Categories: Coffee cademy Cold brew

Which One Is Better – Cold-brewed or Hot-brewed Coffee?

Over our last five posts, we’ve looked at cold-brewed coffee from a variety of angles: how to make it, different types here in the U.S. and around the world, and it’s history. One question remains: “What can I get for you?” In answering your barista’s question, you must make a decision: cold-brewed or hot-brewed coffee, which is better?

Eliminating the Weather from the Criteria

The answer may appear simple. You might go for whichever one is more suited for the current weather. Both cold-brewed and hot-brewed coffee can be enjoyed cold or hot, though. Cold-brews may be mixed with cold water or milk, or it can be combined with hot water. Hot-brewed coffee can be enjoyed as it is or cooled on ice.

Thus, the weather should not play a part in determining whether cold-brewed or hot-brewed coffee is better.

Deciding Based on Taste

Instead, taste should be used to determine which one is preferable. Because different solubles are extracted during the brew process, a cold-brewed cup of coffee and a hot-brewed one will taste very different. Generally speaking, cold-brewed coffee features a sweet, almost syrupy taste and is among the smoothest brew styles. Hot-brewed coffees, meanwhile, can highlight the acidity and brightness of a coffee, and they tend to have more aromatics.

You Must be the Judge

In the end, you must determine which is better, and the answer may change. It’s up to you and what you feel like enjoying. If you want a smooth cup of coffee without much acidity, go with a cold-brewed selection. If you’d prefer to smell notes of nuts, cherries or chocolate, a hot-brewed choice might be better. Either way, both methods can make a great cup of coffee.


Scott is a professional writer for Driftaway Coffee. He worked as a barista for eight years, but today prefers to enjoy his beverages from the other side of the counter. When not drinking Driftaway Coffee, Scott usually has a mug of his own roasted coffee nearby.

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Tags: cold brew

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