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Here’s Why Cold Brew Is More Expensive Than Hot Coffee

A person holds a cup of hot coffee while a second person holds an iced coffee.
Komsan Loonprom/Shutterstock.com

If you’re a coffee lover, you’ve probably noticed some interesting discrepancies when it comes to the cost of different brews. A glance through a coffee shop menu will show you how the dollar amounts vary—and not just because of syrups and flavorings.

You’ve probably noticed that cold brew is typically more expensive than a regular cup of hot coffee… but why is that?

The answer is super straightforward: cold brew takes more grounds than brewing a cup of hot coffee. Cold brew is made by steeping coffee grounds in cold water for an extended period of time (sometimes up to 24 hours) and requires more coffee grounds to get a stronger flavor and more caffeine extracted.

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Apparently, the amount of grounds needed to make the two different drinks isn’t even close to the same. Cold brew takes three times the amount of coffee grounds as hot coffee just to get the same amount of drinkable liquid energy.

The reason for this is that hot water is much better at extracting flavor from coffee grounds than cold water. If you want the same strength and flavor in cold brew as your hot coffee,  you’ll need to use more coffee grounds and expect to wait a bit longer.

Obviously, the longer coffee is allowed to steep, the stronger the flavor of the final result since the coffee grounds have more time to release their flavor. But if you like cold brew, it’s probably worth the price and the wait to you.

Abbey Ryan Abbey Ryan
Abbey Ryan is a storyteller, preferably of stories in written form. Across the 5 years of her professional writing career, her work has been featured in The Chicago Tribune, Amazon, The Medical News Today, and more. When she's not writing (which is rare), she's likely traveling, painting, or on the hunt for a good snack. Read Full Bio »
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