Cold-brewed coffee popularity has grown 580% from 2011 – 2016, but studies suggest that starting your day with a steaming, hot cup of coffee is still the way to go.
Researchers from Jefferson (Philadelphia University + Thomas Jefferson University) pitted cold brew against hot coffee in a study to compare their differences. They looked at the chemical differences between light roast coffees from Brazil, Colombia, Myanmar, Mexico and two regions of Ethiopia.
The researchers found the concentration of acidic compounds and antioxidant activity were actually higher in the hot brew than the cold brew.
“Coffee has a lot of antioxidants. If you drink it in moderation, research shows it can be pretty good for you,” Megan Fuller, PhD, assistant professor of chemistry at Jefferson, said in a statement. “We found the hot brew has more antioxidant capacity.”
These findings confer to health benefits, such as possibly lowering the risk of some cancers, diabetes and depression. Plus, they proved many coffee companies incorrect, showing cold brew and hot brew have very similar pH levels, ranging from 4.85 to 5.13.
Related: 3 Ways to Make Your Coffee Healthier
The study’s authors note that the acidic compounds may be responsible for the higher antioxidant activity found in the hot brew coffee. This could be explained by the presence of melanoidin compounds, which influence pH levels and have properties that fight off cell-damaging free radicals. But, the researchers concede that they aren’t sure melanoidins are solely a characteristic of cold brew coffee.
More research still needs to be done between the two, but for now, you can confidently swap that trendy morning cold brew with an old-fashioned hot cup of coffee.
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