This summer it's all about the ice.
Cold brew coffee is enjoying a wave of popularity and for good reason. It's dead simple to make and makes a very rich, full bodied, low-acid, high caffeine concentrate you can store in the fridge for up to two weeks. To use, just pour some in a glass filled with ice and dilute to taste with dairy or more water.
Cold brew's biggest drawback is the time it takes to make it. You just have to plan ahead. If you're in a hurry, the "fast" way is to mix it up, put a lid on it and leave it out at room temperature where you're looking at a 12 to 18 hour wait for your cold caffeine treat. You can also put it in the refrigerator where the cooler temperature will take up to 24 hours to brew.
Another consideration is the coffee you choose to cold brew. Since there's no hot water to drive extraction, cold brewing leaves out all the brighter, more nuanced flavors many coffees offer. That makes cold brew and ideal method for medium and darker roasted roasted coffees. For the same reason, it's a fantastic way to use up any old beans you might have laying around. But if the smooth, simple enjoyment of a sweet, creamy, refreshingly cold cup of coffee is your bliss, you'll find it in cold brew.
But what If those highlights are important to you? If what you're after is a frosty version of your favorite hot coffee with all the bright, aromatic notes intact, there is an answer - hot brew over ice. Hot brewing lets you capture the flavor notes cold brewing misses, and one of the best parts is it's ready in minutes, not hours.
Which is better? Like everything else about coffee, that decision is entirely between you and your taste buds. Just follow these easy instructions and you'll be successful using both methods.