Cold Brew Is So 2015, Here's Why You Should Drink Iced Coffee (2024)

There was a distinct moment in time when cold brew went from something I had never heard of before, to the thing people wouldn’t stop talking about, making it the hottest (or coldest, I guess) new thing on menus at independent coffee shops and Starbucks locations alike. It was around 2015 when my typical iced coffee order started to feel a bit inferior. Was it not as cool to order regular iced coffee? Why was cold brew often a few cents more? But when I finally succumbed to the social pressures of needing to fit in with haute caffeine trends, I admittedly didn’t love the taste of cold brew;. Maybe this drink, no matter how cool I sounded ordering it, wasn’t for me? Nowadays, cold brew is nearly as ubiquitous as iced coffee in both coffee shops and on grocery stores shelves in canned and bottled versions, too. Navigating the world of cold coffee can still be confusing, and no, they are not the same. Read on for everything you need to know about the difference between iced coffee and cold brew.

You're Probably Drinking Your Coffee Wrong — Here's the Right Way to Sip Your Favorite Morning Drink

What is cold brew?

Cold brew is in some ways a misnomer. The more accurate term to describe what we know of as cold brew would be cold steep, or cold infusion, but those don’t have the same curb appeal. Even still, cold brew never truly goes through a process of brewing — which, when it comes to coffee, means mixing with boiling water. Instead, cold brew coffee is made by steeping coffee grounds in room temperature or cold water for many hours. It can be made in cold brew makers fitted with a mesh or filtered compartment for grounds, or in a large container where grounds mix freely with water before being strained out. Unlike brewed coffee made more quickly with boiling water, coffee grounds slowly release their flavors and essential oils over 12 to 24 hours. While cold brew has become synonymous with coffee, it is an infusion technique that has historically been used for tea to yield a more gentle, aromatic flavor profile.

What is iced coffee?

Iced coffee is made just like hot coffee, where grounds are brewed with hot water over a short period of time. Whether it’s through a drip coffee maker or a pour over, coffee grounds quickly bloom under hot boiling water. The result is coffee in minutes, compared to many hours. “At Dawn, we brew our iced coffee just like our hot coffee, but over ice,” says Jera Corbin, lead at Dawn Coffee, located in the Bode hotel in Nashville, TN. Since iced coffee is so easy to make, and it's gentle flavor, it’s the perfect canvas for trying out different coffee syrups or flavorful riffs like a Vietnamese-inspired coconut iced coffee.

Do cold brew and iced coffee taste different?

“Cold brew has a bolder flavor than iced coffee since the brewing process is longer whereas iced coffee is typically milder in taste,” says Corbin. Since cold brew yields a more intensely flavored coffee, Corbin suggests cutting it with a bit of water for a more balanced blend. It’s strong and rich with a velvety consistency whereas iced coffee can be a bit more thin. “In my experience, I’ve had more folks order cold brews black, or with no cream or sugar, while iced coffees are typically ordered with cream and sugar, " she says. “It all depends on how people like their coffee!”

10 Best Coffee Brands From All Over the Country

Do you use different coffee grounds for cold brew and iced coffee?

“For cold brew coffee, you need your coffee to be ground on a very coarse setting, while the opposite is true for iced coffee,” says Corbin. “Since the brewing time is longer for cold brew, you want to have your grounds coarser so that the taste is not too overwhelming.” At Dawn Corbin’s team uses the same type of coffee, often a dark or medium roast, for both types of coffee. Since flavors in just about anything become less present in cold preparations, light roast doesn’t have enough power for cold brew or iced coffee, save those beans for a hot cup of Joe.

Does cold brew have more caffeine than iced coffee?

Yes, cold brew does have more caffeine than a typical iced coffee. Due to its slow infusion, cold brew needs a higher ratio of coffee grains to water to achieve a full-flavored cup. The more coffee grains infused, the more potential caffeine to pull from. But either way you take it, cold coffee will yield a light caffeine buzz.

Cold Brew Is So 2015, Here's Why You Should Drink Iced Coffee (2024)


Is cold brew really different from iced coffee answer key? ›

Iced coffee is brewed using hot water then added to ice to cool. Cold brew coffee is made using cold water and takes longer to make.

What your coffee says about you cold brew? ›

Cold brew drinkers are often trendsetters who appreciate the craft behind their coffee. They may prioritize flavor and quality over immediate gratification. Cold brew fans often seek out the latest trends in the coffee industry. They value the slow and deliberate preparation of their beverage.

Is cold brew coffee healthier than iced coffee? ›

As far as health benefits go, cold brew also has all the heart-healthy polyphenols and metabolism-boosting powers as regular or iced coffee (just fewer antioxidants as described above), but it's likely to be gentler on your tummy since it's less acidic.

What is so special about cold brew coffee? ›

Cold brewing extracts the delicious flavor compounds in coffee while it leaves behind the bitter oils and fatty acids (including some less desirable compounds such as ketones, esters, and amides) that get released during hot brewing. The result is a delicious tasting coffee.

Which is stronger cold brew or iced coffee starbucks? ›

Cold brew is naturally full-bodied, smooth and aromatic, and frequently served black over ice (although a splash of cream and your favorite syrups are delicious, too!). Iced coffee is lighter, with a medium body but tends to be a little brighter depending on what beans you use.

How much stronger is cold brew than iced coffee? ›

Cold brew vs. other coffee drinks
Serving sizeCaffeine content
Cold brew16 ounces (473 mL)205 mg
Hot coffee16 ounces (473 mL)210–360 mg
Iced coffee16 ounces (473 mL)165 mg
Espresso1.5 ounces (44 mL)150 mg
Jul 28, 2021

Is cold brew coffee good for your liver? ›

Coffee itself is linked with decreasing the risk of type 2 diabetes, heart disease, and many degenerative nerve diseases. Coffee is also linked with lowering your risk of developing liver disease. With the extra caffeine kick to get you up and awake, cold brew has all the same benefits with even more flavor.

Which is the healthiest coffee to drink? ›

Overall, lighter roasts generally have less caffeine and more antioxidants than darker roasts. The type of bean can affect the caffeine content, but both Arabica and Robusta beans can give you the full health benefits of coffee.

Is cold brew easier on the gut? ›

Cold-brewed coffee: Is easier on your stomach. Coffee is very acidic, and drinking too much of it can irritate the stomach and aggravate certain conditions like indigestion, GERD, and irritable bowel syndrome. Cold-brewing coffee creates a cup that's almost two-thirds less acidic than its hot brewed counterpart.

What does cold brew do to your body? ›

In addition to it's anti-inflammatory benefits, cold brew has the ability to reduce the risk of several diseases. Research shows that with increased coffee and cold brew consumption, you can reduce the risk of some cancers, heart disease as well as type-2 diabetes, Parkinson's and Alzhimer's disease.

Is cold brew better for your teeth? ›

Dental Health: The lower acidity of cold brew might be less harmful to your teeth, but it can still stain them over time. Practice good dental hygiene to minimize this risk.

What are the pros and cons of cold brew coffee? ›

One of the pitfalls of cold brew is that it's a drink you can't enjoy immediately, and you can't rush the process. But cold brew keeps well in the fridge, is great for folks who find coffee to be too acidic, and can yield enough to make a “concentrate” so you can enjoy more later.

How can you tell the difference between cold brew and iced coffee? ›

Cold brew has a bolder flavor than iced coffee since the brewing process is longer whereas iced coffee is typically milder in taste,” says Corbin. Since cold brew yields a more intensely flavored coffee, Corbin suggests cutting it with a bit of water for a more balanced blend.

Is cold coffee the same as iced coffee? ›

Iced coffee typically uses a one-to-one ratio of coffee to water, which results in a stronger and more concentrated flavour. Cold brew, on the other hand, uses a higher coffee-to-water ratio, usually around one-to-four. This produces a less concentrated but smoother and less acidic taste.

What's the difference between cold brew and iced coffee on Reddit? ›

Iced coffee is brewed hot with a drip brewer, then chilled. Cold brew is brewed at room temperature by steeping for 20 hours. They taste different because many of the compounds that make coffee taste acidic don't dissolve in water easily without heat.

Do you brew iced coffee differently? ›

The brewing process is a little more challenging since you have to account for ice-melting with less water, but adapting your regular recipe is simple: just remove 40% of the water you'd normally brew with, and replace it with ice in your glass.

Top Articles
Latest Posts
Article information

Author: Saturnina Altenwerth DVM

Last Updated:

Views: 6414

Rating: 4.3 / 5 (64 voted)

Reviews: 87% of readers found this page helpful

Author information

Name: Saturnina Altenwerth DVM

Birthday: 1992-08-21

Address: Apt. 237 662 Haag Mills, East Verenaport, MO 57071-5493

Phone: +331850833384

Job: District Real-Estate Architect

Hobby: Skateboarding, Taxidermy, Air sports, Painting, Knife making, Letterboxing, Inline skating

Introduction: My name is Saturnina Altenwerth DVM, I am a witty, perfect, combative, beautiful, determined, fancy, determined person who loves writing and wants to share my knowledge and understanding with you.