Credit: Photo by Morgan Nielsen

Maybe because of its sweeter flavor, maybe because it can come in awesome cans, cold brew coffee is the summer beverage of choice for more people than ever before (though not everyone). But it’s more than just another premium-priced caffeine delivery system. It’s actually good for you—or better for you than hot coffee, anyway.

As points out, cold brew, among its other beneficial characteristics, can help you avoid some serious stomach problems. Fifty-four million Americans suffer from heartburn and three quarters of them link this problem to their daily coffee habit. Cold brew lessens the blow by typically being about one third less acidic than its hot counterpart. Less aggravation of the stomach fluids means less reflux and thus fewer chances of developing a more serious condition like esophageal cancer. The acid in coffee is also linked to the depletion of tooth enamel, which is nothing to smile about.

And it’s not just better for you—it can be better for the world around you. Other perks of cold brew include the lack of any heat or wasted energy in producing it, since most methods only require ground beans, cold water and time. That's a lot less waste than costly single-serve pods or leaving that Mr. Coffee plugged in to keep the carafe hot all day. Of course, these are in addition to coffee's many (albeit contested) health benefits, which cold brew can deliver just as well as any hot cup of joe.