It is no secret that coffee is a coveted beverage in many continents resulting in coffee being the most popular hot beverage in the world. Coffee drinkers make this popular beverage in a variety of ways, including hot or cold water brewing. However, arguments exist for both camps as to which method is best to gain the best tasting coffee. The overall coffee experience is what coffee lovers look for, not simply the taste, but the feelings that come with drinking and experiencing the coffee itself.
Hot Brewing Arguments
The traditional method of making coffee is by pouring or soaking the freshly ground beans in hot water. This is achieved in a variety of ways including using a drip coffee maker, a French Press, a percolator, or by simply boiling water on the stove and allowing the coffee grounds to soak for some time. While each method is different, they all use hot water to extract the coffee. In doing so, the coffee, especially coffee that comes from a French Press or Percolator, is loaded with the oils that give coffee its familiar taste. However, that bite and strong, bitter flavor also leads to indigestion for some, because when the oils are allowed to mix with the extracted liquid, all the coffee’s acids mix along with it. While this is what makes coffee “coffee,” it also” makes it difficult for many people to drink.
Another argument for brewing hot coffee is the time factor involved. Since the invention of drip coffee makers in the mid 20th century, the coffee-making time has been cut in half, if not more. Drip coffee makers use a basket in which the water is dripped through, using gravity to extract the resulting coffee liquid in a pot below. This entire process takes about 15 minutes to complete, depending on the exact model of the coffee maker. A percolator, on the other hand, can take as long as a half-hour to result in a strong brew, as can a French Press or boiling coffee on the stove, depending on the strength of the coffee desired. While some of these methods do take longer, they do not take nearly as long as cold brewing coffee.
Cold Brewing Arguments
On the other hand of the cold vs. hot water argument, a cold water brew eliminates most of the bitter taste and acids from the resulting coffee extraction. However, it also takes much longer to brew and changes the taste of the coffee. Some say that it no longer even tastes as coffee should. Nevertheless, while this is a matter of opinion or preference, cold water brewing is simply an acquired taste and just another method people use.
To use cold water when brewing coffee, a much larger amount of coffee grounds must be used. Most people, because it takes so long to brew, will use up to a pound of coffee grounds-freshly ground for the best flavor-to make a concentrate that makes enough to last for up to a week’s worth of coffee. Adding a pound of coffee to 1.5 liters of cold water is the first step. Letting it steep for a minimum 12 hours to a maximum of 24 hours is the next, and depends on how fine the beans are and how strong the coffee drinker desires the brew.
After allowing the coffee to steep for the desired time, filter the resulting concentrated coffee through a paper or mesh filter to separate out the grounds. Then, for each cup of coffee desired, use two ounces of concentrate and mix with six ounces of hot or cold water. The resulting mixture is a cup of hot or cold coffee that lacks the bitterness and acidity of hot brewed coffee. However, this resulting coffee also lacks the oils and, therefore, the usual taste most coffee drinkers are familiar with. While this is an optimal option for those who regularly experience indigestion after drinking hot brewed coffee, coffee lovers everywhere may not enjoy the lacking flavor and thus, the usual coffee experience. Ultimately, the best option for a great cup of coffee is a matter of personal taste and preference.