The Cold Brew Coffee Tip TikTok Isn't So Sure About

TikTok is packed with food tips and tricks that range from jaw-dropping to head-scratching. Some may be revolutionary, while others get lots of attention for precisely the wrong reasons. One coffee company's suggestion seems firmly among the latter group.

In a TikTok from, presenter Jamie T. Coffee insists the best way to make cold brew is, in fact, with hot water, which he argues extracts flavors that cold water can't. He combines hot water and ground coffee in a French press, then lets it sit at room temperature. After about 15 minutes, he covers it and places it in the refrigerator for 12 hours. Then, he claims, you can enjoy it like any other cold brew recipe.

While there's nothing outrageous about the method, it has raised some eyebrows in the TikTok comments. Many asked if the coffee can truly be considered cold brew if it spends significant time in contact with hot water, while others panned it as "leftover" coffee. Some also argued the method produces a worse, more bitter flavor than the usual cold-brew process. There were even coffee snobs who took issue with the video's water-to-coffee ratio.

Is this technique silly or smart?

It seems these commenters and critics are making a common water mistake you can make when steeping cold brew. In reality, the term "cold brew" refers to the temperature at which the mixture is steeped and processed, not the water's temperature when it touches the ground coffee beans. Any temperature of water, from ice-cold to standard coffee brewing temperatures (around 200 degrees Fahrenheit), can be used to make cold brew.

The best way to make cold brew is with hot water. Ft @Jamie T Coffee #coldbrew #icedcoffee #coffee #barista #recipe

♬ Wes Anderson-esque Cute Acoustic – Kenji Ueda

Still, there are other reasons to be skeptical of the technique. The video argues its trick is faster than other cold-brew methods, which can take up to 24 hours. While this is true, worth noting is that the technique still takes far longer to complete than making typical hot coffee (which would be ready before the mixture was even placed in the fridge) or using a simpler cold-coffee method that just adds ice to hot brewed coffee and is ready immediately.