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Food & Recipes

Which Coffee Is Better for You: Hot or Cold Brew?


When you order your coffee, do you prefer a hot brew or a cold brew? Just about every java fan has a preferred temperature. But some folks might be wondering if one of these brews is better for your health than the other. Recent research shows that may indeed be the case.

An October 2018 study published in Scientific Reports found that hot-brewed coffee has higher levels of antioxidants than cold-brewed coffee. Of course, antioxidants are always good news when it comes to food and drinks, but they may be especially important in this case: Antioxidants are believed to be responsible for some of the health benefits of coffee. These health benefits have been well-documented over the years and include — but are not limited to — lower risk of diabetes, depression, and certain kinds of cancer.

“Coffee has a lot of antioxidants. If you drink it in moderation, research shows it can be pretty good for you,” said study author Megan Fuller, PhD, in a press release. “We found the hot brew has more antioxidant capacity.”

Although hot-brewed coffee is by far more common, cold-brewed coffee has grown in popularity in recent years, especially during the warmer months. You might have heard some coffee companies and blogs claim that cold-brewed coffee is less acidic than hot-brewed coffee, and therefore less likely to cause stomach problems.

But this recent study showed that the pH levels of both hot and cold coffee were similar, ranging from 4.85 to 5.13 for all of the samples. So at the end of the day, the chemical makeup of these two beverages didn’t differ all that much. 

If you’re still loyal to cold-brewed coffee, there’s nothing wrong with enjoying a cup, especially if it’s warm outside. Just don’t expect it to help you avoid stomach problems after you finish drinking it. (And if you’ve been having a grumpy tummy, talk to your doctor about it.)

Meanwhile, the weather right now seems perfect for a nice, hot cup of joe. This news is all the more reason to enjoy!

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