Coffee comes in all shapes and size, but it also comes in all temperatures! Whether you’ll drink cold or hot coffee depends on the type of situation you’re in, the weather, and, of course, your mood.
It’s completely natural that you’d want one or the other depending on whether you’re with friends, alone, outside, inside if it’s winter or summer, what you’re doing, how you’re feeling, and all the other premises. But what’s the difference between these two coffees? It’s still just coffee, right?
What is Cold Coffee
First of all, you have to understand that a cold coffee is definitely not the same as iced coffee.
Cold coffee refers to cold brewing, meaning the coffee was brewed at room temperature or cold water.
Once the brewing is done, you end up with a hard concentrate which is mixed with more cold water.
As far as iced coffee is concerned, it started as hot coffee being poured over ice but that turned out to be a bad idea because the end result was too diluted.
Instead, it’s now made by using double the amount of coffee grounds which is left to cool down and then poured over ice. These types of coffees are generally strong.
Cold Coffee vs Hot Coffee: Comparison
Now that we’ve got that covered, let’s move on to the difference between cold brewed and hot brewed coffee. As it was already mentioned, cold coffee is made with typically cold water. It takes a long time to brew, as the beans need to be in contact with water for around 12 hours.
This process slows down oxidation and breaks down the compounds in the coffee. This is the root of the different taste between cold and hot coffee.
Naturally then, hot coffee is made how you’d normally make your daily cup of coffee. With hot water and beans which don’t sit in the water for so long.
As far as the acidic nature of the two is concerned, cold coffee has a bit less acidity and smells a lot sweeter, because, well, it is a lot sweeter. If you compare it to hot coffee, you can say the texture is rather smooth.
Hot coffee, on the other hand, is somewhere in the middle. It has about the same amount of acidity and sweetness, which gives it a well-rounded feel. All of this contributes to its dry finish.
Now we can pose the question “why?”. It has something to do with the aforementioned oxidation and breaking of the compounds. The oxidation process in cold brewing is much slower which results in an uneven ratio of sugar and acid. There will be much more residual sugar. That’s why this type of coffee is much sweeter, too.
Hot brewed coffee, on the other hand, needs only around 5 minutes (as opposed to around 12 hours cold brewed coffee needs) for the oxidization, which then leaves the acid and sugar ration in balance.
Cold coffee seems to take up much more time and effort to make which is probably why people order it rather than make it, or why they make it as a treat rather than a daily caffeine fix.
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