Is Cold Brew Better Than Regular Coffee?

Cold brew has quickly become one of the most popular cold coffee beverages. Cold brew is smoother, less acidic, and contains more caffeine than regular coffee, which makes it so widely enjoyed.

This article will explore the brewing process, nutritional profile, and health benefits of cold brew coffee, as well as explain whether or not cold brew is superior to regular coffee. 

What is Cold Brew Coffee?

Cold brew coffee is a delicious way of brewing coffee that stands out from other kinds due to its unique brewing process which yields a delicate yet robust flavor and impressive health benefits. 

Brewing Process

Cold brew stands out from other coffees due to its unique brewing methods. Filter coffee is brewed quickly using hot water, while cold brew involves steeping coarse ground coffee in cold water for a long time. 

Typically, cold brew steeps for 12-24 hours, which creates a concentrated coffee extract. This concentrate is then typically diluted with water or milk before enjoying the beverage (1).

The unique steeping process at lower temperatures yields a smoother and less acidic beverage that also has a slightly sweet undertone in its flavor profile (1).

Nutritional Differences

Caffeine Content

Perhaps the biggest difference between cold brew and regular coffee is the caffeine content. Cold brew contains significantly more caffeine per serving than regular coffee. 

The prolonged steeping time leads to more caffeine being extracted from the coffee grounds (2).

Acidity Levels

Another significant difference between cold brew and regular coffee is the difference in acidity. Brewing coffee traditionally with hot water results in a brew that is more acidic. Alternatively, cold brew is less acidic, making it a better choice for those who have sensitive stomachs (3).

In addition to the lower acidity being helpful from a digestive perspective, it also contributes to a smoother flavor profile. While regular filter coffee is often associated with a bitter tang, cold brew is typically smooth and slightly sweet (2).

Health Benefits of Cold Brew

Digestive Health

Cold brew is a great coffee option for those with digestive sensitivities. The lower acidity makes cold brew less likely to trigger acid reflux, heartburn, or symptoms of irritable bowel syndrome.

By reducing digestive stress, cold brew allows coffee lovers to enjoy the delicious beverage without having to worry about any negative gastrointestinal consequences. 

Antioxidant Capacity

Regular filter coffee is touted for its many health benefits, particularly its antioxidant content. However, cold brew can also be celebrated for its antioxidant levels. It’s been theorized that the extended steeping time allows for a slower yet more robust extraction of antioxidants from the beans (4, 5).

Antioxidants play an important role in neutralizing free radicals in the body, which could otherwise cause cell damage and lead to inflammation, potentially putting people at increased risk for developing disease. 

Drinking cold brew can help increase your intake of antioxidants, making the body stronger and more resistant to disease. 

However, despite the growing popularity of cold brew, it’s important to note that there is not a ton of research to support cold brew’s health benefits beyond that of regular coffee. 

While it likely packs a punch of antioxidants and is likely easier on the digestive system, there are only a handful of studies that support its superiority to regular coffee (1).

Is Cold Brew Coffee Better Than Regular Coffee?

Both cold brew and regular coffee are delicious and healthy options, making it difficult to claim that one is best. The question of whether cold brew is superior to regular coffee is subjective and depends on individual preferences. 

Cold brew is smoother in taste and less acidic than regular coffee. It also has more caffeine than regular coffee. For coffee lovers who crave higher amounts of caffeine, cold brew might be the better choice. 

Regular filter coffee is often more bitter and acidic than cold brew, which some people in fact prefer. It also has a bit less caffeine than cold brew, which may be optimal for some people. 

Both cold brew and regular coffee have their benefits, and they both serve the purpose of a tasty, energy-enhancing beverage. 


Cold brew has a distinct brewing process that lends to its smooth taste, antioxidant content, and higher amounts of caffeine. 

Drinking cold brew is a great alternative to regular coffee, but it’s not inherently better. 

Since everyone has different tolerances to caffeine, it’s important to monitor your caffeine intake to understand what amount is right for you. 

Whether you prefer cold brew or regular coffee, both can be enjoyed as part of a healthy and balanced diet.