It’s cold brew season, baby!
Although the overdue summer sun has yet to inspire cold drinks by the pool, the heat of cold brew season must be just around the corner. But why exactly is cold brew so delicious? Let’s look into Groundwork’s most popular summer drinks – the Classic Cold Brew and Nitro Cold Brew – to find out why.
How is cold brew different from regular coffee?
In a previous blog post, we explained how cold brew is made by steeping coffee for 12 - 24 hours in cool water. This slow extraction at a cooler temperature reduces the coffee’s acidity by 60% and extracts different compounds, particularly those responsible for sweetness. Heat during brewing causes more oxidation of the coffee, in other words, coffee flavor compounds degrade when reacting with oxygen in the air. If you can smell your coffee as it brews, those aromas are no longer in your coffee. The cold brew method actually retains some of the aromas and flavors that normally escape when brewing at high temperatures.
Another benefit of cold brew is that more caffeine can be extracted when coffee grounds are steeped longer. So, the cold brew method extracts more caffeine in comparison to a hot-brewed coffee with the same beans and grind size. Most cold brews are also made to be more concentrated than hot coffees. These reasons explain why many of our customers say they get more of a kick from our Classic Cold Brew and Nitro Cold Brew. Contrary to popular belief, nitro cold brew actually doesn’t inherently have more caffeine than normal cold brew…
What is Nitro Cold Brew?
Nitro cold brew is just regular cold brew coffee but with nitrogen blasted through it. The nitrogen bubbles give some people a slight head rush that momentarily feels similar to a caffeine high. These tiny bubbles are meant to give nitro cold brew a thicker, silky texture and enhance its flavor.
Arguably the best part of nitro is the nitrogen microfoam that rises to the top of the class: it has a creamy texture, almost as if you added creamer, and is reminiscent of a draft stout.
The additional benefit of nitro is that infusing cold brew with nitrogen expels any oxygen in the coffee. Therefore, nitrogen works as a preservative merely by taking up space in the cold brew container and eliminating oxidation without compromising flavor.
Groundwork Certified Organic Cold Brew is steeped 24 hours for optimal flavor and is made without additives or preservatives. We’ll cheers to that!