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Coffee is one of the most popular drinks in the world. In recent years, more and more people are discovering cold brew coffee. Some have been attracted to claims that drinking cold brew coffee has a lot of benefits.
1. Fewer tannins
Cold brew has fewer tannins than hot brew coffee. This makes cold brew less bitter than a typical hot brewed coffee. Tannins can be a good thing and a bad thing.
On the plus side, tannins can have antioxidant activity. Yet, tannins may also interfere with digestion and also impede absorption of iron. Source
Tannins are also associated with stained teeth, so fewer tannins might mean brighter teeth for cold brew drinkers!
Fewer tannins reduces bitterness, but in terms of health benefits, both hot and cold brewed coffee have their advantages.
2. Caffeine Content
There is some conflicting opinions about whether the caffeine content is higher in cold brew or not. There are also conflicting opinions about whether caffeine is healthy or not.
As a stimulant, some people depend on it to get going in the morning. That same effect may make it difficult for some people to fall asleep.
Too much caffeine can lead to increased blood pressure, and bone density problems. A little caffeine may help defend against Type II diabetes, some cancers, and boost memory. See more pros and cons at Web MD.
The caffeine content of coffee will depend a lot on how you brew it (for example, coffee to water ratio), the darkness of the roast (lighter roasts have more), and how finely you grind your coffee. Length of brewing time will also play a role.
The only way to know for sure how much caffeine you have in your coffee is to buy a pre-brewed bottle off the shelf that states its caffeine content.
Caffeine Informer has a searchable database of caffeine content in various drinks. Sixteen ounces of Starbuck Cold Brew has 200 mg, while other popular brands like Califia Farms has 160 mg and Bizzy’s has a whopping 750 mg. By contrast, a Starbucks 16 oz. Americano has 225 mg.
3. Cоld brеw coffee may be easier on your stomach
Cold brew has about 1/3 the acid levels of hot brewed coffee. For people with stomach issues, this can make drinking it easier on your digestive system.
Too much coffee can also have a laxative effect, which can be an uncomfortable nuisance when you have GI issues already. Whether hot or cold, drink coffee in moderation (about 1-2 cups per day).
4. Drinking coffee may be heart healthy
As long as you aren’t loading your coffee up with sweeteners and milks, coffee has less than 5 calories per serving. Studies have shown that moderate coffee consumption is associated with lower risks of cardiovascular disease.
5. Cold-Brew Coffee Tastes Much Better
While not really a health benefit, the oils extracted in hot brewing processes have a tendency to go rancid. This contributes to the bitter taste of hot coffee.
Cold brewed coffees don’t extract these oils, meaning you get less bitterness and you can store it longer.
Cold brew extraction also pulls out other notes such as chocolate, vanilla, or fruits that you may not pick up when brewed hot. Even if you like a beautiful cup of drip coffee, a cold brewed coffee can give you an incredible variation in flavor.
Instead of drinking hot coffee all of the time, it would be good to also consider the health benefits that you can get from drinking cold brew coffee. While each has their positives and negatives, switching it up could bring you the best of both worlds.