Difference between Cold Brew and Iced Coffee

cold brew vs iced coffee

When iced coffee first started, people would just pour hot coffee over ice, but it had a diluted taste which is not likable to most people. So, people started to make stronger coffee by doubling the amount of coffee and pouring it over ice to make iced coffee, and this idea stuck around. You can also have regular coffee to pour and freeze in ice trays, make another pot of coffee that’s stronger with double the amount of coffee added than you would do regular coffee, and pour it over the coffee ice cubes for a more robust coffee flavor as well.

When it comes to cold brewing, the process is different. It’s understandable why many will think that cold brewing is the same thing as iced coffee, but the brewing process for both of them is quite different. Also, when it comes to cold brew vs iced coffee, there is a distinct difference in flavor.

Difference in Flavor

When it comes to cold brew, the coffee taste is milder and lower in acid content than iced coffee. The flavor is aromatic, smooth, and full-bodied. The flavor of iced coffee is well-balanced and medium-bodied. Also, when it comes to making lattes, a natural, sweet, chocolate flavor is great for cold brewing. Caramel flavored lattes are popular for hot or iced coffee. There is no way to make a cappuccino with these brewing methods.

What are the Best Beans to Use

Arabica coffee bean

Both normally use high-quality Arabica beans. Other coffee beans can be used to depending on the person’s taste buds. However, some will say to use darker roasts because the flavor of the beans will flatten out throughout the cold brewing process.

On the other hand, others find that darker roasts will only lead to a charcoal taste when it comes to cold brewing. Also, when choosing beans for coffee, iced coffee requires fresh beans, while cold brewing can use beans that are two weeks old.

Brewing Methods

cold brewing

The brewing methods for cold brew vs iced coffee are very different from each other. For one, there are many cold brewing methods, but immersion must be done for them all. The easiest way to do cold brewing is by using coarse coffee grounds and water and let them steep. However, some people think that a hot water stage is required to extract the full coffee flavor.

Coffee Gator French Press

If you want to make cold brew at home, a French press would be great. With this, you will use ground coffee and water with a four-to-one water/coffee ratio. Oxygen exposure must be minimized to maintain great flavor. Also, you will leave the coffee mixture for a minimum of 12 hours and filter the grounds afterward. This will lead to a coffee concentrate in which dilution can be done with water or pouring over ice. You can also use an Aeropress, V60, or a Chemex to get great results.

When it comes to iced coffee, you can use double the amount of coffee to pour ice as mentioned before. Some may want a little less than double of ground coffee, and some may want a little more than double the ground coffee. Regardless the amount of ground coffee, you can use a stovetop coffee maker or a French press to brew the coffee.

When it comes to temperature and timing with cold brewing, the water is at room temperature or colder, and it takes between 12 to 48 hours to reach optimal coffee extraction. With iced coffee, it is hot from brewing and then chilled. Thus, it only takes a few minutes to make with a temperature range around 195 to 205F for optimal coffee extraction before cooling down the coffee.

Water Used

Regardless the method of cold coffee you choose, it’s always best to use filtered or bottled water. Especially when it comes to cold brewing, the water quality is even more important because the coffee flavor is much more subtle. Also, choice of water is more important for the ice cubes when making iced coffee.

Also, if you are wondering if you can use these methods when it comes to latte vs cappuccino, you can with making an iced latte. There is no such thing as iced cappuccino.

When it comes to cold brew vs iced coffee, they may be related because they are both cold coffee, but the brewing methods and flavors are distinctively different. Even the temperature and time range are different when it comes to making both types of coffee. Also, there is no way to make cappuccino with these methods when it comes to latte vs cappuccino.