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What is the difference between Iced Coffee and Cold Brew Coffee?

What is the difference between Iced Coffee and Cold Brew Coffee?

July 15, 2022

Coffee is one of the most sought-after beverages around the globe.

As the coffee market has evolved, access to countless different varieties of brewing methods has become available, making coffee in even higher demand.

There are now so many choices, sometimes placing an order at your local can be a little daunting!

Two popular types of coffee are iced coffee and cold brew coffee. Though they seem similar in name, they are vastly different both in the brewing method and the end result. Let’s look at how different they are.


Iced Coffee and Cold Brew Coffee – Why are they Different?

Here are some of the significant differences between iced coffee and cold brew coffee:

Misunderstanding of Iced Coffee and Cold Brew Coffee with similarity in names but many differences

cold brew coffee
cold brew coffee with ice and milk

What’s in a name? Though iced coffee and cold brew coffee sound similar, they are very different in both brewing method and end result. Iced coffee is made using either espresso or regularly brewed hot coffee which is then poured over ice and combined with milk to make it an “iced latte”, or with water to make it an “iced americano”. Cold brew is made using cold or room temperature water which is then brewed over time and filtered to be combined with milks and ice or enjoyed on its own.

cold brew iced coffee differences
cold brew coffee

Difference in flavours

Different brewing methods bring out different characteristics and flavour notes in coffee, depending on your palate and your tastes you’ll like some better than others! Iced coffee is hot and then cooled quickly using ice which produces more acidic and bitter tones, with a balanced and aromatic taste.

Meanwhile, cold brew coffee is more concentrated than regular iced coffee. The use of cold or room temperature water over a longer brewing time results in a coffee with low acidity and bitterness which also produces a naturally sweeter and smoother taste.


The difference in brewing methods

Are you thinking ahead, or do you just want to get that delicious coffee in your cup? Making iced coffee is a lot quicker than brewing cold brew coffee. You basically brew your regular hot coffee using an espresso machine, filter, plunger, or any other method you might have and then pour it into a glass of ice. Cold brew coffee is made by placing ground coffee into paper filter which is then submerged into cold or room temperature water and brewed over 14 – 24 hours.

iced coffee cold brew coffee the differences
making coffee for an iced coffee

What is an Iced Coffee?

Iced Coffee is made from the same coffee that is used for hot coffee. It can be made by brewing the beans using the drip. After the coffee is brewed, simply pour it over ice into a tall glass. Then add a little sugar to sweeten. Iced Coffees often have a scoop of vanilla ice cream and even whipped cream on top. 


If you love coffee and haven’t ever tried an Iced Coffee you’re missing out on a great way to cool down on a hot day and add a little flavor to your day!


What is a Cold Brew Coffee?

Cold brew coffee is a slow drip of coffee from freshly ground beans. The result is a more potent taste and a smoother texture. It’s easy to make at home! Here are the steps: Grind the beans, then cover them with cold water in a carafe or large glass. Put a lid on the carafe and place it in the fridge overnight. The next day, strain your coffee and add it to a mug or pour-over the beans to serve. This is the best way to enjoy your coffee if you’re looking for full flavour. 

You might then decide to add a bit of ice and sugar to serve.


How long does Cold Brew last in the fridge?

To keep cold brew coffee fresh and tasty, it is important to follow these steps. First, you will want to refrigerate it after you have brewed it. If you do not have a fridge that is big enough to hold the whole batch, split it into smaller batches. If you have a big enough fridge, keep the bottles in there. If you don’t have a fridge, be sure to keep the bottles out of direct sunlight. The cold brew will last 3-5 days with maximum flavour if you do these steps. 

Cold brews could be the perfect idea to take camping if you have an esky! Then you don’t need to take all the extra brewing items.


Diet and health benefits of cold brew coffee.

Cold brew is making a comeback as people are realizing its many health benefits. The slow brewing process used to make cold brew coffee means that there is a lot less acid in the final drink. 

Drinking coffee in moderation is good for people, and cold brew is less likely to cause stomach upset. It’s a great way to enjoy a delicious cup of coffee without worrying about the negative effects! If you’re looking to make some delicious cups of coffee to drink at home.

A cold brew coffee is a lot healthier than an iced coffee, as iced coffee’s are traditionally made with lots of sugar, ice cream and cream.

Why is a cold brew coffee so popular at the moment?

cold brew coffee in a bar
cold brew lined up in the bar ready for an espresso martini

Cold brew coffee has been gaining in popularity lately and many people are looking to find out more about it. This type of coffee has a higher caffeine concentration than traditional coffee and it doesn’t taste as bitter. 

Cold brew is a lot smoother than your average cup of coffee. It has a sweet, nutty taste that is much more appealing to those with delicate palates. It’s important to brew it right, though. Brewing it too long can make it bitter, so it’s best to brew it in a coffee maker or with a special cold brew coffee maker.

Sometimes when you have had a long day at work, and you need a break – you need a pick me up to perform your best. In warmer months you don’t always want something that is hot. So why not try a cold brew!

You can even use a cold brew to make your favourite cocktail. Check out our recipe.

espresso martini made from cold brew coffee


So they sound similar but they are actually very different. Either way you’ll get a delicious coffee fix and that makes it worth giving both a try! What’s your favourite?

coffee beans ready to turn into cold brew coffee

Coffee for the People Roasting Co. will take care of your caffeine fix! Shop our website and get freshly roasted coffee delivered to your door!

cold brew coffee


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