Is Hot Coffee Healthier Than Cold Brew?

Is Hot Coffee Healthier Than Cold Brew?

As the seasons change, most coffee lovers morning java habits change, too.

As the days get shorter, cups of coffee are likely to get warmer, though some stay loyal to a refreshing yet perky cup of cold brewed coffee.

Both deliver that essential caffeine to counter groggy mornings, but a new study suggests hot coffee has the edge when it comes to health.

The new study, published in the journal Scientific Reports, compared the acidity and antioxidant activity of hot and cold brew coffee. Hot coffee showed higher levels of antioxidant activity, which is one of they key nutritional benefits of drinking coffee in the first place, including reduced risk of heart disease, diabetes, and early death.


“In moderation, research shows [coffee] can be pretty good for you,” study co-author Megan Fuller, PhD, assistant professor of chemistry at Jefferson, said in a statement. “We found the hot brew has more antioxidant capacity.”

Having said that, Fuller and co-author Niny Rao, PhD, associate professor of chemistry, wrote in their paper: “Additional research is needed to fully understand any possible differences in the health effects of coffee as a function of brewing temperature and time.”

Related: How to Make a Healthier, Tastier Coffee

In terms of acidity, hot and cold coffee was on par with one another. Cold brew has always been thought to be less acidic than hot coffee, and therefore easier on the stomach. But the new study found the pH levels of the two brews fell in the same 4.85 to 5.13 range. Based on those figures, Rao says cold brew coffees shouldn’t be seen as the “silver bullet” to caffeinating without GI distress.

If you’re a diehard cold brew drinker, you can chill out: Your go-to drink still has antioxidants, as well as other health-promoting polyphenols and minerals that are found in hot coffee, too. Plus, cold brew has its own exclusive perks: Many people prefer the taste as is, meaning less temptations to add fat or calories that come with creams, milk, and sugar.

Photo Credit: Jee3d/; Dmitry Galaganov/

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