Flash Brew vs. Cold Brew Coffee

If you love your coffee cold, you're not alone, but what's the best way to prepare it?

There's three main ways to make cold coffee: Iced Coffee, Flash Brew and Cold Brew. So, let's break them down and take a look.

What is Iced Coffee?

The most traditional and old school way of making iced coffee is to take a pot of coffee and slap some ice in it. While this may be a very convenient method, there are way more drawbacks than advantages to brewing it this way.

Once this pot of hot coffee is made, it cools over time in the pot, which means the delicious oils and natural sugars from the coffee continue to overextract with time, making the coffee taste very bitter and stale.

Once you add ice, it will officially be iced coffee, but that ice also melts, resulting in a watered down, bitter cup of joe.

If you're cool with adding a few scoops of sugar, and you're not using a premium coffee, this method is not horrible!

What is Cold Brew Coffee?

Cold brew coffee seems to be the fashionable choice, but how does it measure up?

You can find canned and bottled versions of cold brew coffee everywhere from companies like Stokd and Starbucks.

The most well-known cold brew method is letting coffee grounds steep in cold water for 12 to 24 hours, then filtering them out.

The end result of cold brewing will be a smooth coffee, but lacking in the acidity and earthiness traditionally associated with coffee.

The oils in coffee that cause those earthy flavours are released in hot water, not cold water. Without those grounded flavors, the coffee tastes sweeter overall, but the lack of acidity on the tongue leads the drinker to taste more of a coffee's general roast flavours and less of the interesting and unique flavour notes that come from specialty coffee.

 What is Flash Brew Coffee?

Flash brewing is more or less the exact opposite of cold brewing.

Flash brewing uses the pour over method. Hot water is poured over ground coffee, which is immediately drained into a container of ice, instantly chilling the coffee.

To compensate for ice melt, coffee is brewed with half as much water and uses the melted ice as the other half, to ensure the coffee has the perfect water to coffee ratio.

Since hot water does release coffee's oils and natural sugars, the final brew has coffee's classic floral notes, acidity and aromas.

There's no way around it, hot water extracts coffee in a way that cold water just can't. 

That’s what separates Flash Brew from traditional cold brew coffee.

Which one is right for you?

So which brew is right for you? Depends on what you like in your cup! 

If what you love about coffee is all the amazing natural flavour notes and nuance, flash brewing will give you those same hot coffee flavours in iced coffee form. 
Which brew do you prefer? Let us know below! 

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  • Fernanda on

    I tried to make flash brew after this article and love it! Thanks.

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