Skip to content

Cold Brew vs Iced Coffee – Are they the same? Differences & Better?

    Updated on December 8, 2022

    If you enjoy cold coffee beverages, you probably look forward to going to your favorite coffee shop in the morning for a cool cup every year as soon as the weather begins to warm up. (Or, if you’re really a fan of iced coffee like I am, you probably enjoy it all year long.)

    On hot and cold days alike, cold coffee is becoming more and more popular. Cold brew and iced coffee both provide a more reviving sensation than a typical hot cup of coffee, regardless of the name of the beverage. But why does everyone seem to love cold brew even on these chilly winter days, and what precisely is the difference between the two? The temperature of the water used to make the coffee determines how these cold coffee drinks differ from one another.

    Both iced coffee and cold brew are probably available when you visit your neighborhood coffee shop, whether it’s a chain like Starbucks or Dunkin’ Donuts or a smaller establishment. Even while iced coffee and cold brew both have a chilly appearance and some similarities, they differ in significant ways. Continue reading to discover more distinctions between iced coffee and cold brew, including methods of preparation, flavors, and more.

    What’s the Difference Between Iced Coffee and Cold Brew?

    The process utilized to create them differs significantly between cold brew and iced coffee. According to science, the process of brewing coffee involves utilizing water to dissolve the soluble elements of roasted and ground coffee that give the beverage its particular flavor and aroma. Some ingredients convert into gases that release the coffee’s aroma throughout the brewing process, while others change into liquids that release the coffee’s flavor. Different substances dissolve more readily than others, and as a result, they are released at various temperatures and after differing amounts of time in contact with water.

    Preparation Method

    Regular hot brewed drip coffee is what is served over ice as iced coffee. Iced coffee typically just has to be brewed for a few minutes. On the other hand, making cold brew coffee requires steeping coarsely ground coffee beans in cold water for at least 12 hours. After being strained, the drink is chilled and then served over ice.

    Coffee grounds, chilled water, and time are used to make cold brew. A proper cold brew steeps for 12 hours. Before the hot coffee is added to the ice cubes, iced coffee is made with hot water and a larger percentage of ground coffee to increase the flavor intensity.

    Both iced coffee and cold brew demand a higher level of coffee ground concentration, although for quite different causes. Iced coffee begins off hot and is quickly frozen over ice, which is the key distinction between it and cold brew.

    Iced coffee is a common treat with a new twist for those of us who enjoy the dark, bitter flavor of dark roast coffee. Coffee made using cold brew begins and ends up being chilly. Many people who previously used hot brewed coffee have switched to cold brew because they can’t stand the acidity. Whatever your motivation, remember that the flavor of cold brew coffee is much more subdued.