Is Cold Brew a Waste of Coffee?

Is Cold Brew a Waste of Coffee?

Did you know that coffee has over 1,000 aroma compounds? Many of them can only be extracted using hot water. This includes capturing coffee's more delicate flavors based on the soil, topography, and climate of where it was planted and harvested and the flavors made available by the scientific roasting process.

Is Cold Brew a Waste of Coffee?

As you may have guessed, brewing coffee with cold water simply can't extract all the flavor from the beans. And yet, it's an increasingly popular method of making and drinking coffee.

Cold coffee is a winner.

Whether you only enjoy it to cool down on a sweltering afternoon or prefer it to a steaming hot beverage regardless of the weather, cold coffee can be extremely enjoyable, IF it's good coffee. Unfortunately, cold coffee often comes up short if you enjoy really good coffee. Cold-brew tends to yield a flat, generic set of flavors at best. If you love coffee as we do, you'll want more out of your coffee, even if you don't like it to contain any bitterness.

Coffee Doesn't Have to be Bitter

If you really, really don't like any bitterness to your coffee, you may think you have to settle for a cold brew and sacrifice all the different flavor profiles you can only extract with hot water. That's not true.

When you brew coffee hot, you don't have to sacrifice anything. With cold brewing, all you'll achieve is generic flavors. Brewing hot the right way can give you all that and still maintain smoothness. There's a reason why some hot brewed coffee has an unpleasantly bitter taste.

Bitter coffee is caused by low-grade coffee beans or poor brewing methods, for example;

  • Poor extraction - The brewer extracted the coffee poorly, usually because the water/beans ratio was unbalanced or the water was too hot.
  • Dirty equipment - The coffee-making equipment was dirty—you can remedy this with proper maintenance.
  • Extra-fine grind - The grind is too fine, taking longer to extract, resulting in a bitter taste.
  • Steeped too long - The brewer left the coffee steeping too long in a plunger. It's important to pour the coffee out after you plunge it; otherwise, the grains will continue to release into the water, and the coffee will increase in bitterness.

    If you want a smooth hot, brewed coffee, use excellent beans, don't grind it too finely, make sure your water to grains ratio is balanced, your equipment is squeaky clean, and use the correct temperature (not too hot, and certainly not cold.) Yes, it can get tricky! And, to make it even more challenging, cooling coffee can seriously mess with the flavor. Does this mean you have to have your coffee hot if you want it brewed hot? Not at all.

    Excellent Coffee Doesn't Have to be Hot

    We've already established that brewing coffee hot brings out the best flavor profiles. But what if you're craving cold coffee? There are two main methods of chilling coffee; ice and refrigeration.

    If you use ice to cool your coffee down, it melts and dilutes your coffee. If you refrigerate it, you run the risk of oxidation. Both methods can ruin your hot brewed coffee's flavor. The only way to get a complete flavor profile is to brew it hot and cool it quickly.

    So, is Cold Brew a Waste of Coffee?

    Cold-brew is a wasteful process and requires much time and beans to extract a satisfactory amount of flavor and caffeine. However, it's not a waste of coffee if you enjoy your coffee smooth with very little bitterness, and you're not too stuck on your coffee having an intricate flavor profile.

    As coffee snobs, we insist on only the best coffee. We want our coffee to be 100% delicious and 100% chilled. Truly excellent coffee was long overdue, so we invented a patented process that chills delicious hot brewed coffee in a snap.

    Snapchill™ coffee has it all; it has an undiluted, deep but delicate flavor profile with a mouthwatering aroma in a supercold can. Hmmm! Explore some of our collaborations with some of the best coffee roasters and find your favorite Snapchill™ coffee.