The popularity of cold brew coffee has slowly risen in recent years and as we approach the warmer months here in Australia, you’ll soon be swapping cappuccinos for cold brew in order to beat the heat while still getting your caffeine fix.
The creation of cold brew coffee is credited to the Dutch in the 17th century before becoming popular in Japan. Instead of using hot water to draw out the flavour of the coffee, the cold brew uses time, with coffee grounds left to brew for 12 to 24 hours in tepid or room temperature water to form a concentrate.
This concentrate is then diluted with water or milk (whatever you prefer) and served cold. When coffee is brewed in this way, it significantly reduces the rate of oxidation, which means there is less chance of stale flavours and bitterness compared to hot coffee.
This brewing process also helps to boost the health benefits of cold brew coffee, as it maintains the antioxidants within the coffee bean. While coffee, in general, has been found to have a whole host of health benefits — including reduced mortality rates — cold brew coffee could be considered slightly superior to the regular cup of Joe.
— Cold brew coffee is easier on your stomach
Many people avoid coffee due to its high acidity, especially those with acid reflux. The acidity in coffee can also stimulate indigestion and heartburn, making it an uncomfortable experience to drink.
Some research has found cold brew to be less acidic than regular coffee, making it easier and less irritating on your stomach. So, if you’re hanging for a coffee fix but can’t literally stomach hot coffee, try cold brew out for size.
Cold brew also contains amounts of crude polysaccharides, which according to Healthline, are carbohydrates that boost the immunity of your digestive system. This may also help decrease irritation and reduce the impact of acidity on your stomach.
— It can lift your mood
Research has found that the caffeine in cold brew coffee could be helpful in improving your state of mind — especially amongst those who are sleep deprived. A review of studies including 370,000 people found those who drank coffee had lower rates of depression. According to Healthline, for every cup of coffee consumed per day, depression risk actually sank by 8%.
— It may lower your risk of heart disease
Coffee, in general, has been tapped as helping to lower your risk of heart disease, including heart attack, stroke and coronary artery disease. The compounds within coffee, including caffeine, phenolic compounds, magnesium, trigonelline, quinides, and lignans, may reduce this risk as they increase insulin sensitivity, stabilise blood sugar and lower your blood pressure.
While both regular and cold brew contains these compounds, cold brew is rich in antioxidants that aren’t damaged by the use of boiling water. And, these antioxidants help to fight free radicals, which can travel through the body and damage cells when adequate amounts of antioxidants aren’t present.
Research has found drinking three to five cups of coffee per day can lower your risk of heart disease by up to 15% compared to people who don’t drink coffee.
If you’re new to the world of cold brew, finding a brand who like can take a while to find. Our favourites include Melbourne-based First Press Coffee and Califia Farms, who do a great almond milk-based cold brew for those who can’t stomach dairy. Enjoy!