Can Cold Brew Coffee Be Convenient? A Pilot Study For Caffeine Content in Cold Brew Coffee Concentrate Using High Performance Liquid Chromatography

  • Sarah Lane University of Victoria
  • Josh Palmer University of Victoria
  • Brian Christie University of Victoria
  • Juergen Ehlting
  • Cuong Le
Keywords: cold brew, coffee, caffeine, HPLC, extraction


Cold brew coffee is a brewing method that is increasing in prevalence. While it has been anecdotally suggested that this method may provide a more aromatic and flavourful coffee product, there is little research published that looks at the concentration of caffeine or other coffee substituents in cold brew coffee. The potential alteration in chemical composition in cold brew provides a few interesting avenues for research. Can caffeine in cold brew be quantified by conventional methods? If so, how does the caffeine profile of cold brews relate to hot brew methods? Here we report the caffeine content and variability in small batch cold brew coffee and show that HPLC/UV-Vis, a standard method for quantitation of caffeine in other extraction methods, is useful for detection of caffeine in cold brew coffee. The mean concentration of caffeine in an average 355 mL serving was found to be 207.22 ± 39.17 mg over five distinct batches of cold brew coffee concentrate. Cold brew preparation methods produce similar quantities of caffeine as hot brew preparation, yet may have increased storage capabilities including improved retention of flavonoids and other secondary metabolites. Therefore, cold brew may provide utility in clinical trials examining caffeine and the effect of other components of coffee as it is commonly consumed.


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