The popularity of consuming coffee cold has exploded in popularity in recent decades, and for good reason! 

Unfortunately though, as the buzz around these cool caffeinated treats has grown, so has the misinformation about them. 

Both are cold. Both are coffee. When poured next to each other in glass, they look very similar. However, they are most definitely not the same drink. 

In this post we'll explore the question of cold brew coffee vs iced coffee, how they are made, and why they are both so gosh darn delicious! 

What Is Iced Coffee?

Iced coffee is created by simply brewing hot coffee, cooling it down, and then pouring over ice. Other than being served cold, it is indistinguishable from "normal" coffee.

In fact, many drinkers like to brew a pot of their favorite coffee and drink it hot in the morning and then serve the remainder over ice as an afternoon treat. 

How do you make iced coffee?

Because any coffee that is served over ice is technically iced coffee, almost any popular brewing method would work.

That said, a foolproof method is to start with your favorite coffee blend (hint: flavored coffees are a great choice) and a trusty drip coffee machine. Allow the coffee to cool, and then pour it over ice. 

If you are brewing the pot specifically to be served over ice, you may want to consider using slightly less water than usual. We wouldn’t recommend this though if you plan to drink a portion of it hot.

What Is Cold Brew Coffee?

It is said that "good things come to those who wait". When it comes to cold brew coffee, if you have the patience, you will be rewarded with an amazingly delicious and immensely refreshing beverage.

Cold brew is a brewing method in which coffee is steeped in room temperature or cold water (we recommend room temperature) for an extended period of time and then the grounds are strained through a filter. 

Cold brew relies on time to do the brewing work rather than the heat/pressure methods used in traditional hot brewing. 

See More: Cold Brew 101 - What Is Cold Brew?

Can You Make Cold Brew At Home?

Absolutely, and it is both easy and delicious!

Our favorite recipe for cold brewing at home starts with coarsely ground cold brew grinds, poured into a french press and topped with water. We recommend you use a 1 to 3 coffee to water ratio. 

Then steep at room temperature for at least 16 hours before finally straining the grounds through the french press filter. 

Once brewed, store in the fridge in an airtight container for up to 3 days. 

Pro tip: Start the process before you go to bed and wake up with a delicious cold brew waiting for you. 

Check out our DIY Cold Brew guide for more detailed instructions and illustrations. 

What is Nitro Cold Brew?

Nitro cold brew is regular cold brew coffee that has been infused with nitrogen gas immediately before serving. That may sound like a mad science experiment but nitrogen infused beverages are quite common and totally safe!

Adding in the nitrogen gives the coffee a silky mouthfeel that is extremely smooth and pleasing to drink. It is also a visually stunning drink due to the cascading of the nitrogen bubbles.

You can drink it straight up or over ice, with or without cream and sugar, or even spruce it up with a syrup of your choice. 

Does Cold Brew or Iced Coffee Have More Caffeine?

Cold Brew has developed a reputation of being higher in caffeine than iced coffee (or hot coffee for that matter) but no conclusive studies have confirmed this theory. 

Does Cold Brew or Iced Coffee Last Longer?

When coffee is brewed with hot water (as is the case with iced coffee), the natural acids tend to deteriorate quickly. Over time, this deterioration can cause undesirable flavors and thus we suggest drinking it as soon after brewing as possible.

But since these acids are not extracted in the cold brew process, the resulting cold brew coffee has a remarkably longer shelf life.

At our cafes we store the cold brew in nitrogenated kegs which stops flavor loss by oxidation further extending its drinkable life. 

Final Thoughts

Craving some coffee now? We don't blame you!

Stop by any of our locations and we'd be happy to pour you your favorite cold coffee drink. 

November 18, 2022