Cold Brew Coffee Vs. Iced Coffee: What’s the Difference?
At Seeds, we’re equal opportunity coffee-makers. We don’t care if you like it hot and steaming or cold and refreshing. We’ll still make you the best coffee drink we can.
But if you’re a fan of colder coffee beverages, you may have wondered what the difference is between cold brew coffee and iced coffee. Is there a difference? And which one is better?
How Cold Brew Coffee Is Made
Cold brew coffee is made by taking ground coffee and steeping it in – you guessed it – cold water for hours. It takes anywhere from 12 hours to 24 hours. (Cold water takes longer to extract flavor than hot water.) As a result, the taste is more mellow and balanced than it would be with hot brew. There’s less acidity, too.
Cold brew has really taken off across the country over the past few years. You can even find cold brew in your local convenience or grocery stores. Not that we recommend buying those, of course. We like to think ours is better.
Different types of cold brew are made across the country, with regional varieties popping up. In New Orleans, for example, they make a spicier version by adding chicory. Nitro cold brew was originally introduced in Portland. Seeds even has a regional variety: our cold brew is made with love.
How Iced Coffee Is Made
Iced coffee is made just how it sounds: you brew coffee using your normal methods, let it cool, then pour it over ice. Sounds simple, right? That’s because it is.
Some people prefer iced coffee just because they prefer cold beverages over hot ones. It’s the same reason why some people will drink sweet tea all day rather than hot tea like earl grey. It’s personal preference, and we think it’s totally okay if you want iced coffee.
The Differences Between the Two
One of the main differences between iced coffee and cold brew coffee is the taste. Cold brew is milder, less acidic, and sweeter than both iced coffee and regularly brewed coffee. Iced coffee, by comparison, has a fuller body.
Cold brew coffee can also be more concentrated than iced coffee, which means you get more caffeine per ounce.
In the end, we recommend you try both and see which one you like. In fact, you may need to try both of them many, many times before you can reach a decision. Two great places to run these taste experiments are our Homewood coffee shop location and our Lakeview coffee shop location. We’ll help you run these tests over and over and over again – all in the name of science.