Read This Before Reusing Cold Brew Coffee Grounds

It's official: Americans love cold coffee. According to DoorDash's State of Flavor Report, iced coffee was the 8th most-ordered item of 2020. But not all iced coffee is created equal. There's regular iced coffee and then there's cold brew coffee. Cold brew, in particular, has risen in popularity over the last few years, with sales at Starbucks surging 20 percent when the chain first introduced cold brew coffee back in 2015 (via VinePair). One study even reported in 2018 that 66 percent of people prefer cold brew to regular iced coffee (via Comunicaffe International).

Cold brew coffee is also surprisingly easy to make at home, but it frequently requires steeping your coffee in cold or room-temperature water for at least 12 hours. If you're someone who drinks a lot of coffee, you might make multiple batches per week, which means you might be tempted to reuse your grounds for round number two. But before you toss the same grounds into a new pitcher of water, don't — you'll be better off using fresh coffee grounds every time.

It won't taste as good the second time around

There are a few things that set cold brew coffee apart from traditional iced coffee. Not only is it less acidic with a smoother flavor, but it's also often much more concentrated (via Home Grounds). Typically, cold brew has about two and a half times the coffee-to-water ratio as regular iced coffee which results in a higher caffeinated cup of joe. Plus, the long steeping process allows more caffeine to be extracted from the grounds, hence, a stronger brew.

That being said, Coffee Geek warns that if you reuse grounds to make another batch of cold brew, it won't be as strong or as flavorful the second time around. However, the blog adds that it won't likely be terrible (it just might not be as satisfying) and that it's perfectly okay to do, especially if you're someone who likes a lot of cream, sugar, or added flavors in your coffee.