Is Cold Brew Coffee Good for You? Here's What You Need to Know

We asked an expert to explain why cold brew is better for you than regular iced coffee.

We'll take our coffee in any form—iced or hot, fancy or not—but we also believe good coffee is worth going the extra mile for. And today, you can't talk about high-quality coffee drinks without including cold brew. But is cold brew coffee good for you?

Cold brew has become one of the most popular caffeine selections and for good reason. To help us understand why—as well as give us an insider look at what gives cold brew its je ne sais quoi, both taste- and health-wise—we spoke with Todd Carmichael, the CEO and Co-Founder of La Colombe Coffee Roasters.

Cold Brew vs. Iced Coffee

Cold brew is made by steeping coffee grounds in cold or room temperature water for 12 to 24 hours and then filtering it, which results in a smooth, naturally sweet, and slightly chocolatey flavor profile. Regular iced coffee, on the other hand, is just cooled-down hot coffee.

"Because of the way cold brew is brewed, it's less astringent and easier on the palate and stomach. It also misses all those unattractive acidic notes found in hot coffee," says Todd. In other words, cold brew is like regular coffee's silky, velvety cousin.

Rather than watering down regular coffee with ice cubes, cold brew is often brewed as a concentrate and later gets mixed with water and/or milk. You could also make a cold brew slushy or other fancy coffee drink using the concentrate.

Health Benefits of Cold Brew

"It's insane how good cold brew is for you," Todd says. Here are a few of the potential health benefits you'll get from drinking it.

It could boost your metabolism.

Just like hot coffee, cold brew has plenty of (if not more) caffeine, which has been proven to boost your body's metabolic rate by up to 11%.

It may be easier for your stomach to digest.

Many people avoid drinking coffee for reasons related to acid reflux, indigestion, and heartburn. Cold brew and regular coffee have similar acidity levels, around 5–6 on the pH scale (this can vary), but some studies have found cold brew to be slightly less acidic. This means it may irritate your stomach less.

It may lower your risk of heart disease.

Drinking 3 to 5 cups of coffee (15 to 25 ounces) daily may lower your risk of heart disease by up to 15% compared to people who don't drink coffee. In addition, cold brew contains heart-healthy compounds, including magnesium, antioxidants, and anti-inflammatory agents.

Cold Brew Popularity

According to Todd, drinking cold brew isn't really a trend. "It's more like a revolution," he says. "Trends have a slope to them; this was more of an explosion. People wanted something with more caffeine that is smoother and beautiful."

"The only problem with cold brew is that once you try it, you will never go back. It really created a massive wave. You can get caught up in the cold brew netting with one sip. It's not that people are seeing this on social media—they just got caught up in the taste of it. It was such a dramatic shift; we've never seen anything like it."

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