Cold Brew Calories & Health Benefits

By Mark •  Updated: 05/17/22 •  6 min read
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Cold-brew might sound like another buzzword created by marketing to sell coffee to teenagers. However, the brewing practice has existed for centuries.

Many new versions and flavors have been introduced in the last few years.

You can also find it in the drink aisle of your local supermarket. Many questions about the beverage’s health benefits and whether the ones available in the market are authentic cold brew or sugary versions of the drink. 

At a glance, most people would say cold brew appears similar to a regular iced coffee, and perhaps even after the first sip, only a true coffee snob could tell them apart. This forces us to wonder what differentiates it from the regular chilled coffee and whether the cold brew is worth the hype.

How Many Calories in Cold Brew?

However, keep an eye out for any added ingredients.

Because when it comes to sugar, cream, milk, or other stabilizers, the caloric content could differ drastically. Especially with packaged cold-brewed coffee, it’s best to read up on the nutritional chart.

How Many Calories in Cold Brew
How Many Calories in Cold Brew?

But if you prefer plain cold brew with 0 g of added sugar, you get to enjoy a less bitter taste and full-bodied coffee at no cost to your body.    

How is Cold Brew Prepared?

A cold brew’s unique scent and flavor profile are due to its unorthodox preparation method. Where an iced coffee is prepared by brewing the coffee ground with hot water, cold brew coffee uses room temperature water and plenty of patience. However, some recipes call for cool water instead. The coffee grounds are left to steep for anywhere between 12-24 hours. And once the essential coffee oils, the nutty flavor, and richness have been extracted, the coffee concentrate is poured over ice or milk, ready to be served!

Since the idea behind the brewing process is to eliminate the element of heat, the flavor profile changes drastically. Due to a longer steeping time, the taste of the cold-brewed is much more refined. It has a lower acidity level and is greatly rich in caffeine.

Typically, cold brews taste sweeter and citrusy compared to traditional coffee, and it lacks the overly bitter punch of iced coffee despite having more caffeine. Since the richness has been elevated, the mouthfeel is somewhat creamy and lingering. As for the aroma, it’s much more muted than black coffee due to a reduced acidity level.     

The Best Cold Brew Recipe 

Cold Brew Calories
Cold Brew contains up to 15 calories

When it comes to making exceptional cold brews, you don’t need any extravagant coffee machine. Instead, you can make it at home with supplies readily available in your kitchen. All the process requires is to take care of the coffee to water ratio.

For a glass of cold-brewed coffee, you must maintain the ratio at 1:5. But if you’re preparing a concentrate, the ratio changes to 1:2. 

Now that you know the basics of cold brew coffee math let’s get into the recipe. 

  • Grind the coffee beans: One way to elevate your homemade cold brew is by using freshly ground beans. Put the roasted coffee beans into your grinder and set it to the coarsest setting, but if you don’t have that option, you can always go for pre-ground coffee.
  • Pour in the cold water: Add your ground coffee to a mason jar. And using the ratio mentioned above, pour in the cold water. Afterward, stir the mixture thoroughly, and close the lid.
  • Let it steep: Now begins the long wait. First, ensure the lid is closed correctly, and the container is placed in either room temperature or refrigerated conditions. There is no fixed time for leaving your cold brew. However, an average of 16 hours does a tremendous job.
  • Strain the coffee and enjoy: Once the required time has passed, you can go ahead and strain your coffee. You can use whatever is available for straining, like a fine mesh coffee filter or cloth. Just make sure all the coffee grounds are appropriately removed. You can either store the extract in your fridge for up to a week or drink it immediately.

Does Cold Brew Have Any Health Benefits? 

Along with exceptional taste and mouthfeel, cold brews have multiple health benefits, such as:

  • It reduces the risk of diabetes: Avid coffee drinkers perform exceptionally well in the health department. But, especially with a beverage like cold brew, where the caffeine content is more decadent and purer, the risk of several diseases is significantly reduced. For example, you’re 40% less likely to contract type-2 diabetes if you drink cold brew daily.  
  • It’s rich in antioxidants: A single glass of cold brew is packed with antioxidants, which help fight against serious ailments, including cancer and a sore throat. It contains even more antioxidants than a single serving of espresso.
  • It promotes weight loss: Cold brew is not only rich in taste but poor in calories. The zero-calorie coffee boosts your metabolism, which increases the rate at which your body burns calories. Additionally, it’s also a natural appetite suppressant, perfect for when you’re on a diet. 
  • It sharpens your senses: A full cup of hot coffee is bound to energize you for a few hours, but with a glass of cold brew, the release of energy is much more uniform and prolonged. Drinking a glass in the morning will last you all day.  

FAQs

Is cold brew good for weight loss?

Cold-brewed coffee is ideal for weight loss as it’s a zero-calorie beverage that promotes metabolic activity. As a result, an active metabolism increases the rate of fat-burning. Additionally, it works to suppress hunger, so you consume fewer calories.

Are there calories in cold brew coffee?

Cold brew coffee is considered a zero-calorie drink since the cold brew doesn’t contain any nutrients, and ice adds no value. However, if any other additives, such as added sugars, milk, or cream, are introduced, the calorie count may differ.

Why does cold brew have 15 calories?

Though the drink is listed as zero-calorie, that’s not entirely true.

How many calories are in Starbucks’ cold brew?

A single bottle of unsweetened Starbucks cold brew coffee has 15 calories. The 325ml bottle comes with 2 g of carbs, 1 g of protein, 0 g of sugar, and 472 mg of Potassium. However, any sweetened versions of the drink would have a higher calorie count.

Mark

G'day from Australia! I'm Mark, the Chief Editor of Portafilter. I'm super passionate about everything coffee-related and love to spend endless hours mastering pulling the perfect shot on my Breville Barista Express. Follow on: Linkedin and Facebook.

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