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The Science of Cold Brew

The Science of Cold Brew

How it’s made and why it’s delicious


Roasted coffee grounds and filtered water. They’re the essential building blocks of every single one of your favorite caffeinated (or indeed, gasp, decaf) libations.


But where the science—and the flavor—really blooms is in the brewing. How you grind, blend and heat these elements (or don’t) will kindle the chemistry of your favorite coffee, synthesizing its unique taste profile.


If you take yours subtle and slightly sweet, join the growing ranks of cold brew fanatics. While quickly hot-brewed drip coffee generates strong aromas and acidity, cold brewing keeps things slow and mellow. The process involves soaking coffee grounds in cold or room-temperature water for several hours (we recommend overnight). Grounds may be pre-bagged or loose, but the latter will need to be strained out afterward.


Inside your glass or pitcher, the big chemical reactions are happening over hours instead of minutes, pulling soluble oils and other compounds from the grounds without as much oxidation along the way.


The resulting coffee is less acidic than your average cup—smooth, concentrated and refreshing in any weather. Cold brew also keeps fresh longer, and can last up to four weeks when kept in the fridge. Whip up a pitcher before bed and get ready for good mornings.

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