How it’s made:
The ‘cold’ in cold brew doesn’t come from the temperature of the coffee, but rather the process of making it. Steeped in cool water at room temperature, cold brew will slowly become its best self over 12 to 24 hours. The grounds are then strained out, and the remaining liquid is chilled and served.
How it tastes:
It turns out that heat tends to pull some of the most intense and aromatic chemicals out of coffee beans, which translates into the acidic, slightly bitter taste of hot-brewed coffee. Because cold brew is made with cool water, it tastes slightly sweeter, a bit milder, and way less acidic than your average iced joe. Though the aroma and flavor will be less intense, they won’t change dramatically over time like hot coffee. So you can drink it the next day, and the next day, and it will taste just as fresh.
What you’re paying for:
We’ve all wondered why cold brew cashes out anywhere from 50 cents to a dollar more than regular iced coffee, and maybe even thought of staging a minor caffeinated protest outside of the nearest Starbucks. But listen, it’s not as much of an injustice as it may seem. Not only does the process take way longer, but cold brew also requires about twice the amount of coffee grounds as its more traditional counterpart.
Drink it if:
You want to avoid adding creamer or sweetener but have trouble drinking black coffee since it’s much smoother than your standard coffee cup. Also, this is a great option if you want to make high-quality coffee at home and don’t mind brewing it a day in advance.