Cold Brew vs Hot Brew Coffee: Which One Is For You?

By Evelina •  Updated: 07/13/21 •  10 min read

Coffee is one of the most common drinks in the world. It’s also one of the most popular drinks for people who work from home or need a quick pick-me-up.

But which kind of coffee should you be drinking? There are two major types: hot brewed and cold brewed.

Hot brew coffee is made by adding heated water to ground beans, while cold brew coffee is created by steeping grounds at a cool temperature for a long period of time.

The difference between these methods means different flavors will come through, so what you’re looking for depends on your taste buds.

For example, if you like a light-tasting cup with less acidity then go with a cold brew; if you want more body and flavor, then a hot brew may be the best choice for you.

In this article, we’ll compare the two different ways to make coffee and which one is right for you.

Cold Brew Coffee

cold brew vs hot brew

Cold Brew Coffee is made by steeping ground coffee beans in cold water temperature for a 12-24 hour period. The result is a sweet, smooth beverage with less acidity than hot brew coffee.

Cold Brew Coffee Grind Size

Making coffee with the cold brew requires a grind size that is a bit coarser than other brewing methods.

A fine grind will result in the coffee dripping through the filter more quickly, whereas a coarse grind makes for less caffeine and will take longer to brew.

For cold brew, you want to make sure that there is less surface area on the grinds when you steep them. This means a coarser grind size is ideal for cold brewing coffee and will create more flavor than hot brew would.

Cold Brew Coffee Taste

The taste of cold-brewed coffee is light, smooth, and sweet.

Because the brewing process is very slow with this method, it also allows for a lot of the natural flavors you can get from ground beans to come out into the final drink. This includes fruity flavors, like those found in cherries or strawberries.

Cold Brew Coffee Water Temperature

When you want to cold-brew coffee, the water temperature will be cooler than when using hot brew.

The ideal water temperature for cold brewing is between 50-60 degrees Fahrenheit (10C – 15C). Anything much higher or lower and the brewed coffee may come out weak-tasting.

Cold Brew Coffee Maker Price

You can buy a cold brew coffee maker at around $40-50. This brewing method is very simple and doesn’t require much equipment, so what you’re paying for is a way to make some of the highest quality coffee on the market.

Read Also: Best Cold Brew Coffee Makers

Cleaning The Cold Brew Coffee Maker

Cleaning the cold brew coffee maker is very simple. Just make sure that you carefully wash all of the pieces in hot, soapy water after each use. Taking care of your cold brew equipment is essential to getting great-tasting coffee.

Read Also: How to Clean The Cold Brew Coffee Filter

Why Choose Cold Brew Coffee?

If you want a coffee that is less acidic, sweeter, and has the same caffeine as a regular brewed coffee then cold brew may be a perfect choice.

It’s a bit pricey but it’s worth it in my opinion because I don’t have to worry about acidity or bitterness ruining the taste of my morning cup.

In addition, cleaning up after brewing cold brew can take as little time as just rinsing the container.

Read Also: Cold Brew Tips And Tricks For Better Coffee

Hot Brewed Coffee

cold brew vs hot brew coffee

There are many ways you can make hot coffee, but the most common is by using a drip coffee maker. This device uses heated water to create an aromatic, potent drink that’s easy to make and delicious in taste.

Hot Brewed Coffee Grind Size

The grind size needed for hot brew is different from method to method, but most people prefer a medium grind when making hot coffee.

Too fine of a grind may result in the coffee dripping through your filter quickly; a coarse grind would be considered a bit too thick and won’t brew properly.

It depends on your personal preference and style, but for most people, a medium grind is best.

Hot Brewed Coffee Taste

Hot coffee has more acidity and bitterness than cold brew because it’s brewed at a higher temperature.

Coffee is a very sensitive plant that can be affected by temperature and brewing time, so while hot brew takes less time to make, it also comes out with a higher degree of acidity than cold-brewed coffee.

Hot Brewed Coffee Water Temperature

When making hot brewed coffee you want to use water that’s between 195-205 degrees Fahrenheit (90 – 95C). This is very close to boiling temperature and will help ensure that all the flavors and aromas are extracted.

Brewing Hot Coffee Price Range

The cheapest way to make hot coffee is to go with the french press method. The typical french press costs around $15-$20 and is a great tool for anyone who likes their coffee strong.

You can also go with a higher price maker such as a drip machine or an espresso maker. These will cost you around $100, but it’s well worth the price if you love coffee as much as I do and need a cup in the morning to jump-start your day.

Cleaning The Hot Brewed Coffee Maker

This clearly depends on the coffee maker you buy. A manual coffee maker is easier to clean than an espresso machine.

Learn how to clean a manual coffee maker or an espresso machine here.

Why Choose Hot Coffee?

If you want a stronger coffee that has more acidity and complexity, then you should prefer hot brewed coffee. Hot coffee is the most common way to brew coffee, and it’s usually cheaper than cold-brew.


What is better about cold brew coffee?

Cold-brewed coffee is less acidic and sweeter than hot brewed coffee, so it’s a good choice for people who are sensitive to acidity or bitterness.

Why is cold brew more expensive?

One of the reasons that cold brew coffee is more expensive is because it requires three times the coffee the hot brew does.

That is because cold water takes a long time to extract the flavor from the ground coffee and if you haven’t used much coffee then it will end up tasting very weak.

So, all in all, cold brew needs more coffee and more time!

Is cold brew better than hot brew?

This is definitely a question you need to answer yourself. Not everyone has the same taste in coffee, just like not everyone enjoys pineapple on their pizza.

As mentioned above, these two types of drinks have different characteristics.

I would suggest you brew both, try and see what you think. Plus! If you enjoy both then maybe it’s more of a good thing with you.

For example, I love drinking hot brew in the mornings but later in the day, I start getting cold brew cravings!

If you enjoy both, then you get the best of both worlds!

Is cold brew coffee stronger than hot coffee?

It depends on what you mean by stronger. There are two ways strong coffee can be defined: caffeine content and flavor. If you’re talking about flavor, then hot coffee is definitely more intense!

That’s because it comes in contact with hot water and has the ability to extract all the aroma and flavor very quickly, in contrast to cold coffee that needs a long time for extraction and has a milder flavor.

Regarding caffeine, well that just depends on how much coffee you are using for your brew. Cold coffee usually needs three times the amount of coffee that hot coffee needs, so yes it has more caffeine, and thus, it’s stronger.

Which Is Healthier? Cold or Hot Brew Coffee?

Well, since you need more coffee to make a cold brew, then that’s the one out of the two with the most calories. However, coffee, in general, has very low calories, so this difference is almost insignificant. 

So, regarding the calories intake, there is not much difference, unless, of course, you start adding things in your coffee like sugar and syrups. 

When it comes to caffeine, like explained above, cold coffee is definitely stronger. So for those who are sensitive to caffeine, having a few glasses of cold coffee in one day could make them feel very jittery. 

The best thing you can do here is to explore how much caffeine you can handle and adjust your intake accordingly. Not everyone is the same!

Last Thoughts

Overall, both coffee types are great choices. It all depends on your personal preferences and the way you like to drink your coffee.

 If you want a tasty, aromatic cup of coffee that’s milder than what you get with hot coffee, then cold brew may be the perfect choice for you.

If you like your coffee strong and are in a hurry in the morning to get out the door and start your day, then hot brewed is probably best since it only takes 2 minutes to make.


Evelina’s passion for coffee could never been hidden. Having worked as a barista, she learned the true value of the coffee bean and its secrets. As she continued to evolve as a barista, so did her knowledge, techniques on making different coffee blends and most importantly how to operate every kind of gear when it comes to coffee. Having a degree in biomedicine and being a barista, allows her to provide our community with in-depth knowledge surrounding the topics of coffee.