Cold brew coffee has been trending for a least five years now and is an innovative take on a traditional iced coffee and hot coffee. Different than iced coffee, cold-brew coffee is made without any added heat, resulting in a much bolder flavour, less acidity, and a more potent caffeine kick. Specifically, millennials are interested with what’s new and this drink is considered hip and trendy. Let’s explore cold brew coffee on trend.
How is Cold Brew Processed?
The cold brew focuses on a cooler and slower (usually 24 hours) extraction method compared to hot brew. So, you’re not brewing this at home. Here’s the steps of how cold brew is created:
- Coffee beans are first roasted in a roaster, then are grinded to medium course texture
- Water is added to the ground at roughly an 1:8 ratio of coffee-to-water in large vats wrapped in glycol cooling jackets
- Mixture sits for 12-24 hours at a temperature of 4oC, then it is filtered
- The cold brew is then transferred through a closed line sterile piping system and bottled directly from the system
- The bottle goes through an air rinse where any particles left over and blown out
- Then the bottle is sterilized at a dry sterilizer station
Why is it Popular?
Most of the coffee consumed globally is still by the hot brew method, therefore, why is cold brew becoming more popular? Flavour seems to be the top attribute, as it is described as rich, yet smooth with less acidity and bitterness compared to hot brew. Convenience is another attribute, as it’s ready to drink, so you don’t have to brew it yourself. Caffeine concentrations are higher in cold brew than in hot brew. This is an attribute for individuals wanting that increased consumption. Another frequently reported attribute is people say they have less stomach irritation when they drink cold brew compared to hot brew.
Are there Health Benefits?
Cold brew coffee is relatively new, so the body of research is minimal. However, we know caffeine in moderate amounts can increase mental alertness and potentially energy levels. With caffeine concentrations higher in cold brew (than hot brew) consumers can drink less to achieve the benefits of caffeine (1). Assumptions can be inferred that there may be a increased anti-inflammation effect due to higher concentrations in cold brew of 3-chlorogentic acid (3-CGA) which is a phenolic acid compound found in coffee and tea (2, 3).
More bulk package options. Currently, packaging formats of cold brew coffee include ready to drink cans, bottles, tetra packs, plus larger bottles and dispenser boxes. More innovative plant-based drinks using cold brew like oat-based lattes, and numerous trendy flavours like salted caramel and toasted coconut.
Remember no single food or ingredient is a silver bullet. A lifestyle filled with healthy habits including a balanced dietary pattern, exercise and restful sleep is the best approach for long-term consistent, mind body health & healthy aging. Let me know if you’ve added cold brew coffee to your healthy lifestyle!
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- Fuller, M., Rao, N.Z. The Effect of Time, Roasting Temperature, and Grind Size on Caffeine and Chlorogenic Acid Concentrations in Cold Brew Coffee. Sci Rep 7, 17979 (2017).
- Liang, N.; Kitts, D.D. Role of Chlorogenic Acids in Controlling Oxidative and Inflammatory Stress Conditions. Nutrients 2016, 8, 16.
- Rao, N.Z., Fuller, M. Acidity and Antioxidant Activity of Cold Brew Coffee. Sci Rep 8, 16030 (2018).
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