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Iced Coffee Versus Cold Brew Coffee

Iced Coffee Versus Cold Brew Coffee

Drinking cold coffee has always been a nice summer treat to cool you down. But, did you know you can get different kinds of cold coffee? If you are a veteran Starbucks or cafe drinker, that’s probably not news to you. If you’re not, there are differences between the cold coffee you can make or order. Let’s talk about it!

What are the differences between iced coffee and cold brew coffee?

Cold brew coffee is brewed cold and never hot at any point. Iced coffee is brewed hot first and then cooled down. Cold brew coffee is twice as caffeinated as regular coffee, while iced coffee is regular coffee just poured over ice. Cold brew coffee tastes smoother, chocolatey and less bitter than regular coffee, while iced coffee keeps the bitterness, explains Artificially Awake, an online coffee equipment retailer.

These are just some of the differences in a nutshell. Read on to learn more about how these two drinks vary. It can help you decide which you would prefer better to cool you down on a hot summer day.


Cold Brew Coffee

First off, cold brew coffee is made by steeping medium-to-coarse ground coffee in room temperature for about twelve hours. Then the grounds are filtered for a clean cup. You essentially use time rather than heat to brew it.

It takes time to make, but is worth it in the end. For the sake of time, it is an easier drink to order where they have it pre-made and ready to drink.

Cold brew coffee is packed with caffeine, double the amount a regular cup would give you. You can drink it straight, however you can enjoy the flavor more by diluting it with a mix of milk, water, or ice to a 1:1 ratio. It also has an underlying chocolate flavor that’s more cream-like since there isn’t any water added in yet.

You can also buy cold brew coffee at your grocery store to have it in bulk to drink at your leisure. This is the best financial and time-saving option if you like to drink more than one cup in a sitting.

Cafes can charge a pretty penny for it, and making it yourself costs so much time that your craving for it may pass by the time it’s ready to drink.

Here is a link to 8 of the best kinds of pre-made cold brew coffee you can buy at the grocery store!


Iced Coffee

Iced coffee is the next cold drink that is both cool and easy to make at home. It is essentially coffee that you brew normally, and just pour over ice. Easy peasy.

Typically you may want to allow the coffee to cool before adding ice so it doesn’t melt the ice too quickly and water down your coffee.

When made, you might find more grounds since it isn’t filtered like cold brew coffee. That will add to the bitter taste, which would be good for all those black coffee drinkers.

You can always add sugar, milk or cream if you like your coffee a tad sweeter. The ice will water down your drink though, so the bitterness will fade as that happens.

The way you make your coffee can also affect the taste. Some factors to take into consideration when you’re making it at home:

  • Make sure the water you pour in is hot! That will get the most flavor out of the beans
  • Grind your own coffee beans – pre-ground beans lose their flavor over time
  • Pouring into a cool cup will help cool it down for iced coffee faster
  • Thin walled cups will let heat out faster – cooling it down quicker.
  • Use fresh beans – if they are stale you’ll get a bad taste
  • Measure out your coffee grounds so your cup is perfect rather than eyeballing it
  • Whole milk or raw sugar are better with coffee than nonfat and granulated sugar
  • Make sure your coffee and water ratio are perfect!
  • Use quality water instead of tap when cooking your coffee
  • Throw away used grounds to keep your coffee maker clean
  • Store the coffee beans in a cool, dry place for optimal storage
  • Clean your machine often so that it brews the best cup every time!

These are just some factors that can affect how good your iced coffee turns out since you will be brewing it the same way you would you regular cup of coffee.


To Summarize

There are differences between cold brew and iced coffee, but it comes down to preference. Whichever flavor palate you enjoy can alter what drink you would prefer to drink over the other.

You could even try both in a little taste test and decide which you’d like to drink more often.

Or, if you are a coffee connoisseur, you may already know which you prefer. Maybe try making them yourself and test what combinations and brewing options work best for you!

Either way, these drinks can be a great caffeine boosted addition to any warm day.