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Cold Brew Q & A

Cold Brew Q & A

What’s all the buzz about cold-brewed coffee? We’ll demystify your questions about this trendy brew method and show you how to easily make it at home.

Q- Isn’t Cold Brew coffee just iced coffee?

Absolutely not. Cold-brewed coffee is brewed in an entirely different way than your traditional hot coffee beverage. Cold Brew is brewed using cold or room temperature water over coarse ground coffee and left to brew for 12-24 hours. In comparison to it’s fast and furious cousin iced coffee, Cold Brew is a gentle giant of refined flavor. Where iced coffee is brewed hot, but stronger than normal to counter the dilution of the ice, Cold Brew is slowly cold-processed, giving it a gentle infusion of flavor with very low acidity.

Kona Coffee & Tea’s 100% Kona Iced Coffee. PHOTO: Blake Wisz

Kona Coffee & Tea’s 100% Kona Iced Coffee. PHOTO: Blake Wisz

Q- Why is Cold Brew coffee so smooth?

Brewing coffee with hot water helps to extract a full range of flavors from dark smooth chocolate, to bright floral, tart and acidic notes. When you drink your coffee hot all these flavors mesh perfectly to give you that rounded-out, full flavor. As the coffee cools the acidic notes and flavors become more and more pronounced. When you heat and then cool coffee the bright, acidic notes tend to overpower the flavors leaving an iced coffee that is difficult to drink. When you cold-brew your coffee the acidic notes are never extracted from the coffee leaving you with a more balanced and exceptionally smooth iced coffee beverage.

Q- Does Cold Brew have more or less caffeine than regular coffee?

Cold-Brew tends to have more caffeine than its hot brew counterparts. A general rule of thumb is, the longer the coffee is in contact with water the more caffeine is extracted from the bean. This is why a french press will have slightly more caffeine than a traditional drip coffee or espresso. Cold Brew is brewed for 12-24 hours leaving ample time for the caffeine to be released.

Q- Do I need a special roast or blend for cold-brew coffee?

Although we’re partial to 100% Kona, any coffee can be used for Cold Brew. Cold-brewing coffee reduces the acidity in the final cup. As the acid is muted in the final cup you will find other flavor notes coming to the forefront. Chocolate and floral notes tend to really shine in cold-brewed coffee.

Q- How about the grind?

Cold Brew coffee requires a coarse grind. Think french press grind. Like kosher salt. If a fine grind is used, you’ll probably end up with a sandy texture at the bottom of your glass.

Coffee grinds

Q- Can I heat up cold-brew and drink it hot?

Yes. Many people brew Cold Brew and heat it to enjoy it hot. Less acid is extracted in the cold-brew process and this may help people with sensitivities enjoy hot coffee again. Bear in mind the absence of the vibrant acidic notes in hot coffee may lead to a cup that does not feel fully complete.

Q- Can I store cold-brew in my refrigerator?

Yes. Cold Brew can be stored in an airtight sealed container for up to two weeks. You can even pour some into an ice tray and make coffee ice-cubes.

Kona Coffee & Tea’s 100% Kona Cold Brewed Coffee. PHOTO: Blake Wisz

Kona Coffee & Tea’s 100% Kona Cold Brewed Coffee. PHOTO: Blake Wisz

Q- Is cold-brew coffee healthier for me?

Hot or cold-brewed, the benefits of coffee are about the same. Coffee is known to possess many health benefits, from the liver, digestive, respiratory health and much more. Cold Brew is a great alternative for anyone who may be sensitive to the acid in coffee and of course it is a great way to cool down on a hot Hawaiian beach.

Q- Is cold brew hard to make?

No, it's super simple. Don’t overthink it. All you need is a clean jar, great coffee, clean filtered cool water and time. Here's our recipe to make Cold Brew at home:

Coming soon to our café, we’ll have Cold Brew coffee kits available. PHOTO: Chance Ortiz

Coming soon to our café, we’ll have Cold Brew coffee kits available. PHOTO: Chance Ortiz



2 oz Kona Coffee & Tea 100% Kona coffee (coarse grind)

16 oz filtered water

coffee filter


18-24 hours (it’s worth the wait)


Grind two ounces of coffee beans coarse.

Empty coffee into a jar.

Add cold filtered water and gently stir.

Place the lid on the jar and let sit on the counter or refrigerator for 12 to 24 hours.

Slowly pour the coffee through a coffee filter into a clean jar or container of your choice (holding grinds back with a flat edge will help the coffee strain quicker).

Cool and dilute or add cream and sweetener to taste.

Can hold up to two weeks covered in the refrigerator.

Mike KCTC Circle_picking coffee.png


HOW I LIKE MY COFFEE:  Medium Roast Black
AS KID, I WANTED TO BE A:  Pilot or race car driver. I liked going fast and I was much better at the hand eye coordination of games and stuff than sports.

I've been involved in the coffee industry for about 16 years. I've been a barista for many years, then a trainer and consultant. I am big on sharing relevant knowledge that will help coffee lovers have the optimal coffee experience. Working with Kona Coffee & Tea Company is like a dream come true. I can't say how rewarding it is to work with such a great product from seed to cup. From the very beginning, being part of the team here, I've felt like family and have been treated like family. The spirit of Aloha is strong as is their dedication to community and quality.

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