. The cold brew process as explained above is unlike making iced coffee which just consists of brewing a regular pot of drip coffee and adding ice.

Cold brew is steeped for longer than iced coffee. But hot brewed coffee brings out additional flavours, such as bitterness and acidity, in comparison with the cold brewed, according to Taste of Home.

Cold brew is one method of preparing iced coffee, but not all iced coffee is cold-brewed. Photo: Shutterstock

Does drinking coffee have health benefits?

Coffee does have benefits that can improve your day and health, more than just a morning caffeine pick-me-up. Studies have found that two cups of coffee daily has decreased the likelihood of developing type 2 diabetes, Parkinson’s disease and kidney disease for women, according Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine.

Drinking coffee can positively influence health, but like anything, drink in moderation.

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Is cold brew healthier than hot coffee?

Hot coffee contains more antioxidants in comparison to cold brew, but the latter still has pretty powerful antioxidants, according to Healthline.

Some studies show that cold brew is less acidic than hot coffee, which can make it go down smoother. This can make the beverage an alternative for those with acid reflux or indigestion issues.

Cold brew concentrate is very strong on its own, having around 200 milligrams of caffeine per cup, according to Healthline.

The beverage is meant to be diluted with water and/or milk, which reduces the overall caffeine content, making it similar to that of a hot cup of coffee. Though caffeine content does vary depending on brewing processes, there is not a huge caffeine difference between cold brew and hot coffee.

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