Difference Between Cold Brew Coffee VS Iced Coffee


Cold Brew Vs Iced Coffee

What is the difference between cold brew coffee versus iced coffee? We will explore all of the differences between cold brew vs iced coffee, including how each type of coffee is made, as well as some tips and tricks to help make your coffee taste the best.

cold brew mocha in a mason jar

As you may have gathered from the names, cold brew, and iced coffee, they were both types of cold coffee drinks, they can easily be made at home, or purchased from a coffee shop.

If you are a coffee lover, you may be aware of the differences between these two drinks, but just in case you’re not let’s jump in. In the details to follow we are going to cover the main difference, as well as other key factors that make the differences between these cold coffee beverage types.

The key difference between iced coffee and cold brew coffee is in the brew methods that are used to make these types of coffee. The brewing process is different for cold brew compared to iced coffee. Let’s first look at how cold brew coffee is made.

Cold Brew Coffee

Cold brew coffee which is a type of cold brew concentrate, is usually made using room temperature water and then brewed over longer periods of time such as 12 to 24 hours in the fridge. 

This cold brew method allows your coffee to brew, slowly, yet steadily and makes the coffee have a delicious, somewhat sweeter flavor than normal coffee.

Making your own cold brew coffee is surprisingly easy to do, all you have to do is mix lukewarm water, with coffee grounds, then let it brew in the fridge, for 12 to 24 hours. This is such an easy way to make cold coffee, that you can easily convert into your favorite drink.

The amount of coffee grounds you use depends on how much coffee you want to make. For ½ gallon of brewed coffee, we typically like to use one cup of coffee grounds, prepared as a cold brew.

Ways to Make Cold Brew

There are various ways that you can go about preparing cold brew coffee. The easiest ways to make cold brew is to use a French press or a mason jar with a filter.

To make cold brew coffee in a French press or in a Mason Jar, all you need are coffee grounds, warm water, and either a French press or a Mason Jar with a lid. 

iced coffee with french press

French Press Cold Brew

To make French press cold brew coffee, you will first want to add your desired coffee grounds into the French press. Then add lukewarm, or room temperature water into the French press. Stir the mixture so that the coffee grounds are wet.

Then cover the French press and let it sit in the fridge for 12 to 24 hours so that the cold brew can have time to do its thing. When the French press cold brew coffee has finished brewing, you can press the plunger down on the French press, to separate the coffee grounds from the brewed coffee. Your cold brew coffee is now ready to enjoy.

Mason Jar Cold Brew

Another easy way to make cold brew coffee is using a mason jar, with a filter. You might choose to use a coffee filter insert, that you can buy online. Just make sure it will fit into a mason jar that you have on hand, or pick one up that it can fit into. 

To make ½ gallon of cold brew coffee, add one cup of coffee grounds into the filter. Fill the mason jar halfway with room temperature water, then add the filter to the coffee grounds. Run the remaining water through the coffee filter until the jar is full. Cover with a lid and place in the fridge for 12 to 24 hours to allow the cold brew coffee to do its magic.

After the coffee has been brewed, using the long extraction method, you can remove the filter containing the coffee grounds from the mason jar. Add the coffee grounds to your compost bin, to discard, then prepare your cold brew coffee as desired.

Cold brew coffee often has a lovely smooth taste, and often has a natural sweetness to it that normal coffee does not contain. Because of the way cold brew is brewed, over a longer period of time, it typically has a delicious flavor profile to a cold brew beverage that other types of coffee do not possess.

Caramel Iced Coffee no whipped cream

How Long Does Cold Brew Last?

Once your cold brew coffee has been prepared, as long as it is stored in an airtight container and kept in the fridge, with no other ingredients added, cold brew coffee will typically last up to one week in the fridge at 40°F or below.

To learn more about the shelf life of cold brew, check out “Cold brew coffee go bad? Plus, how long can it last”.

Ice Coffee

Traditional ice coffee on the other hand is made using regular drip coffee. Typically, when making iced coffee with a hot cup of coffee, the amount of ground coffee beans is increased, or it’s made with less water added to the coffee maker, so that the hot brewed coffee, is stronger, or even made so that it is double strength. This way when the hot coffee is added to the ice cubes, and the ice melts, the coffee flavor does not become diluted.

To make regular coffee, you can use a French press with hot water, and your desired coffee grounds, or you can use a regular drip coffee maker, or K-cup coffee machine.

Add the cold water to the coffee maker, then add your desired coffee grounds, to make your regular coffee. We do recommend that you make the regular coffee extra strong so that it does not become diluted when added to the ice cubes to make iced coffee. 

Iced coffee, will still likely contain the acidic taste of regular coffee, because of how it is prepared.

Iced coffee is the best when it is enjoyed freshly made. We do not recommend that it set out for an extended period of time, or the iced coffee will likely turn into a disgusting-tasting drink.

Coffee Ice Cubes

Another great way you can make iced coffee is to use coffee ice cubes, in your iced coffee. When you do this, you can make your hot coffee, as normal, then add the frozen coffee ice cubes into the drink, so that it is chilled, but does not dilute its flavor. 

To make coffee ice cubes, you will want to prepare extra coffee ahead of time, then pour it into an ice cube tray. Freeze the coffee ice cubes in the freezer until frozen solid. Once they are frozen, you can add them to your hot coffee, to make iced coffee drinks.

How to make coffee fast artsy

How Long Does Iced Coffee Last?

Iced coffee is the best when it is enjoyed fresh. Typically, iced coffee is not good once it is saved, so we recommend enjoying it as soon as it is made.

The Key Differences

The big difference between these types of coffee is in the distinct brewing methods of each type of coffee. While both are cold beverages, one is brewed cold, and the other is brewed hot and served over ice.

Concentrated cold brew, is coffee grounds, mixed with lukewarm, or room temperature water, then refrigerated for 12 to 24 hours. Cold brew coffee can also be made with espresso grounds if desired. 

Iced coffee is made using hot coffee, prepared in a variety of ways, then served over rice. Often, iced coffee is made so that it is strong, and when served over ice, the ice melts and decreases the strength of the coffee.

Therefore, the main difference between cold brew and iced coffee is how the coffee is brewed. Both beverages can be prepared in various ways, and with different flavors added. But both beverages are served chilled, making them an ideal drink to refresh your taste buds on a hot summer day.

Customize Your Cold Coffee Drinks

Both cold brew coffee and iced coffee can be prepared in a variety of ways. Different flavors can be added to the drinks after they are brewed to make them more enjoyable. Often you can find caramel syrup, chocolate syrup, or other flavors added to the drinks to make them a delicious, sweet treat.

cold brew mocha in a mason jar

Difference Between Cold Brew and Iced Coffee

The biggest difference between cold brew coffee and iced coffee is that cold brew is made using coffee grounds in warm water, then brewed in the fridge for 12 to 24 hours. 

Iced coffee on the other hand is made using regular hot coffee, often brewed in a French press or drip coffee maker. Iced coffee is then served over ice cubes. 

This results in both types of coffee drinks being served chilled even though they are made using different brew methods. At the end of the day, it’s entirely up to your taste preferences, as to what type of coffee is the better option for you.

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Faith Has been cooking and baking for many years! she loves to share her recipes with the world, and hopes you will enjoy them too!

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