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What is Hot Brew Coffee?

Hot brew coffee is any coffee that has been brewed through the interaction of ground coffee beans and hot water. Hot brew coffee is simply referred to as coffee. But the term “hot brew coffee” distinguishes it from cold brew coffee, which is becoming increasingly popular.

Hot Brew Coffee

How is Hot Brew Different Than Regular Coffee?

Hot brew is not different from regular coffee. Hot brew refers to any coffee that has been brewed using hot water, which is what most people would define as regular coffee. The term “hot brew” is simply used to distinguish it from cold brewing methods.

Is Hot Brew Stronger Than Regular Coffee?

No, hot brew is not stronger than regular coffee because hot brew and regular coffee are the same thing. Just as with cold brew, you can choose to prepare your hot brew coffee as strong or weak as you like by varying the ratio of water to coffee during brewing as well as adjusting the brewing time.

How Do You Make Hot Brew Coffee?

There are a number of ways to make hot brew coffee, but at the centre of all of them is combining ground coffee beans and hot water to extract the flavour compounds from the coffee beans. The Specialty Coffee Association recommends brewing water with a temperature between 195 and 205 degrees Fahrenheit for the best extraction.

There are two main techniques for brewing hot brew coffee, infusion and immersion. In an infusion, hot water continuously travels through a bed of ground coffee in a filter, extracting the hot brew coffee as it goes. For example, an automatic drip coffee machine is an infusion method, as are pour over brewers (manual drippers) like Chemex, Kalita Wave, or Hario V60. In an immersion brewing method, the ground coffee is left to steep for a period of time in hot water before being strained out, sort of like brewing tea. Common examples of immersion brewers include the French Press, Aeropress, and Clever Dripper.

An espresso machine or moka pot could also be considered an infusion brewer, but these brew under high pressure and produce espresso rather than hot brew coffee.

Related: How to make coffee without a coffee maker

What are the Benefits of Hot Brew Coffee?

Hot brew coffee has many benefits when it comes to both health and energy. It has been shown to help prevent or treat many common diseases, such as cardiovascular disease, diabetes, many forms of cancer, Parkinson’s disease, Alzheimer’s, and gallstones. It also improves external features like the health of your skin, hair, and teeth. Thanks to its myriad health benefits, scientific research has shown that coffee drinkers live longer than those who abstain.

Thanks to its caffeine content, hot brew coffee is an excellent way to wake up in the morning or get an energy boost at any point in the day. For athletes, or anyone looking to improve fitness, it provides energy for a workout, helps burn fat, and improves physical performance. With coffee, you can train longer and harder, and you won’t feel as sore the next day.

Hot brew coffee is popular largely because of its energy boosting properties. Many people drink a cup or two of coffee in the morning in order to wake themselves up for the day ahead. It’s also relatively affordable, easy to prepare, and tastes good. Adding to coffee’s popularity is the fact that it is addictive, and regular coffee drinkers sometimes suffer from headaches if they try to quit.

Serious hot brew coffee drinkers enjoy it not just for the caffeine but for the flavours, and they are likely to sample many different types of coffee beans. They treat coffee the way oenophiles treat wine, tasting it carefully and experiencing each unique flavour note.

Hot brew coffee is especially popular in colder weather, which is why the highest per capita consumers of coffee are all in cold places like Canada and Scandinavia. A hot cup of coffee is soothing, warming you from the inside out.

Why is Hot Brew Coffee so Expensive?

Hot brew coffee can be expensive because of the long supply chain and huge number of people involved in getting a coffee bean from its farm to your cup.

First the coffee plant must be grown, and it takes several years to reach maturity and begin producing coffee cherries. The coffee cherries need to be harvested, which is often done by hand, a slow and laborious process. Then the coffee cherries are processed to isolate the coffee beans. The coffee beans are dried to yield green coffee beans ready for shipment.

The green coffee beans are shipped to a roasterie where they are roasted to light, medium, or dark, a process that requires both staff and energy. The roasted beans are then packaged and shipped to stores and cafes. Once at the coffee shop, the roasted coffee beans are ground and a skilled barista, who is being paid a fair wage, prepares your hot brew coffee.

So when you take all that into account, a few dollars for a cup of hot brew coffee isn’t really that expensive. In fact, the reason that coffee isn’t more expensive is because those at the start of the chain, the farmers and processors in the coffee’s country of origin, are typically underpaid for their labor.

Is Hot Brew Effective for a Coffee?

Yes, hot brew is an effective way to make coffee. Hot water is one of the best ways to extract the flavorful compounds and micronutrients from coffee beans. That’s why it takes only a few minutes to brew a hot coffee versus many hours to brew cold coffee.

A single 8 oz cup of hot brew coffee contains 95 mg of caffeine, more than enough to aid in wakefulness and boost energy. In terms of nutrients, it also contains 230 mg of potassium, 20 mg of magnesium, 0.125 mg of manganese, 0.025 mg of riboflavin, and 1.75 mg of niacin.

Hot Brew Coffee image

Is it Cheaper to Buy Hot Brew or Make It?

It is cheaper to make hot brew coffee than to buy it, at least if you drink coffee on a regular basis.

To prepare coffee at home, you’ll need to pay some upfront costs to purchase a grinder and brewer, but a simple pour over brewing set or French press can be very affordable. After that, buying whole coffee beans, grinding them yourself, and brewing coffee is far less expensive than buying coffee by the cup at a coffee shop.

At the coffee shop, you’re paying a premium to help the coffee shop owner pay for their space and the barista’s salary. In exchange for that extra cost, you’re getting the convenience of not preparing the coffee yourself.

If you only drink coffee very rarely, like a few times a year, it is probably a better choice just to treat yourself to a drink at a cafe rather than spend the money on a grinder and brewer that won’t get a lot of use.

Do You Need Special Grounds to Make Hot Brew Coffee?

No, you don’t need special grounds to make hot brew coffee. Any ground coffee can be used for preparing hot brew. However, different brewing methods do require different grind sizes, so it is best to grind your own coffee. The pre-ground coffee available at the grocery store is sized for automatic drip coffee machines. If you are using a French press, you will want slightly coarser grounds. If you are using an Aeropress, it is better to use slightly finer grounds.

Related: How to make pour over coffee

Can Hot Brew Coffee Grounds Be Used Multiple Times?

No, you shouldn’t use hot brew coffee grounds multiple times, at least not if you want a good cup of coffee. When the coffee grounds are brewed the first time, most of the flavour and caffeine is extracted. If they are then brewed a second time, there is almost nothing left. The cup of coffee will be watery and flavourless.

But there are many good uses for used coffee grounds. They are great for adding to your compost or spreading in your garden, and they can be used as a cleaning scrub or facial exfoliant.

Should You Dilute Hot Brew?

No, you should not dilute hot brew coffee. It is brewed to the correct strength for drinking, and if you dilute it, you will lose a lot of flavour. The exception is hot brew coffee brewed under pressure, as in a moka pot or Aeropress. These methods prepare smaller, stronger coffee, which can then be diluted, similar to preparing an Americano.

How Many Hours Should You Wait For Brewing?

Unlike cold brew coffee, it does not take hours to make hot brew coffee. You should plan on spending between three and five minutes brewing hot coffee, with some variations due to grind size and roast level. Because you are using hot water rather than cold, the flavour compounds are extracted much more quickly from the ground coffee beans. In fact, if you leave hot brew coffee to steep for hours, you will end up over-extracting the coffee and creating a very bitter beverage.

Should You Stir Hot Brew While Steeping?

You should stir the hot brew once, after you add all the hot water. For example, do it when you’re making a French press coffee. But there is no need to stir continuously. If you keep stirring, you are likely to decrease the temperature of the water and disrupt the extraction.

What is the Difference Between Hot Brew and Concentrated Hot Brew?

The difference between hot brew and concentrated hot brew is simply that the latter is prepared using a higher ratio of coffee to water, so you get a much stronger drink. Some brewing methods, like the Aeropress, moka pot, or espresso machine are known for producing these smaller, more concentrated versions of coffee.

If you prepare concentrated hot brew, you have the option to drink it as is, like a shot of espresso, or to dilute it with hot water to make something more closely resembling a regular coffee. A common example of this is the Americano, which is espresso and hot water.

What is the Ratio for Hot Brew?

The ratio for hot brew is usually taken as the weight of coffee to the weight of water used for brewing. Different experts have different recommendations, but typically the ratio is around 1:15. For a more concentrated hot brew, you might use a ratio more like 1:10, and for a more dilute coffee, the ratio could be 1:17.

If you don’t have a scale, you can use volume for the ratio, but it won’t be as accurate, and it will be difficult to reproduce when you use different types of coffee beans. The National Coffee Association of the USA suggests using 1 to 2 tablespoons of ground coffee for every 6 ounces of water.

Is Preparing Hot Brew Harder Than Cold Brew?

Yes, preparing hot brew is harder than cold brew. Preparing cold brew vs hot brew requires less equipment. The major difference when preparing hot brew is that you need to be able to heat water, and better yet, you need to be able to heat it to just the right coffee brewing temperature, which is between 195 and 205 degrees Fahrenheit.

The other thing that makes hot brew more difficult to prepare is that timing is important. In the 24 hour steep time required for cold brew, it makes no difference if you stop steeping a minute or two early or late. But with hot brew, if you’re off by 30 seconds in either direction, you risk over or under extracting your coffee. So you should use a timer and give your brew your full attention.

Julia Bobak
I love trail running, rock climbing, coffee, food, and my tiny dog — and writing about all of them. I start every morning with a fresh Americano from my home espresso machine, or I don’t start it at all.

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