To the average coffee drinker, “cold brew” and “iced coffee” might sound synonymous, but coffee experts know they’re very different. Read on to find out in what ways cold brew varies from iced coffee.
Cold Brew vs. Iced Coffee: How Are They Different?
The primary distinction between cold brew and iced coffee is in the way they’re made. Basically, iced coffee, much like regular coffee, uses hot water to release the caffeine content. Meanwhile, cold brew mixes ground coffee with water at room temperature and the mixture is then allowed to sit for at least 12 hours, essentially using time to extract the caffeine without using heat.
Due to their different brewing methods, iced coffee and cold brew have distinctive tastes. While iced coffee’s flavor might be reminiscent of regular coffee that’s toned down a bit and with bitter undertones, cold brew provides a smoother coffee flavor with hints of natural chocolate.
Cold Brew vs. Iced Coffee: How are the Brewing Techniques Different?
Although both cold brew and iced coffee might use the same coffee grounds, their brewing methods are far from identical. Iced coffee is made with hot water (at around 200 degrees Fahrenheit or 93 degrees Celsius); the mixture is then cooled down and poured over ice.
Cold brew, on the other hand, takes much more time to produce. If iced coffee uses heat to extract caffeine content and flavor, cold brew uses time. Brewed with room-temperature water (it’s never heated during the brewing process), you’ll need 12 to 24 hours to create cold brew, but it will be worth it as the resulting beverage will have more caffeine, and be less bitter and more flavorful.
Cold Brew vs. Iced Coffee: How Different Do They Taste?
Speaking of flavor, iced coffee—as you might expect—tastes like watered down coffee. It also has a thinner taste due to the melting ice which dilutes the coffee concoction. Because it’s brewed hot, iced coffee extracts more coffee solubles, and their accompanying organic materials, which also result in a more bitter flavor.
On the other hand, cold brew, like Eximius’ Cappio Cold Brew Coffee, has a smoother texture and a more chocolatey tones than traditional coffee.
Cold Brew vs. Iced Coffee: Which is Better?
For people with certain health issues, like gastroesophageal reflux disease, or GERD, cold brew might be more beneficial than iced coffee. For the rest of us, the answer to the question of which is the better coffee—cold brew or iced coffee—all boils down to individual taste and preference.
Whether you’re just trying out cold brew or you’re already a regular cold brew drinker, Eximius Coffee offers a great option—its Cappio Cold Brew Coffee! Available as ground coffee in filter packs or as a concentrate in 16-oz. bottles, Cappio Cold Brew Coffee can be easily prepared at home. Made from 100% Arabica coffee that’s gently steeped for 12–24 hours in triple-filtered waters, it’s the perfect aromatic pick-me-up and can be consumed hot or cold.