Imagine you are at work and you’ve hit that afternoon slump. You know, the one where you really need a little caffeine pick me up? But it’s the middle of July (or if you are in South Florida, it could really be any month!) and the thought of downing a cup of hot coffee is just unimaginable. Cold brew coffee is a great alternative to a cup of hot coffee. Not only is it more refreshing when it is hot outside, but it is actually healthier and better tasting! You also don’t need to wait in long lines at the coffee shop because it is surprisingly simple to make!
Keep in mind that cold brew coffee should not be confused with traditional iced coffee, which is just hot coffee poured over ice. Cold brew coffee is made with the same coffee grinds as hot coffee. The difference is in how each one is brewed. With cold brew coffee, time replaces heat. Coffee grinds are left to soak in room temperature water for anywhere from 12-24 hours. Once the coffee is done soaking, it is filtered and before serving, it is diluted with two parts water to one part concentrate. Another option is to dilute it with one part milk or dairy substitute to one part concentrate. One of the great things about cold brew coffee is that the concentrate can be stored in a refrigerator for up to six weeks!
Cold brew coffee is also 67 percent less acidic than regular hot coffee so it is easier to digest for those who suffer from acid reflux. Along with helping to relieve the symptoms of acid reflux, reducing the amount of acid we consume can lead to stronger bones and a healthier heart. If you missed our blog on alkaline water that also explains the benefits of reducing acid in our diet, check it out here. The heat used to brew hot coffee is what makes it more acidic and since boiling water is not used to make cold brew coffee, it ends up less acidic and as a result, it is also tastes smoother! The bitter taste in hot coffee is the reason why so many people use milk or creamer, but you may find that your cold brew coffee actually doesn’t need it because it already tastes sweeter on its own.
Another health benefit of cold brew coffee is that it actually contains less caffeine than hot coffee. If you compare a tall cup of hot coffee at Starbucks to their tall cold brew, you will find that the hot coffee contains 260 mg of caffeine, while the cold brew contains 150 mg. Consuming too much caffeine can lead to an increased heart rate, tremors, restlessness and over time can lead to more serious conditions such as osteoporosis or fibrocystic disease . If after drinking a cup of hot coffee you find that your heart rate increases or you feel shaky, switching to cold brew might be the best option.
For a smoother tasting, easy to make and healthier alternative to hot coffee, try making the switch to cold brew coffee. You can find it most coffee shops, grocery stores or just make it in your own home. On a hot afternoon, you won’t regret it!
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