Cold Brew's Origin Story
Cold Brew coffee can trace its roots back centuries, with its earliest evidence of cold brewing methods found in ancient China and Japan. In Japan, Cold Brew is known as "Kyoto-style coffee," named for its popularity in Kyoto. The earliest record of this brewing style dates back to the 1600s, but as with many historical practices, its existence predates written documentation.
Kyoto-style coffee involves a slow and meticulous process where water drips over coffee grounds, typically in a cold water tower or apparatus. This method produces a smooth, concentrated brew with a unique flavor profile.
Similarly, in the 17th century, Dutch traders, who were heavily involved in the global coffee trade, introduced the concept of cold brewing coffee. The cold brewing process proved to be an effective way to preserve and extend the shelf life of coffee, as the slow extraction process reduced the chances of spoilage and degradation - perfect for lengthy maritime journeys.
As global trade increased, so did the cross-cultural sharing of different ways to make coffee. Cold brew soon gained popularity as part of the evolving coffee culture, with different regions and countries adopting and adapting the technique to suit their preferences.
Finally, in more recent times, the specialty coffee movement, with its focus on quality, flavor, and innovation, has also helped popularize cold brew as an alternative brewing method.
The Flavor Difference Between Hot Coffee and Cold Brew
When it comes to coffee, people are very particular about how they want it served. From the comforting warmth of a hot cup of joe to the refreshing and smooth experience of a cold brew, each brewing method brings its own distinct taste profile. But when it comes to hot coffee vs. cold brew, some people really care.
So, what is the major difference between Cold Brew and Hot Coffee?
The largest difference between Cold Brew and hot coffee is the taste.
Most people agree that Cold Brew has a smoother and mellower taste. This is a result of the extended brewing time. While hot coffee will always be an American classic, Cold Brew does a great job of removing the bitter taste that some people associate with hot coffee. The result is a velvety, soothing cup that pleases just about everyone!
One of the remarkable aspects of cold brew is that by removing the bitter taste, it is able to naturally enhance the sweetness of coffee. As a result, you may more easily discover delightful hints of caramel, chocolate, or even fruity undertones in your cold brew. This is especially true with African coffee.
Additionally, just like hot coffee, cold brew provides an excellent foundation for adding a splash of creamy milk or nut-based alternatives or infusing it with unique syrups, spices, or even fruits. However, the delicious additives really POP more with Cold Brew.
For example, whether at home with our Cold Brew on Tap or at one of Compass Coffee's nearest cafes, try a Cold Brew with vanilla creamer (we call it a Vanilla Cream Cold Brew) and then a hot coffee with vanilla creamer. Which do you think will taste more like vanilla?
SPOILER ALERT: It rhymes with Cold Smew.
Finally, Cold Brew has multiple service options, while hot coffee only has one - hot. Cold Brew can be enjoyed over ice, diluted with a splash of water, and, as mentioned above, combined with your favorite creamer or syrup.
So, in conclusion, just as we said at the beginning of the blog, the largest difference between Cold Brew and a Good Ol' Hot Cup of Joe is flavor. For some, Cold Brew delights with its smoothness and enhanced sweetness, while maintaining a full-bodied flavor.
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We hope you enjoyed "The Complete Guide to Cold Brew Coffee – Part 1", and keep your eyes open for the next part in the series. Topics will include: The Pioneers Who Popularized Cold Brew and The Health Advantages of Cold Brew.