Why iced coffee isn’t the same as chilled coffee, how much caffeine it contains, and why ice isn’t always the best way to cool your coffee.
What is iced coffee?
Cold coffee drinks have been a fashionable trend in recent years. They can be seen not only in the summer menu of the cafe, but also in the assortment on the shelves of supermarkets. Cold brew is a method of cold brew. A cold brew is coffee that is brewed with cold water for a long time, from 8 hours or more (up to 24 hours in some cases).
The taste and aroma of coffee are influenced by many factors: the quality and variety of the beans, the brewing and roasting times and even the quality of the water. The temperature, time and method of brewing are especially important when analyzing the taste of cold coffee. In general, the main difference between cold brew coffee and regular chilled, and even hotter (even if the same beans were used for brewing) is that only chilled coffee lacks the acidity of coffee, as well as the bitterness in the aftertaste.
Why do iced and chilled (or hot) coffee taste different?
The two main factors that can affect the taste of a drink are temperature and time. They determine the rate of oxidation – the transformation of oils, acids and sugars in coffee. Depending on how quickly this process takes place, the taste changes. Cold brew, for example, requires a low temperature and a long brewing time. This makes the coffee sweeter and softer, less acidic and has a finer taste. The temperature also affects the aroma, as it results from the evaporation of the oils from the coffee beans, and when heated, they evaporate faster. It is the heat that gives the coffee its distinctive clear aroma. The aroma of an iced coffee may not be as intense, but it lasts longer.
How much caffeine is in cold and iced coffee?
Coffee made in a coffee maker after adding ice will not differ much from hot coffee in terms of properties. In this case, cooling does not affect the amount of caffeine. With cold brew everything is a bit more complicated: the caffeine content in iced coffee can be higher, but here too much depends on the type of beans, the water and coffee ratio, the type of roast and the volume of the drink. The seeds of specialty coffees will not only have the same caffeine content, but will also have a more delicate, slightly fruity taste.
Which coffee is healthier: cold or hot?
The nutritional properties of iced coffee have yet to be explored, but it is clear that they are in many ways similar to those of a hot drink. However, researchers suggest that cold-brewed coffee may be healthier than hot-brewed coffee because it has one distinct benefit: less acidity, making it more beneficial to the digestive system.
Besides ice, what can cool the coffee?
Very often milk, syrups or other ingredients are added to cold coffee cocktails. Today, drinks such as espresso tonic (tonic and ice are added to espresso) or nitro coffee (cold brewed coffee saturated with nitrogen) are becoming increasingly popular. Of course, such a cold coffee is very different from the traditional hot drinks we are used to. But even for die-hard connoisseurs of classic coffee, I recommend diversifying your coffee menu a bit and discovering new, extraordinary recipes. Iced coffee is based on regular black coffee with all its advantages and disadvantages, which are not influenced by the temperature of the drink. Therefore, just like hot coffee, cold coffee will help:
- Increase mental and physical performance.
- To fall off.
- Dealing with depression.
- Improve cardiovascular and intestinal health.
However, we must not forget that caffeine in large amounts is addictive and disrupts sleep. In addition, it is contraindicated in the case of:
- Increased anxiety or depression.
- Irritability and aggressiveness.
- Cardiac arrhythmias.
- sleep disorder.
Could the coffee be too cold?
An obvious plus of iced coffee is that it helps cool the body in hot weather. However, one should not overdo it. Nutritionists do not recommend drinking drinks with a temperature below a few degrees. Very cold drinks expose the gastrointestinal tract to increased “stress”. They slow down the digestive process and block enzymes’ ability to break down food efficiently.