Hot Coffee – Iced Coffee – Cold brew . . . what is the difference?

So to begin, lets talk about the science. Recent studies have come out showing the health benefits of drinking coffee and its effects on cardiovascular health. A lot of the research shows coffee helping to decrease heart disease, decrease inflammation in the body and protect against chronic disease. Why all of the sudden a change in the research? Well researchers found many problems in existing studies within the control groups related to other behaviors, like smoking, drinking and not sleeping well, which all contribute to higher risks of chronic disease.

The new research, in a more controlled group, is pointing to coffee being healthy for us. This comes at no surprise if you know that a coffee bean is actually rich in antioxidants and phytonutrients that help fight against disease.

Now the question, is cold brew better for you than traditional coffee? Do you know the difference?

  • Hot coffee – traditionally brewed between 180-185 degrees; depending on the brewing method, the coffee is in contact with water anywhere from 20 seconds to 5 minutes
  • Iced coffee – same method as hot coffee except its brought down to cold temperature and served over ice
  • Cold brew – made by steeping coffee grounds in cool water for an extended period of time, usually, overnight. Cold brew is never heated

Since we know the difference now, which is better for you? Today, there are no studies to support the health claims of a cold brewed coffee. Research is funny because we can think something makes sense from one perspective but you go and test it out and it proves the opposite sometimes. With that being said, hot and iced coffees are typically a little more acidic due to the heating process. This may be a little harsher for somebody who suffers from GERD or acid reflux (which many of my family members do). Cold brew is less acidic since it was never heated and due to the steeping process, it’s naturally a smoother consistency making it easier to drink black.

You’ve got the facts!  Go enjoy any of these choices with a small amount of milk and sugar if you need any at all. I personally like cream and sugar in my hot coffee in the morning and I enjoy a nice cold brew with nothing in it. How do you like your coffee?