Did you know there’s a difference between these two caffeinated favorites? While some may consider iced coffee to be a warm-weather drink, I‘m a firm believer that it’s totally acceptable to drink this cool, caffeinated beverage year-round. But when you get to your favorite local coffee spot, you’re now presented with two options: cold brew vs. iced coffee. Both are cold, both come with ice, and you’re pretty sure both are coffee—so what’s the difference?
Well, the big difference is how they’re made. Get the scoop on each one to find your preference.
What is Iced Coffee?
Iced coffee is exactly what it sounds like: regularly brewed coffee served over ice. This method is quick—all you have to do is brew as normal, cool it down, and pour over ice. However, this method dilutes the coffee. To prevent the ice from watering your beverage down, make your iced coffee extra strong by doubling the amount of ground coffee you put in your coffee maker. Another easy way to double up on the flavor is to make coffee ice cubes. Pour cooled coffee into an ice cube tray, freeze and use for your next cup of iced coffee.
What is Cold Brew Coffee?
What makes cold brew coffee so tasty? Time. To make cold brew, coarse-ground coffee is steeped in cold water for at least twelve hours. The longer the coffee sits, the stronger the flavor. Because room temperature or cold water is used more often, this brewing process calls for a higher grounds-to-water ratio at almost twice the amount of grounds as its hot coffee counterpart.
Once it’s done steeping, the grounds are filtered out, leaving you with a coffee concentrate that can be mixed with milk or water and served over ice. Because cold brew uses time instead of heat to extract the coffee’s oils, sugars, and caffeine, the result is a generally sweeter, smoother, and less acidic flavor than iced coffee.
Still enjoyed by millions today, coffee has been a beverage staple around the world for centuries. Today, whether you enjoy your cup hot or cold, iced or brewed, be sure to take the time to truly enjoy it.