When it comes to differentiating cold brew from iced coffee, many think the two are synonymous. Guess again! Cold brew coffee is in a league of it’s own (okay we might be a little bias), and we’re here to tell you why:
What is Cold-Brew coffee?
There are several major differences that separate cold brew from traditional iced coffee, and it all begins with the way the coffee is brewed. When it comes to brewing coffee, the methods vary by the amount of time that the water is in contact with the grounds. Most brew methods involve pouring hot water over ground coffee beans to strain out a quick cup of coffee, but cold brewers know that good things take time.
- Cold Brew: Cold brew is a process of patience and uses time, rather than heat, to extract the coffee’s sugars, oils and caffeine. Coffee beans soak in cold or room-temperature water for a minimum of 12 hours. Chameleon gives its beans 16 hours to soak in limestone-cured Texas Hill country water to give you a super smooth and full-bodied brew. It’s worth the wait!
- Bonus: Cold brew can be enjoyed either cold or hot! Simply heat cold brew in the microwave or on the stove for a bold cup o’ Joe!
- Iced Coffee: Iced coffee is just that: coffee on ice. The coffee is brewed traditionally, using hot water to extract flavor from the coffee grounds, resulting in a hot cup of coffee. The finished product is eventually poured over ice, and may even dilute the taste due to melting ice.
Because cold brew and iced coffee undergo very different methods of brewing, it’s no surprise that each yields a unique taste. The distinctive taste profiles that distinguish cold brew coffee from a traditional cup of coffee range from “smooth and sweet’ to “floral and acidic.”
- Cold Brew: The cold brewing method allows us to conserve arguably the most important part of coffee: the taste! Cold brew coffee acidity is about half the acidity of traditional coffee, so it tastes better (not bitter) and it’s easy on the stomach. The end product is also smoother and more chocolaty than its counterpart. Great cold brew coffee will have a smoothness that’s unlike any traditionally brewed coffee. Some might say that a bitter flavor is the goal, but done properly, cold-brewing maximizes smoothness and minimizes bitterness.
- Iced Coffee: When it comes to coffee, the term “acidity” is profiled as a sour taste. Traditional coffee is particularly prone to this acidic taste because the oils in coffee solubles can oxidize more quickly at elevated temperatures. English: the oils in coffee combine with oxygen at a rapid speed thanks to the heat, causing the coffee to taste sour. A traditional iced coffee contains higher levels of acidity than cold brew coffee because of this. The melting ice will also yield a thinner taste.
For those of us that wish there was such a thing as a coffee IV that we could pump directly into our bloodstream (okay, maybe that’s a bit extreme), caffeine is a major benefit of our morning brew. Caffeine levels vary between coffee types such as espresso and conventional coffee, and cold brew caffeine levels are no exception.
- Cold Brew : Cold brew caffeine levels pack a punch, yielding three times more than that of a regular cup of coffee! Gary Clark Jr. would be jealous at the level of rock star you’d achieve at the office after a cup of cold brew.
- Iced Coffee: Traditional iced coffee can be great, but there’s good reason why we stand behind the mantra that one cup of our cold-brew turns a dreamer into a doer and a planner into a creator. Conventional coffee yields a standard level of caffeine, but it’s no contender against the strength of cold brew.
The great part about cold brew coffee is its usage and versatility! Cold brew can be served hot or cold, with a splash of milk, nut-mylk or even straight up! We’ve even come up with a few recipes to enjoy it as a dessert and blend it with our booze. The endless combinations of delicious are just another reason why we’re obsessed with cold brewing.
Imagine coffee drinks that deliver higher caffeine content, bigger flavor and ultra-smoothness, yet with less acid. That’s Chameleon Cold-Brew. We’re proud to set the gold standard in cold-brew and serve up a buzz as big as Texas!