An interesting article in The New York Times about the difference between cold brew coffee vs. iced coffee.
Both drinks are made from the same pair of magical, everyday ingredients — they’re just combined at different temperatures. Water heated to around 200 degrees Fahrenheit (about 93 degrees Celsius) and poured over the grounds will extract all of coffee’s most pleasurable essences in a matter of minutes. When cooled and poured over ice, you have a standard iced coffee. If the brewing water is room temperature, it must canoodle with the coffee grounds for much longer, anywhere from 12 to 24 hours, to produce a cup of joe worth sipping, but the resulting beverage contains coffee’s most sought after qualities — flavor and caffeine — without the bitterness found in one brewed hot.
Does cold brew coffee have more caffeine than hot coffee or iced coffee? The answer seems to be: it depends:
Wading through the world of cold brew coffee can be a brutal game of trial and error. Thanks to the wide range of brewing methods, the difference in caffeine content among cold brews is considerably harder to predict than the amount of acid. After brewing for 20 hours, 16 ounces of cold brew at Starbucks contains 200 milligrams of caffeine (12 milligrams per ounce). While that’s about 20 percent higher than their iced coffee, which clocks in at 165 milligrams (10 milligrams per ounce), it’s considerably lower than the same amount of hot coffee, which has 310 milligrams (20 milligrams per ounce). Coffee from Dunkin’ reports similar numbers, with 10.8 milligrams in every ounce of cold brew.
But when you wade into more specialty waters, especially among prepackaged brands, the caffeine content is far from predictable. Canned cold brew brands Rise and High Brew have nearly identical packaging, but grabbing the wrong one could cost you. Rise’s original flavor contains 180 milligrams in its 7-ounce can (25 milligrams per ounce), which is anywhere from 30-50 milligrams more caffeine than what’s found in High Brew’s 8-ounce can. Stumptown, a roaster based in Portland, Ore., sells cold brew in 10.5-ounce bottles that contain a whopping 29.4 milligrams of caffeine per ounce.
Read the entire New York Times piece here.