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Cold Brew Vs. Iced Coffee - Which Is Better?

Jun 23

If you're one of the many coffee lovers who are indecisive about which one to order you're not alone. You might be wondering which is better: cold brewed coffee or iced coffee? Well let's find out. First let's understand the differences between both. While they are both made from the same coffee there are some key differences.

What Is Iced Coffee?

The answer to the question 'What is Iced Coffee?' is surprisingly simple: it's simply coffee that's been cooled down with ice. There are many brewing methods for this drink though espresso is the most common. As you might imagine ice will diluted even the most robust coffee. However you can get around this by using coffee ice cubes. These ice-cubes are similar to those used for regular coffee but can bypass the watering effect of ice.

To prepare an iced coffee first prepare hot coffee as you would normally do. Use your preferred method for making coffee and then pour it into an empty cup with ice. The ice cubes will melt and dilute the coffee keeping the flavor intact. Add cold milk if desired. Do not add any cream or sugar as the ice will dilute the flavor. However if you do want to add some cream to your drink you can do so by freezing the cream or sugar into cubes.

An iced coffee is a type of cold-brewed coffee. Compared to the traditional hot-brewed coffee cold-brewed coffee is generally more acidic and bitter. This is because hot water draws out the bitter notes from the coffee grounds. But there are still some people who enjoy a cold brew. They can be served with ice or mixed with hot water to create cold-brewed hot coffee.

What Is Cold Brew?

If you're wondering 'What is Cold Brew coffee?' then read on for some great answers. Cold brew is an excellent alternative to hot coffee and has several benefits. Unlike hot brew cold brew does not contain acid so the acidity of the drink is minimal. Cold brew also uses the same coffee beans so it's possible to enjoy your favorite hot brew brand in a cold brew version. For more info on cold brew check, which has a few interesting articles. 

While hot brew coffee is more commonly known as strong coffee cold brewed coffee is more delicate and smoother. Cold brew coffee is made by steeping coarsely ground java in cold water for twelve to twenty-four hours. The result is a richer smoother beverage with a lot more flavor and character. While hot brew coffee may be easier to drink cold brew has a lot more caffeine than hot brewed coffee.

Cold brew coffee is different from 'hot brew' coffee in many ways. The first difference is the water temperature. Regular coffee brews at 200 to 212 degrees Fahrenheit. This temperature range is optimal for extraction. Many baristas don't bother with this setting as it has the same effect as changing other parameters. So you should be happy drinking cold brew coffee if you're looking for a healthier drink.

Is Iced Coffee or Cold Brew Better?

If you're wondering which one is better you've come to the right place. Despite their similarity both iced coffee and cold brew have their pros and cons. For starters iced coffee tends to be less savory than hot coffee partly because of the dilution from the hot brewing process. However the hot brewing method also results in a less savory drink because it extracts flavor notes faster. The cooling process also solidifies overextracted flavors.

In terms of health benefits cold brew is a better choice if you want a caffeine jolt. Cold brew coffee is made by steeping coffee in water below 40 degrees for at least 24 hours. This method prevents heat from ruining the coffee beans which allows the caffeine oils and sugars to seep out. Cold brew coffee also has a less bitter taste.

Cold brew has less acidity than iced coffee making it more digestible for those with sensitive stomachs. It contains approximately half the acid content of regular coffee and is thus easier on the stomach. Additionally it contains a much higher concentration of caffeine. However the ratio of coffee to water can change the amount of caffeine. Consequently cold brew has more caffeine than iced coffee.