Can You Heat Up Cold Brew Coffee?

July 12, 2021 by Madelyn Doyle

The answer is a big Yes. It often comes in concentrated form. You can simply pour hot water to heat it up easily and dilute the concentrate to make it more similar to a typical coffee cup.

You can manage your coffee’s strength by changing the hot water amount you add. In fact, there are other ways for you to warm up the cold brew coffee.

We will cover the best ways for turning cold brew coffee into a day-brightening coffee mug in today’s article. Before we reveal our secret, take a look at the below cold brew overview.

Complete Cold Brew Overview

We will cover all related information about cold brew coffee – an increasingly popular style of coffee preferred by many coffee aficionados. 

What Is Cold Brew Coffee?

This unique style of coffee is versatile and smooth. It is made in a concentrated form to allow for optimal flexibility without compromising any bold flavor. The term “cold brew” refers to the procedure of making this coffee.

In particular, the beans are soaked in cold water instead of hot water like conventional coffee. And this process will take a longer time, normally from 12-18 hours, to soak up all the bean flavors. 

Another benefit of using cold water is that it leaves the coffee’s bitter notes for a more tender and smoother mouthfeel and taste.

What Is Its Origin?

Though there is no official document proving the origin of cold brew coffee, the earliest evidence shows that the method of using cold water to soak coffee beans is from Japan.

Meanwhile, cold brew coffee in the United States features a history in New Orleans. It was more popular when businesses like Stumptown and Blue Bottle applied the techniques and introduced them to more people. 

Yet, it was not until the famous coffee chain – Starbucks –  launched its first cold brew coffee in 2015. And this type of coffee has become more mainstream since then. You can find the technique of making cold brew coffee almost everywhere today.

Is Cold Brew The Same As Iced Coffee?

These days, packaging has been so deceptive. It is understandable why you probably wonder if cold brew coffee is only a ploy for iced coffee rebranding. That said, cold brew is completely not like iced coffee. 

They are different in the coffee-making method, and their flavors are not the same as well. Iced coffee begins off hot and will be cooled in a fridge or ice cubes after brewing. In short, iced coffee is soaked in hot water. 

Cooling the hot coffee to create iced coffee has some minus points. For instance, adding ice to your coffee can significantly water down its flavor and give you a dreaded coffee taste. 

Meanwhile, as the coffee beans are brewed in cold water at first, it remains a bold and strong flavor with no need to cool your coffee. This type of coffee will feature a special taste that other kinds of coffee cannot produce. 

In particular, it tastes less bitter, more chocolatey, and smoother. Frankly, it’s truly a different taste and might not be for every coffee drinker.

Is Cold Brew Less Acidic?

Today, this topic has been debated. As cold brew coffee has flooded the marketplace, marketers claim that cold brew is less acidic and beneficial to those with stomach problems. 

That said, a pioneering study led by scientists at Thomas Jefferson University in 2018 proves that there is a small acidity difference between hot brews and cold brews.

Benefits Of Heating Up Cold Brew Coffee

If you must leave your house soon every morning, the use of cold brew concentrate for hot coffee is really an ideal method to get your fix. 

Accordingly, you can make a big volume of cold brews at the weekend and add hot water whenever you want to enjoy it on weekdays. 

Unlike traditional hot brew coffee, cold brew will not have diluted flavor caused by adding hot water as its concentration is quite high.

How To Heat Up Cold Brew Coffee?

So it is a Yes to the question: Can you heat up cold brew coffee? But you might wonder how to do that. This section will give you the answer.

Heat On The Stove

We call this method “barista” as it makes us feel like true coffee connoisseurs. It is also the most complicated way to heat cold brews as it is quite challenging to get the ideal temperature for the best coffee flavor. 

You can utilize anything from a saucepan or a kettle, apply the low temperature to deter burning.

Dilute With Boiled Water

Adding hot water is the easiest way to heat up your cold-brew coffee. You only need to boil water and add it to your coffee. And a caffeine kick is ready to go.

A small tip for you is that you need to heat up water and add some to your coffee cup first to preheat it. This method protects your coffee from the thermal shock that alters its taste.

Microwave Your Cold Brew

The last method we want to reveal is using a microwave to heat up cold brew coffee. This method is our preferred choice as it is quite fast and can get the job done. 

All you need to do is to pour a small amount of water to dilute the cold brew and pop it into a microwave later. It takes only one minute for the whole process.

Will It Taste Different?

When heating up your coffee, there will be chemical reactions that can partly change the quality and taste. Accordingly, the chemical in your coffee can react with the oxygen to alter its flavor faster. 

Brewing coffee with cold water means the water can slow down the molecule oxidation within the coffee. When you warm up the coffee, the “aging” process takes place much slower than it functions in hot brewed coffee. 

There might be a small change in the coffee taste, yet it is probably less bold than reheating traditional coffee.

Other Methods To Enjoy Heated Cold Brew Coffee

You do not have to enjoy a warm cold brew on its own. Instead, you can drink it as a tender cocktail. The addition of alcoholic spirits to the coffee might be an ideal method to brighten up the evening and a cold day.

For tasteful cold-brewed coffee cocktails, it is best, to begin with, quality coffee. Unlike traditional coffee, the coffee cocktail can make a big difference between a mediocre drink and an enjoyable one. 

Below are some other styles of coffee to enjoy your hot cold brew.

French Connection

A French Connection coffee style or a Cafe Amore demands the addition of equal content of cognac and amaretto to the hot-cold brew for a tasty and sweet treat. 

If you want to get an even sweet cocktail, you can use more amaretto. Also, you can top your cocktails with sweet whipped cream.

Irish Coffee

Once you follow the heated cold-brewed coffee recipe, remember to use quality coffee beans and slightly finish your coffee with Irish whiskey, whipped cream, and brown sugar for a real Irish coffee.

Cafe Brasileiro

Should you like the combination of hot coffee and ice cream, you can try making a cup of Cafe Brasileiro style for a flavorful treat. To make it, you simply need to add the cachaca and chocolate flavor liqueur to the cold-brewed coffee and put the vanilla ice cream on top.

Hot White Russian

This style of coffee is a common hot coffee cocktail. You will mix the coffee with heavy cream, vodka, and coffee flavor liqueur to make it. Do not forget to add some whipped cream to the top of the coffee cup if you like.

Caramel Latte

It is easy to notice that caramel latte is one of the must-try drinks around the world. It doesn’t have spirits. That said, it contains caramel to lift your spirit.

To make a cup of Caramel latte, easily steam a small amount of caramel syrup and milk together and add it to the cup. Then add your heated cold-brewed coffee and use a spoon to complete it with a frothed milk layer.

Final Thoughts

So it is a Yes to the question: Can you heat up cold brew coffee? We also share three methods for you to heat up your cold brew. Depending on your preference and condition, you can choose the most suitable way to make a cup of heated cold-brewed coffee. 

Besides, do not forget to try other ways of enjoying this type of coffee like Irish coffee, caramel latte, and more. Anyway, if you have any further questions, please feel free to let us know. Thank you for reading.


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