Cold Brew vs Iced Coffee: What to Choose This Summer?

June 24, 2024

Cold Brew vs Iced Coffee: What to Choose This Summer?

Cold brew and iced coffee are both refreshing summer coffee drinks, but they're brewed differently. Cold Brew is steeped in cold water for an extended period, typically 12-24 hours, creating a strong, smooth coffee. while Iced Coffee is brewed hot and then poured over ice for a quicker refreshment with a bolder taste. 

The distinct differences in brewing methods result in varying flavor profiles and caffeine levels.

Brewing Method

Cold brew relies on time rather than heat to extract flavors, resulting in a gradual process that minimizes bitterness and acidity. Conversely, iced coffee is brewed hot, capturing immediate flavors and aromas. This hot brewing method extracts more acidic and bitter compounds, which are then balanced by cooling and dilution with ice.

Flavor and Acidity

Cold brew is smooth, rich, and slightly sweet. The slow extraction process reduces the acidity, making it a gentler option for those with sensitive stomachs. Iced coffee has bright, vibrant flavors but also more acidic and bitter notes. Adding ice can slightly dilute the flavor, but it still keeps the sharp taste of hot-brewed coffee.

Caffeine Content

Cold brew coffee concentrate generally has a higher caffeine content due to the prolonged steeping time and higher coffee-to-water ratio.  Iced coffee has a standard caffeine content, which can vary based on the coffee-to-water ratio used during brewing.A lower water ratio helps preserve the taste of coffee.

Coffee Grounds

Cold brew requires coarsely ground coffee beans to prevent over-extraction and ensure a clean, smooth flavor. The coarse grind also makes it easier to filter out the grounds after steeping. Iced coffee, brewed using hot methods, typically uses medium to fine coffee grounds, similar to those used for regular drip or pour-over coffee.

Which One to Choose?

Cold brew offers a smooth, less acidic, and naturally sweet experience, while iced coffee is bright and vibrant with more acidity and bitterness. Understanding these differences can help you find your perfect cold coffee match.

Try cold brew if you need a quick cold coffee. New brewing techniques mean it's ready to drink right away in a shorter steeping time. If you want a stronger, classic iced coffee, be prepared for a short wait. 

Wabilogic Cold Coffee Recipes

Want to customize your cold drink with milk and flavor?

Check out these cold coffee recipes from Wabilogic and make your favorite summer beverages at home! 


Wabilogic Tips

The Melitta® Aroma Tocco™ Plus coffee maker is equipped with an exclusive iced coffee function, allowing you to effortlessly brew refreshing iced coffee at the touch of a button. Make your perfect cup now!


READ NEXT: How To Make Iced Coffee with Melitta® Aroma Tocco™ Plus? Read More →


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