Many people love cold brew coffee because it has a very low acid content, but it has a very strong flavor profile to it.
But maybe you want to try heating up your cold brew coffee to see if it’s just as good hot as it is cold. The question is, can you heat up cold brew coffee?
Yes, it is possible for you to heat up your cold brew coffee beverage. Be aware that heating it could impact your taste slightly, but there are no risks associated with heating up your cold brew and enjoying it hot.
Adding hot water to this beverage can help keep the acidity lower than it would if you heated traditional coffee itself.
However, there is a lot more to it than simply putting it in the microwave and heating it up.
No matter if you call it bean juice, java, joe, or rocket fuel, you’d be hard-pressed to find a better way to start out the day.
However, before you start heating up this cold brew coffee, there are a few heating techniques that you want to keep in mind. We’re going to review cold brews, see how it differs from more traditional coffee, and we’ll give you a way to heat it up.
What Makes Iced Coffee and Cold Brew Different?
The main difference between these two types of beverages is how you brew them. Cold-brew uses room temperature or cold water when you brew it, and they also soak the ground coffee beans in the water for 12 to 48-hours prior to serving it.
When you get from this process is a much more concentrated coffee that is great for pouring over some ice because the ice cubes can melt without the coffee tasting watery.
The coffee could even be slightly too strong at first, and cold brew is known for having a slightly milder and sweeter flavor while packing a more intense buzz.
Because the water and coffee sit for a longer period, you get a higher caffeine concentration in your cold brew coffee.
You can expect this coffee to have an average of 10 to 20 more milligrams of caffeine than you’ll get if you choose to drink an iced coffee.
On the other end of the spectrum, you will brew your iced coffee like you would any type of hot coffee. It’s like brewing a traditional coffee, allowing it to cool down, and then pouring it over ice.
The convenience factor is one of the driving factors behind this type of coffee, and it only takes around 10 minutes to brew by touching a button on more advanced machines.
It’s important that you factor in the cool-down time too when it comes to making this coffee, but this time will differ based on a few factors.
Ice coffee can have a much more bold taste to it than you’ll get with cold brew, and you can easily enhance the taste of both coffee types by adding sugar, cream, milk, cinnamon, flavored syrups, or other additives.
Hot to Heat Cold Brew Coffee Correctly
Although this sounds like common sense, you do get a few choices when it comes to heating up your cold brew coffee.
Some of these options can work better than others do, but you have to keep in mind that cold brew coffee is much more concentrated than traditional coffee. So, it’s very popular to heat a cold brew up by adding boiling water to it.
First, you want to warm up your mug by filling it with boiling water and then pouring the water out. The next step is to fill the mug up halfway with your cold brew coffee and then finish filling it with boiling water.
You’ll end up with a coffee that is cool enough to drink without scorching your lips, but it’s hot enough to warm you up. You can also heat it up by boiling it on the stovetop.
Boiling your coffee on the stove will allow you to heat it without watering it down, but you want to monitor it, so you don’t accidentally burn your coffee.
Using your microwave to heat it is another option, but this should be a last resort as it can change the flavor.
What Happens to Your Cold Brew Coffee When You Heat It
When you heat your cold brew, you’ll bring out a few different chemical compounds, but it won’t do much to the coffee’s flavor.
In fact, there’s a good chance you won’t even notice a difference in the taste between cold and heated cold brew coffee.
There are 30 types of acid in this coffee, but you only have to worry about quinic acid and chlorogenic acid during the heating process.
When you heat these acids up, it’ll slowly alter their composition to release a slightly sour flavor into your coffee.
The other acids don’t change much due to the heating process, but they do help the coffee have a very rich and bold flavor profile.
You’ve most likely tasted some of these sour notes in your coffee if you’ve ever had coffee from an airport, at a hotel breakfast bar, or at a fast-food restaurant.
All of these places tend to make large batches of coffee and leave it out for hours on a burner. The upside of having a large batch of coffee ready is that you can have it whenever you want, but you’ll have to contend with a sour or acidic taste.
You should brew your coffee as hot as possible, even if you want to turn it into iced coffee, to keep a nice flavor.
Does the Acidity Increase When You Heat a Cold Brew Coffee?
Your coffee’s acidity content will depend on how long you want to heat it, and the best way to do this is to add boiling water to it as we mentioned earlier.
When you try a different heating method, the compound changes we touched on come into play, and this can change your coffee’s flavor.
When you heat or reheat your coffee, it will release compounds like quinic and chlorogenic acid.
The acids are both naturally occurring compounds in every coffee beverage, but if you increase their levels, you’ll get a much more acidic taste in your coffee.
This is why heating the water instead of heating the coffee directly and adding the heated water to the cold brew is less likely to get that acidic flavor notes.
Along with using quality coffee beans, another way to get a nice flavor in your iced, cold brew, or hot coffee is to use a French Press.
Can You Heat Iced Coffee and How Does it Differ From a Cold Brew?
Yes, you can heat iced coffee because all you’re doing is returning the coffee to its original state before iced was added.
The main difference is that hot-brewed coffee isn’t nearly as concentrated as a cold brew. The recommended way to heat your cold brew won’t work as well for trying to heat up iced coffee unless you want to drink an extremely weak cup of coffee. Don’t add any more water into your iced coffee when you heat it.
The best way to heat up your iced coffee is to pop it in the microwave or put it in a pan on the stove.
Using the stove on low heat is the best option you have, but you have to monitor it, so you don’t accidentally burn it.
You can heat up cold brew coffee in a few different ways, but the best way is to add boiling water to it since it has such a strong flavor profile.
You can also heat up iced coffee, but you have to be careful not to water it down. So, heat up your cold brew coffee and see if you like it as much as you do in its original state.