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Differences Between Cold Brew and Iced Coffee

differences between cold brew coffee and iced coffee

 It is easy to mistake that cold brew coffee is the same as iced coffee. However, both these types of beverages are significantly different. They use different brewing methods and ingredients, as well as varying levels of caffeine content. Here are the differences between cold brew coffee and iced coffee.

What Is Cold Brew?

Cold-brew or cold-brewed coffee is a drink from ground coffee beans and water. Cold brew is served chilled or at room temperature, usually in a reusable French press-style bottle or a glass. The extraction of the flavor takes place over a much more extended period compared to brewing hot coffee.

What Is Iced Coffee?

Iced coffee is made by brewing hot coffee and pouring it over ice. It is usually served over ice with a sweetener and milk. If a person uses cold water for brewing, Iced coffee may not have much caffeine as the brewing process will take out most of the caffeine from the beans..

Differences Between Cold Brew Coffee and Iced Coffee.

Differences in Brewing

Cold Brew: This method is very similar to the French Press method. It is derived from steeping a good amount of coffee beans in cold water overnight. It allows the chemical compounds within the beans to be extracted much more slowly, producing a rich and smooth beverage in the morning. The brewing process for cold brew also sucks all of the oils out of the beans. This results in a reduced level of acidity and lessens the amount of caffeine. These factors make for a very smooth and easy-to-drink beverage.

Iced Coffee: This method is made by brewing coffee on the stove or using a drip machine, then pouring this over ice to cool it down. This process yields a fresh-tasting beverage.


Ingredients: What’s Inside?

Cold-brew coffee typically features a high level of caffeine for its lower acidity, making it an ideal cold-weather beverage. It also contains more antioxidants than other types of coffee and is rich in the amino acid L-theanine.

Iced Coffee: While it has less caffeine than Cold Brew, it is still a high-quality drink. Here at Honeylu’s, it is prepared by brewing single brew coffee, then pouring it over ice. We can also add your favorite creamers and flavorings to the iced coffee.

Flavor: How Do They Taste?

Cold Brew: This beverage has a unique flavor unlike any other. It’s more complex, less bitter, and smoother than an iced coffee. Cold brew can be served black, with no added sugar or milk, for a rich-tasting drink. However, you can add your favorite sweeteners or creamers to your cold brew.

Iced Coffee: The stone ground beans in this beverage make for a smoother taste than cold brew in some people’s opinion. Although, it has higher acidity, sometimes making it bitter. However, the ice cubes in an iced drink help to dilute the acidity of coffee.

Caffeine: How Much Do They Contain?

Cold Brew: Cold brew usually contains around 200 mg of caffeine per 16 ounces.

Iced Coffee: Iced coffee has an average caffeine level of about 85 mg per 8-ounce cup of brewed coffee.

Brew time: How Long Does It Take?

Cold Brew: This beverage takes time to make because it steeps coffee grounds in cold water overnight. The colder you brew the drink, the less acidity it has, which means there is a lot of room for flavor.

Iced Coffee: Iced coffee takes less time than cold brew as you are taking a single brew cup of coffee and serving it over ice instead of steeping the beans in cold water.

Ratio: What’s the Brew to Water Ratio?

Cold Brew: The ratio of coffee grounds to cold water is typically 1 part ground coffee to 8 parts cold water. The smaller ratio allows for a slow extraction process, which results in a rich and smooth taste. The longer brew time also allows the drink to mature in the fridge overnight, giving it more time to develop its unique taste.

Iced Coffee: The ratio of coffee grounds and ice can vary, with some recipes recommending weighing out equal portions of each ingredient. You should set the amount of coffee in proportion to the amount of ice. It is also essential to use cold water when making ice coffee.

Cold Brew vs. Iced Coffee: The Bottom Line

Here at Honeylu’s in Prosper, TX we celebrate coffee, so though we can tell you about the differences between cold brew and iced coffee, we can’t tell you which one is better. It’s like picking a favorite child. Iced coffee from our single brew coffees can be wonderful on a hot summer day. Cold Brew as a unique rich flavor perfect for this time of year. Our suggestion? Come on in and try both and see which one you like the best! Honeylu’s is located at 1170 N Preston Rd #130, Prosper, TX 75078 and another location will be coming soon to Van Alstyne, TX.