In this article, we will answer all your questions of can you heat up iced coffee and how to heat cold brew coffee with our in-depth heating up cold brew coffee guide! Everything you need need to know about heating cold brew coffee is below!
What is cold brew?
Now that winter has come, those in colder climes don’t feel like they are able to fully enjoy their favorite cold brew, but they don’t have to miss out on all the cold brew fun, especially when they can warm it up. Wait! Warm-up cold brew?
Doesn’t that defeat the purpose? Isn’t it supposed to be cold? It is in the name, after all, and heat is the antithesis of cold Well, rest easy, cold brew refers to the cold steeping process by which the coffee is made, and yes, your cold brew can be warmed up. read on if you would like to know-how
Is it OK to heat up cold brew coffee?
Many coffee snobs will tell you that cold brew must always be served cold. They will also tell you that ice ruins a nitro cold brew’s unique stout characteristics and rich mouthfeel. On the first point, they would be dead wrong, you can heat up a cold brew, and it can be great if done right. On the second point, however, they would be correct don’t add ice to your nitro. Trust us.
You probably think you see cold brew everywhere, but a lot of what you see may be iced coffee instead. Just because it has ice and is a coffee doesn’t make just any iced coffee; you see a cold brew, and that is an important distinction to make. Cold-brew refers to the method by which the coffee was brewed.
Iced coffee is normally conventional drip coffee served over ice. It may not seem like it would make a big difference, but if you order one and get the other, you will definitely notice. For our purposes, you simply need to know that heating up an iced coffee is the same as heating up a regular cup of coffee after you’ve cooled it with ice; first, it doesn’t make sense.
It is also important for our discussion of heating up a cold brew. This is because most people assume that for some reason, the cold brewing process makes cold brew coffee impossible to heat up or that doing so will ruin what they love about their favorite type of coffee. Have no fear; the great thing about cold brew is that it is made from concentrate. This means that the brewing process takes place by steeping coarse coffee grounds in cold water for a number of hours to create a concentrate.
Most of the benefits people enjoy about cold brew, subtle flavors, less caffeine content, and lower acidity than your average cup of coffee, are derived from this brewing process, and they don’t go away just because you heat cold brew up. Because the grounds are removed at the end of the brewing process, the character of the concentrate is locked in and can only be altered by the ratio of water it is mixed with.
This means that heating up your cold brew will have no effect on it whatsoever besides the obvious change in temperature. Heating up cold brew also won’t change its caffeine composition, so doing so can be a great way to enjoy your favorite brewing method in the cold winter months. So Can I Heat up cold brew and can cold brewed coffee be served hot? Yes, they can. Can Cold brew coffee be heated, yes it can!
Does heating up cold brew coffee make it acidic?
Most people already know that cold brew coffee is naturally lower in acidity and appreciate it for this very reason. Few are aware, however, that this feature is due to the cold brewing process and unique for that reason from most hot coffees.
So, it stands to reason, if the cold brew is lower in acidity because of how it is brewed, does heating it up to undo all that good work? The short answer is no, heating up cold brew won’t raise its acidity.
This is for many reasons, chiefly that heating cold brew is normally done without the presence of additional coffee grounds; since it is the heating of the grounds that give coffee its acidity, their absence means that heating cold brew won’t increase its acidity.
What influences your cold brew’s acidity and caffeine levels more than heating it up is how strong you make your batch in terms of the ratio of added water. This is because all of the characteristics are in the concentrate, and adding more or less water can only lessen or heighten the effects of the concentrate.
So, while it may feel like you are cheating by heating up your cold brew to enjoy it warmly, don’t stress; you aren’t doing anything at that point to change the strength of your brew in any way other than by adding water.
How do you heat cold brew?
So now that we have dispelled some of the myths of heating up a cold brew, we know that it can be done with no problem. The question is, how do you heat up cold brew9 Well, there are actually quite a few good options; it all depends on what equipment you have and what type of cold brew you have on hand.
For example, are you trying to heat up a cold brew from concentrate or from a cold brew that is already mixed? This will change the method you want to heat yours’s up. Here are a few ways you could choose to heat up your cold brew
Heating up cold brew concentrate on the stove:
1. Take a measure of cold brew concentrate and mix it with roughly equal parts water in a kettle over medium heat.
2. Once your kettle has begun to steam, let simmer for one additional minute and remove from heat. Pour into a wide-mouthed mug and let sit for a moment to cool
3. Enjoy your nice warm cup of cold brew!
Heating up cold brew concentrate with hot water:
1. Heat water by whatever method you have available, it does not need to be boiling water, but it does need to be hot
2. Warm the mug you will be using by rinsing it first with warm water; this will help evenly warm your concentrate in the next step
3. Fill your mug a little less than half full of concentrate. If you prefer a cold brew that is weaker and has less caffeine, feel free to add less concentrate.
4. Next, pour the water into your mug, leaving room if you like cream or sugar or in your cold brew
5. Enjoy your cold brew!
Heating up premixed cold brew:
1 This one is a little trickier check out our tips below for what NOT to do, and then prepare your stovetop with a saucepan.
2. Pour your cold brew into the saucepan and heat over medium-low heat for one to two minutes or until warmed to your desire.
3. Remove from heat, pour into your favorite mug, and enjoy!
4. How not to heat up a cold brew!
If the above methods seem too involved and you would rather stick a mug in your microwave and enjoy your cold brew sooner, don’t. Many have tried to cut corners in heating their cold brew, only to be disappointed by the results.
Please wait until you have read the next two tips to warm your cold brew, or you might end up with a big mess on your hands or, worse, bad coffee. The important thing if you are going to heat up your cold brew is to avoid the two following tempting but ultimately disastrous methods.
What Not To Do When Heating Up Cold Brew
1. Never use an electric kettle to heat concentrate!
It isn’t that an electric kettle couldn’t heat up cold brew concentrate; it can. It is that doing so could potentially create a big gunky mess!
This is because the cold brew concentrate will stick to the coils that most electric kettles use during the heating process. Cleaning these coils can be a pain, and the residual concentrate can flavor the water you heat up afterwards. A good tip is to only ever heat up concentrate with water already mixed together and to never use an electric kettle to heat anything other than water.
2) Don’t put your cold brew in the microwave!
Never give in to the siren call of the microwave and stick your cold brew in one, thinking that in 30 seconds, you will have nuked yourself a cup of hot, cold brew; it isn’t that simple. The water and cold brew concentrate need to mix in a specific way that you can’t achieve if you just combine the ingredients and rely on a microwave to heat them Unless you are going to invest the time to properly heat the water, which will take at least a couple of minutes due to the un-even heating abilities of a typical microwave, don’t waste perfectly good cold brew on a flawed experience.
So, if you were wondering to yourself. “Can you heat up cold brew coffee?’ we think this article has answered your question. We hope that you enjoyed learning more about cold brew, how it is made, how to heat it up (and how not to.) Now the only thing left to do is heat up a cup of cold brew for yourself and enjoy. Thank you for reading!