Cold Brew vs Iced Coffee

Not most people know the difference between cold brew and iced coffee. If you think about it, we don’t often try to understand the difference. All we understand is that a good coffee cup is and will always be a good cup of morning gold. Nevertheless there simply is a massive difference between the two. Here we’ll talk about the full battle of iced coffee vs cold brew coffee.

Iced Coffee vs Cold Brew Coffee

What if one day you are in a café to spend some time relaxing when upon ordering, the barista asked you if you want an iced coffee or a cold brew coffee? You’d be like “What the heck! Aren’t they truly the same?”. Well, they are not the same. However, don’t you fret for we are here to shake the ice and unfreeze their differences truly for you!

What then are the differences?

Brewing method

To make things simpler, first, I want you to note that iced coffee is simply an iced version of our normal hot coffee. Cold brew, on the other hand, is different from our every day coffee follows a different methods from its really brewing onwards.

So now we proceed with the brewing process. Iced coffee is made at 175 degrees Fahrenheit or 200 degrees Celsius, for around a minute or so, just like your regular coffee at home. While our cold brew coffee takes around 12 hours or more of brewing and it is done at room temperature only. The brewing time is really important because it greatly affects the flavor, the aroma, the caffeine, and almost all other important characteristics that a coffee can have.

Taste and texture

As spoken about earlier, the taste of the coffee is dependent on its brewing time and temperature. Primarily, the higher the temperature, the easier it is for the coffee to dissolve. Hot temperature brings out the acidity and the bitterness in the coffee. And it takes longer for the sweetness of coffee to come out.

Since iced coffee uses hot-brewing recipe, it usually has a more bitter and more acidic taste. But it has the original flavor of our coffee beans/grounds. Cold brew coffee, on the other hand, has a sweeter, chocolate-y texture. This is particularly more favorable to those who love the sweeter side of coffee. That’s because cold brewing procedure is not warm enough to bring out the acidity and bitterness of coffee. It likewise explains why cold brewing is usually done for 12 hours or more.

The essence of cold brewing is in the length of time it takes to steep the coffee in cold water. This long infusion brings out a thicker smoother chocolate-like texture and a sweeter taste. The time compensates for the lighter extraction, and still get that coffee flavor that our taste buds are looking for. Cold brew coffee likewise has a stronger caffeine punch because unlike the other one, the caffeine concentration is not diluted by the melting ice.


Among the things you love about hot made coffee is the concentrated aroma that it brings out. And despite the ice that we pour in an Americano, the aromatic hints of coffee is still pretty strong. However even the aroma is different between the two. There is a hint of acidity in iced coffee nevertheless in cold brew, it provides a light coffee scent close to a milked down kind of coffee drink. Minus the acidity in cold brew coffee, the scent is lighter and gentler.

Other notes

Iced coffee is easier to prepare. You’ll basically brew your coffee, wait for it to cool down, and pour it over a cup of ice (or just add ice). Since cold brew takes more time, there is also a limit to how long you needs to brew your coffee. The perfect time to brew coffee is between 12 to 18 hours. Nevertheless, as frequent brewing has taught me, I realized that the best range to brew coffee is between 15-16 hours. even though they say that bitterness comes our after 18 hours, it also depends on how coarse your coffee ground is. And the perfect times we’ve brewed using different levels of coarse coffee grounds, 15 up to 16 hours in reality is the perfect brewing time.

Overall effect and  My impression

Personally, I love coffee. I mean i enjoy it a lot. Nevertheless I prefer it sweet, or sweeter if possible. I consume iced coffee with sweetened condensed milk or ice cream on it. This way, I can ingest my coffee without dealing much on its bitterness.

For cold brew coffee, I don’t in fact add a lot to it due to the truth that it already has that tender sweetness. Adding literally a little bit of sweetener like honey gives my cold brew a extent up. Nothing more, nothing less.

Cold brew good for sensitive stomachs

So, less acidity is extracted from coffee when we brew cold (between 50-70 percent less!). In combination with this, when coffee is exposed to temperature it produces a chemical substance. This substance produces acid when is gets to the stomach, after it has been drunk. This has nothing to do with acidic tastes or notes. This means therefore that Cold Brew is better for people who have sensitive stomachs and can’t ingest too much coffee.

There isn’t any scientific research to support the fact that a coffee with acidic tasting notes remains acidic when it enters the stomach. But, people who struggle with stomach sensitivity do claim that a less acidic tasting coffee reacts better to their stomach. We could also discuss the roast of the beans and acidity now, nevertheless we don’t have to, due to the fact that we wrote another article that talks about just that here.

Other Considerations

Coffee crafted hot oxidizes over time, Cold Brew does not (or at least much less)

Coffee roasted hot oxidizes. This implies that a new compound is created when coffee molecules come into contact with molecules in the air or the water dissolved in the coffee. This occurs much, much more when we work with heat. When coffee oxidises, it becomes more volatile and will go stale much quicker. I mention this because Iced Coffee is normally cooled before it is made into a drink. The coffee has then oxidised and is already stale, bad coffee by the time it steeps its way into your Iced Coffee Drink. Most cafes are not aware of this fact and they will happily work with old coffee that was crafted a long time before they serve you your Iced Coffee!

Caffeine in Cold Brew vs Iced Coffee

This is probably the section that everyone is a lot of interested in. I’m sorry to disappoint, but there is no proper respond to to whether Cold Brew or Iced Coffee has more caffeine. If we are being technical about it, there is less caffeine in Cold Brew if the exact same amounts of water and coffee are used. Again, this is due to the reality that everything, including caffeine, is extracted quicker with the presence of heat. But, Cold Brew is normally brewed as a concentrate to counteract the slower extraction time, making the properties extracted stronger. This concentrate is then diluted with either water or milk before it is drunk.

Now, I can hear you thinking: Hey! Didn’t you just say that if you mess with the method, the coffee isn’t as good? That’s very true, but the Cold Brew recipe is calculated with this in mind. When we dilute Cold Brew, we balance the process and the coffee has optimum tasting notes and properties. The procedure is normally 1:1 coffee to water/milk.

When is the perfect time to ingest these coffees?

Anyone can ingest cold brew or iced coffee any time you want. You can even ingest it during winter if you like. Nevertheless, depending on the need, there are wonderful times when you must consume any of the two. The best time to beverage cold brew is after having a hearty lunch or meal. If you are looking for a strong caffeine boost (particularly if you have to go back to work), cold brew is perfect.

After lunch, our body focuses more on digesting the food we eat creating us feel tired and drowsy an hour or two after a heavy meal. You should take cold brew coffee no less than 30 minutes or 1 hour after a heavy meal. This will prevent you from sensation lazy at work.

Iced coffee, on the other hand, is a fantastic refreshment. So when you are sensation a bit thirsty or really looking for a excellent way to cool your body down in the midst of a hot summer day, iced coffee is a better option.

Who usually preferred what?

Young, and young at heart, typically prefer the iced coffee. Mainly due to the reality that it can come with lots of variations that can suit their own tastes. The working adults are much more attracted to the cold brew coffee due to the reality that it is less bitter but has a stronger caffeine kick that they very much needed for their day-to-day jobs.

In truth though, even if adults prefer the taste of cold brew, they are more keen on getting iced coffee due to ease of utilize. the time it takes to

What are you waiting for? Take a sip of these cold beverages. Witness and taste their differences for yourself!

Leave a Reply