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Ditch the Iced Coffee and Try Cold Brew

Ditch the Iced Coffee and Try Cold Brew

Do you know the difference between cold brew coffee and iced coffee? Many people and even restaurants that serve coffee use the two terms interchangeably. However, the brewing process and flavor are totally different between cold brew coffee and iced coffee.

Both cold brew coffee and iced coffee provide that refreshing "ahhh" experience that hot coffee lacks. However, cold brew coffee requires a special brewing and prep process that elevates it above the standard iced coffee option. Brewing a cold brew pitcher can be a fun but time-consuming experience, so Stone Street developed cold brew bags to make achieving your cold brew dreams a reality.

So, what are the benefits of drinking cold brew coffee? Let's dive in. 

Is Cold Brew Coffee Healthier?

Cold Brew Latte

The number one question people ask about cold brew coffee is if it’s healthier than regular coffee. So, let’s talk about it right away. Cold brew coffee is better for your body than regular hot coffee. If this information is shocking to you, you’re not alone.

The coffee brewing process plays an essential role in the flavor of the coffee and the composition of the coffee bean. The incredibly slow cold brewing process means fewer acidic compounds are released. Acidic compounds are connected to the bitterness of coffee. Less acidic compounds mean less bitter coffee.

Cold brew coffee is 60% less acidic than hot brewed coffee. While acidity plays an important role in flavor, it also determines how coffee affects your body. For example, with significantly less acid, heartburn becomes a thing of the past. So, if you or someone you love has had to take a step back from their favorite caffeine fix due to heartburn or acid reflux, cold brew could be just the solution they're looking for. 

Try Medium Roast Cold Brew Coffee

Iced Coffee vs. Cold Brew

Cold Brew Pitcher Packs with Coffee

While the cold brew process is slow and releases less acidic compounds into coffee, iced coffee doesn't offer that same benefit. Iced coffee is just hot coffee that has been poured over ice. The brewing process is the same as regular coffee, with the only difference being the temperature.

Iced coffee is not bad by any means. It's that same coffee flavor profile you love but chilled down. And not to mention, is there anything better than the super satisfying sound of shaking an iced coffee cup?

Cold brew coffee and iced coffee tend to get lumped together because they're both cold and typically served over ice. However, knowing the differences can ensure that you have your ideal coffee experience every time. Stone Street knows the cold brew process can be overwhelming, so we came out with pre-prepared cold brew bags to make your favorite coffee in a snap.

Cold Brew Bags vs. Cold Brew Coffee Beans

There are two authentic ways to create a homemade cold brew:

  • Cold Brew Bags
  • Cold Brew Coffee Beans 

Cold Brew Bags - Same Great Flavor With Less Work

Cold Brew Coffee from Above

Cold brew bags are the perfect method for those who want to simplify the cold brew process but don't want to sacrifice the benefits of a less acidic coffee. Coffee beans have been pre-ground and pre-portioned into cold brew bags. The brewing process is still the same length of time; however, you can have your cold brew pitcher prepped and ready to go in under a minute by using cold brew bags.

The long process of grinding coffee beans, measuring, and steeping coffee is why some businesses have opted to consider iced coffee the same as cold brew coffee. So, keep an eye out for restaurants that promise cold brew but deliver iced coffee. Especially if you're looking for the benefits of cold brew, keeping cold brew bags in your kitchen can ensure you keep your acidity level down without sacrificing your caffeine level.

If you want to hop on the cold brew trend but don't have a burr grinder or the patience, it can be tempting to brew coffee, pour it over ice, and call it a day. This is where cold brew bags come in clutch; they take the work out of brewing coffee, so all you have to do is enjoy delicious full-bodied flavors. Making a cold brew pitcher doesn't have to be time-consuming or require a lot of effort with cold brew bags. Coffee is something you should look forward to, including the brewing process.

Make Cold Brew Coffee with Cold Brew Bags (Easy Tutorial!)

Supplies:

Stone Street Cold Brew Pitcher Packs

Cold Brew Pitcher

Filtered water

Wooden spoon for stirring

Directions:
  1. Place two Cold Brew Pitcher Packs into filtered water.
  2. Add 32 oz of cold filtered water to the cold brew pitcher, and cover with a lid.
  3. Allow to steep in the fridge for 18-24 hours.
  4. Gently remove cold brew bags.
  5. Optional - add up to 12oz of cold water to obtain your desired brew strength.
  6. Pour over ice and enjoy! 

There’s literally no easier way to have fresh cold brew coffee every morning than with Cold Brew Pitcher Packs. Of course, coffee should be high quality, but that doesn't mean the brewing process must be high maintenance. When you're drowning in stress and exhaustion, cold brew bags are the life preserver you can count on.

Cold Brew Coffee Beans: Making Cold Brew From Scratch

The Perfect Espresso Coffee in Bag

Everything from a traditional drip coffee to espresso involves a fairly quick brewing process when compared with cold brew. Brewing hot coffee can take anywhere from a few seconds to several minutes. In contrast, cold brew coffee takes anywhere from 12 to 24 hours.

While brewing coffee for an entire day might not sound appealing, the cold brew process is significantly less involved than it sounds. With only a few minutes of hands-on action, most of the cold brew process involves waiting. As a result, you can brew a delicious cold brew pitcher while running errands, brunching with friends, or while you're at the office. We love a multi-tasking queen (or king). Think of it as the crock pot of the coffee world. Prep it in the morning, then forget about it.

To make cold brew coffee from scratch, you’ll follow the steps above for making a cold brew pitcher with only a few additional steps. However, before the brewing begins, you'll need to get your coffee beans ready to steep since you’re not using pre-portioned cold brew bags. Using the best coffee beans is step one when brewing a cold brew pitcher.

Cold Brew Coffee Tutorial From Start to Sip

Supplies:
Cold Brew Reserve in Bag

Dark or medium roasted coffee beans

Burr grinder (preferred)

Filtered water

Fine mesh strainer

Filter - paper or cheesecloth (can be composted)

Mason jar or pitcher (depending on batch size)

Wooden spoon for stirring 

Directions:
  1. Coarsely grind coffee beans using a burr grinder. Cold brew coffee can be brewed using medium-coarse to coarse ground coffee beans.
  2. Mix using a one-to-four ratio. In a Mason jar or cold brew pitcher, pour one cup of coarse coffee grounds into four cups of cold filtered water, and stir.
  3. Place a lid on your Mason jar or cold brew pitcher, and let it sit between 18 to 24 hours at room temperature.
  4. Double strain the cold brew pitcher to separate excess coffee grounds. Use a coffee filter, fine mesh strainer, or fine mesh strainer with a cheesecloth.
  5. Pour your cold brew concentrate into a glass over ice. Add water to obtain your desired strength and consistency. Start by using equal parts water to cold brew.
  6. Add milk, sweetener, or creamer to taste.
  7. Sip, sip, hooray!

As you can see, using cold brew bags instead of making cold brew from scratch has a few differences. The key difference is that cold brew bags create a more streamlined process that allows you to brew and go.

However, making cold brew coffee from scratch can be fun and rewarding. Many of our Stone Street coffee drinkers love the process of grinding, measuring, and straining. Making coffee can feel therapeutic in a world that constantly wants us to go, go, go. Whether you brew using cold brew bags or make a cold brew pitcher from scratch, there’s no wrong way to enjoy your favorite caffeinated beverage.  

Is Cold Brew Coffee Stronger Than Regular Coffee?

Woman Holding Cold Brew Coffee

Yes, cold brew concentrate is stronger than regular coffee because the cold brew process involves making a cold brew concentrate. Cold brew isn't diluted like hot coffee is, so it's stronger and more intense. Once you've made cold brew concentrate, you can add as much or as little ice and cold water to create the ideal coffee strength. You have complete control over strength in a way you don't with other brewing methods.

Cold brew concentrate is most often poured over ice with cold water. Then, you can add milk, creamer, or sweetener to upgrade your coffee game. The most common ratio for creating the perfect cold brew coffee is one part cold brew concentrate to one part cold water or milk. But, as always, we all have different taste buds. And let's face it, some days require an especially aggressive caffeine kick, so add as much or as little water and milk to your coffee concentrate as your day calls for. 

Prep Your Coffee Ahead of Time With Cold Brew Coffee

The biggest selling point is that cold brew coffee can be prepared in advance and last up to 10 days in the fridge. We've all had to reheat hot coffee before, and let's be honest; it just doesn't hit the spot the way fresh coffee does.

Cold brew coffee is meant to be prepped ahead of time and then chill in your fridge. It's the perfect addition to your Sunday morning to-do list that will have you reaping the benefits all week long.

Whether you lead a busy life, tend to procrastinate, or enjoy entertaining guests: having a cold brew pitcher in your fridge is the perfect way to at least appear like you've got it all together. You may not have a charcuterie board ready to go for guests, but you'll have excellent cold brew coffee. And coffee is always on-trend. 

Old Coffee Beans are Perfect for Cold Brew Coffee

Coffee Grounds on a Spoon

Coffee grounds should be stored in an airtight container for the freshest coffee and consumed within two weeks. On the other hand, unopened coffee beans can be stored and kept fresh in your freezer for up to two years. If you're grinding your coffee beans, the rule of thumb is to grind as you go. Either grind daily or prepare up to one week at a time.

But inevitably, life will happen, and you'll end up with coffee beans past their prime. We would never suggest tossing your coffee beans; that's caffeinated gold! What’s the solution, you may ask? Cold brew coffee is the perfect alternative for using your older coffee beans. We even compiled a fun list of ways to recycle your used coffee grounds.

Bitterness and acidity occur as coffee beans age; it's the natural release and breakdown of compounds. Cold brew coffee is a slow brew with significantly less acidity and bitterness than hot coffee. With less acidity being pulled from the coffee beans, it can balance out the bitterness that has occurred with age.

Cold Brew to Warm Your Heart

Your cold brew coffee beans and Cold Brew Pitcher Packs provide you with the very best coffee every day. Your purchase also helps coffee farmers. If you've been a part of our Brooklyn Coffee Academy blog community for a while, you’ll know we are constantly stressing the importance of filtered water when making coffee. For every purchase of $50 or more, Stone Street is donating 5% back to Charity:Water to help fund clean water well projects.

Cold Brew for the Coffee Drinker That Wants It All

Cold Brew Boost Coffee in Bag

Cold brew is the epitome of the best coffee experience. Like most good things, it takes time and patience, and the payoff is always worth it. Having a cold brew pitcher on hand means you’re always ready to tackle the day, whether that means tackling your to-do list or entertaining guests.

You don't need a ton of supplies or a particular machine to make cold brew. Instead, grab your favorite pitcher from your pantry, and keep a supply of cold brew bags for emergencies.

Asked to take over as the last-minute host for book club? Bestie is going through a breakup? Co-worker didn't pull their weight, and you have to pick up the slack? Toss some cold brew bags in a pitcher of cold water, get some sleep, and know that you have refreshing coffee waiting for you in the morning. You may not feel up to the challenges tomorrow brings, but caffeine can make us feel invincible. You got this.

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