“Why is cold brew stronger?” – This is a question a lot of people are asking, and it is surprising to me. Why? Because cold brew coffee is often less strong than other coffee.
However, I think I understand why this is such a common question, and there are two answers to this question.
1) The coffee to water ratio
2) The caffeine aspect of cold brew
The coffee to water ratio
Cold brew is often brewed with a hight coffee to water ratio, for example, 1:8, 1:5, or even 1:4. This high ratio will, of course, result in much stronger coffee than if you brewed it with a lower coffee to water ratio.
The thing is that when you brew your cold brew coffee with a 1:4 ratio, the intention is often not to drink it like it is. What you instead are trying to do is to create a “cold brew extract”, which you can blend with water before serving.
Therefore, if you, for example, buy premade cold brew which might really be cold brew extract and you don’t add water to it might taste really strong. The same goes, of course, for brewing cold brew coffee at home. If you followed a recipe telling you to use a 1:4 ratio, you should add water before serving (if you don’t like a strong glass of cold brew).
The caffeine aspect
Another aspect of the “Why is Cold Brew Coffee Stronger?” question is the caffeine. Cold brew coffee is often more caffeinated than other coffee beverages. Let me explain with an example:
When you make cold brew coffee, you use a high coffee-water ratio, let’s say 1:4 for this example. Before serving you add some water, let’s say that you like to add a lot of water, you like to add as much water as cold brew. 50/50.
After adding water to the cold brew, the coffee to water ratio has decreased from 1:4 to 1:8 (because you added no coffee, but you doubled the water).
Cold brewing extracts less caffeine, but the ratio even after adding additional water to the cold brew is higher than for most hot brewing methods.
Now, if you drink your cold brew without adding extra water, the caffeine content for a glass of cold brew coffee will, of course, be much higher than for hot brewed coffee.
The cold brew is not that strong really, but if you brew cold brew extract and don’t add any water before serving… Yes, then this fantastic cold coffee drink will be very strong. The same goes for caffeine, cold brew coffee is brewed with a higher coffee to water ratio, and this results in often higher caffeine content, especially if you don’t add water before serving.
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