Cold Brew versus Hot Brew Preparation

A customer recently asked us:  “Can any coffee be brewed via a cold press method?  And, what is the difference between a cold versus hot brew”?

Our resident coffee gurus teamed up with this response:

yes, all coffees can be brewed cold or hot…however some coffees DO react differently depending on the type of extraction method.

  • ALL coffees can be brewed hot OR using a cold water toddy method, but they don’t always produce the same quality in other extraction methods
  • Each extraction method brings out different characteristics of the coffee.  Espresso is under pressure which reacts with the grounds to produce a different flavor profile than if the same coffee was made as drip.  French press will often give you the most complex and realistic flavor profile since there is no filtering, leaving the fine particulate and oils in the coffee itself.  Percolating literally destroys the coffee and can easily produce a bitter taste if oversteeped.  Cold brew toddy coffee will produce a very smooth coffee since no heat is used to extract the flavors.
  • The reason why these different methods produce different flavors is because different natural compounds in the bean itself is extracted as it steeps.  The longer it steeps, the more natural compounds are steeped into the water. Same goes with the quality and temp of the water….if the quality is bad it will affect the taste greatly…and if the temperature is a bit too low, it will not extract properly and even extract bad tasting compounds, and if the temp if too high the coffee can burn.
  • of course, any coffee can be extracted in any way a person wants, if the customer likes the flavor profile that came out.  In the end it’s all about personal taste….there are NO rules to how coffee should be steeped, which makes it interesting, complex, and fun!

The majority of people that prefer the”cold brew technique” describe the difference as a lower “acidic” taste.  This is likely due to the fact that cold brew tends to not extract certain molecules that give a bite to coffee.

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2 Responses to Cold Brew versus Hot Brew Preparation

  1. Pingback: What is “Toddy Coffee”? |

  2. BREWPRINTS says:

    very informative. a good and natural way to sweetened cold brewed coffee is to blend it with dates!

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