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Hot vs. Cold Coffee

Hot vs. Cold Coffee

Hot or cold? Cold or hot? What's healthier? What's stronger?  Hot and cold coffee both have their benefits and drawbacks.



This is an answer that isn't straightforward and easy.  Hot coffee typically has far more potential bring out a wide variety of flavors and aromas that cold coffee cannot.  Hot coffee ends up producing far more acids that contribute to flavors like fruit, floral, and spice.  Cold coffee can INDEED produce these flavors, but it takes something like a Japanese Pour Over/Flash chilled method to achieve this.

Cold coffee, especially cold brew, will end up producing a smoother, silkier, velvety taste and finish with medium and dark roast coffees.  Light roast coffees, especially ones from Africa and Central America, will still produce a vibrant, clean, crisp cup of cold brew with maybe some muted fruitiness.



Depending what you read, you'll see that some sources claim cold brew is stronger than hot coffee in respects to caffeine content.  Some sources will report that hot coffee contains just as much caffeine as cold brew.  And yet anecdotally, people will unanimously report that cold brew is much stronger than hot coffee.  What's the answer?  Cold brew typically does not contain more caffeine than hot coffee.  But cold brew coffee will inevitably have some other stimulants remaining more intact than hot coffee, due to the water temperature.  Caffeic acid and theobromine are two other great stimulants that exist in coffee.  People drinking cold brew are most likely experiencing the energy effects of caffeic acid and theobromine.


Cold brew coffee specifically, is more versatile than hot coffee.  Hot coffee is going to cool down in an hour or two, and from there it goes stale far faster.  Cold brew coffee when refrigerated, will easily last 3-4 weeks.  Cold brew coffee can also be heated up.  Once you brew hot coffee, you can't really reheat it again without significantly decreasing the taste and quality.  So you can make cold brew coffee in advanced, and simply heat it up later at work or somewhere else.



Each batch of coffee you brew is going to take 90 seconds to 5 minutes.  The work needed to make 5 gallons of cold brew is the same as 1 French press.  Yet once it's made, you have it ready at all times.  It simply needs to be poured into your glass or mug.  So for those in a rush in the morning, it's easy to simply make all your coffee for the next few weeks ahead of time.  as we said earlier, you can also take it to work and simply throw it in the microwave to make hot coffee, and it still will taste great.

Whatever you choose, you absolutely need to have high-quality, freshly roasted coffee as your foundation.  You cannot make great hot or cold coffee by cutting corners on the main ingredient.