best cold brew coffee vs best iced coffee

Best Iced Coffee vs Best Cold Brew Coffee: The Showdown!

    What does cold brew coffee and iced coffee have in common? They both taste great, contain caffeine and can be enjoyed on a hot summer day. The best cold brew coffee starts off as a chilled drink and doesn't go through the cooling process. Iced coffee actually begins as hot coffee and then gets cooled down. It is served with ice and is super easy to make!

    Ready to delve a little deeper into this cool category of coffee?

    Don't get it Twisted!

    Cold brew coffee is somewhat more modern than iced coffee. It's taking coffee lovers by storm. Starbucks reported a 20% increase in iced drink sales, after introducing cold brew coffee to stores nationwide.

    Despite its fairly recent emergence in the mainstream market, its history is debated. Some people claim that the cold brew coffee was invited in Japan or Central and South America. Others date it way back to the 1600's when Dutch traders wanted to be able to transport coffee more easily.

    Iced coffee originated in Algeria around 1840. Since then, many variations have arisen.

    It's important that we know the difference between iced coffee and cold brew. It's best to be aware of the nutritional differences and methods.

    Comparison of Cold Brew Coffee and Iced Coffee


    Cold Brew Coffee

    Iced Coffee


    The coffee is never heated, so the oils and acids that are usually released during heating remain in the beans. These elements give coffee a bitter taste, so you can be assured of a smoother sip. The taste may be richer because the coffee is left to steep for a long time.

    Tasty cold brew coffee

    Even this coffee has a more acidic taste because it's brewed hot. You can always add flavored syrups to suit your preference. Caramel, hazelnut, and vanilla are amongst the most popular flavors.

    Tasty iced coffee

    Caffeine content

    The best cold brew is lower in caffeine, with 40 mg of caffeine for every 100 g.

    Iced coffee contains around 53 mg of caffeine per cup, according to the USDA.

    Choice of Beans

    The majority of cold brew enthusiasts prefer a dark roast. The low temperatures make extraction more difficult, and light roasts are harder to extract in general. For a lighter roast, you'll need a longer steep time.

    If you want the best coffee beans for iced coffee, go with Robusta. It's less acidic. If you go with light-colored beans, you will increase the caffeine content and get a smoother taste.

    Brewing Method

    The brewing method is more time-consuming, but the outcome is worth it. It involves steeping coarsely ground coffee in water for a long time. You then filter out the grounds and mix your coffee concentrate with milk or water. Then pour over ice.

    Prepare iced coffee as a normal hot coffee. Then pour it over ice to serve it cold. You should brew iced coffee at a higher strength because it gets diluted by the ice. This brewing method is the most simple of the two.

    Health Benefits

    Cold brew coffee benefits your stomach, as the acid levels are around 60% lower than regular coffee. The body functions at its best in a more alkaline state.

    Iced coffee helps to reduce the risk of certain diseases, such as diabetes, gall bladder stones and Parkinson's.


    Cold brew costs a little more than iced coffee, making it the most expensive option overall. This is because it's more complicated to make.

    Iced coffee is usually more expensive than regular, hot coffee. You can, however, buy it more cheaply than cold brew.

    Best Cold Brew Coffee Recipe

    Making cold brew coffee

    If you are looking for the best cold brew coffee recipe at home with your French Press? It's more simple than you may suspect...

    1. Grind the coffee beans. Let's go for coarsely ground dark roast beans for best results. Grind 1/3 of a cup and although the beans should be coarse, ensure they're fine enough to infuse well.

    2. Combine the coffee and water. Pour the ground coffee into the French Press, then pour in 1 and a half cups of cold water.

    3. Stir and Close. Blend the coffee and the water and put on the French Press lid.

    4. Leave overnight (or for at least 12 hours) in the fridge. Okay, I did say cold brew was a little time-consuming! Keep plunger in the up position and let the grounds infuse overnight.

    5. Separate the coffee from the grounds. Push down the plunger to brew the coffee.

    6. Finish and drink. Fill a glass with ice cubes and pour milk to the halfway point. Pour in your iced coffee mix and stir.

    Cold brew coffee stays fresh for longer than hot-brewed coffee. This means you can make a big batch without the worry of it going stale!

    Best Iced Coffee Recipe

    Preparing iced coffee

    Want to learn how to make the best iced coffee, then you're in luck. I've laid it out in plain and simple instructions so that any newbie can join the hype. If you're not opposed to instant coffee, you can make the best iced coffee for you in minutes.

    1. Add the instant coffee. First, place a heaped teaspoon of instant coffee granules into a glass.

    2. Heat and add water. Heat up your water to lower than boiling, and add it to the coffee granules. Give it a stir to allow infusion.

    3. Customize to your taste. Add milk or flavored syrup for smoothness and sweetness. The cup should be filled about halfway by now.

    4. Finish your iced coffee. Add a couple of handfuls of ice and stir. Your simple iced coffee is ready to refresh you on-the-go!

    Common Mistakes with Recipes

    Mistakes with Cold Brew coffee recipe

    Preparing cold brew coffee

    Don't waste your money on constantly refreshing your stash of coffee beans. The best cold brew coffee doesn't require super fresh or super high-quality beans. If your beans are more than a few weeks old, it may be time to buy some new ones. This process is much more forgiving in terms of low-quality or aged coffee beans.

    If you grind the beans too fine, your coffee will over-extract. This is down to the prolonged steeping time of over 12 hours. Over-extraction gives your coffee a more bitter taste.

    Mistakes with Iced Coffee recipe

    Making iced coffee

    Take care when creating your tasty beverage. For your iced coffee, don't delay in drinking. It can water down your drink when the ice melts and no one will be impressed by your coffee skills. Diluted coffee is not cool.

    Many people assume iced coffee takes ages to make, so they don't bother. As we've already discussed, the process is actually really quick and simple.

    The Bottom Line

    Coffee connoisseurs prefer the cold brew method, because of the improved taste and quality. The drawback is the more complicated method and longer steeping time.

    If you want cold brew and you're in a hurry, I'd advise making a large batch that you can dip into each morning.

    What's your opinion? Is iced coffee or cold brew for you? Or do you like to stay original and never deter from hot coffee?

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