The Difference Between Cold Brew and Iced Coffee

Hello, fellow coffee lovers! Nothing beats a warm cup of joe to start your day off right if you’re anything like me. But the rise in popularity for cold brew and iced coffee are undeniable. In fact, you can now grab cold brew at McDonald’s! They both come cold but that’s where the similarities end; each has its own distinct flavor profile and texture as well as how they’re made differs drastically! So let’s break this down: discover the difference between cold brew and iced coffee.

Cold brew has became so popular you can find it at places like McDonald’s and even in some gas stations.

cold brew and iced coffee

What Is Iced Coffee?

Iced coffee is a type of coffee brewed hot and then chilled over ice. This extracts the flavor and aroma from ground beans using hot water; once brewed, it’s poured over ice for an icy treat. You can serve iced coffee black or with milk, cream or sweeteners according to personal taste preferences; making for refreshing summer drinks as well as offering hot coffee to those who prefer something warm.

What Is Cold Brew Coffee?

Cold brew coffee is a specialty coffee brewed using either cold or room temperature water over an extended period, usually 12-24 hours. Cold water slowly extracts flavor, aroma and caffeine from ground coffee beans for a smoother, less acidic taste than traditional hot coffee brewing methods. Dilute this concentrated liquid with water or milk for an iced coffee drink refreshing on hot days. Cold brew coffee often served over ice with sweetening or flavoring syrups according to personal taste preferences; its unique brewing process has seen increased popularity among those seeking less bitter and more delicate tastes.

How is Cold Brew Different Than Iced Coffee?

Although both beverages come in a cold form, cold brew and iced coffee have distinct brewing methods and flavor profiles.

Iced coffee is typically brewed using hot water and then chilled, creating a rapid brewing process that can leave the coffee tasting more acidic and bitter. On the other hand, cold brew coffee is made by slowly heating or room temperature water over an extended period for a smoother, less acidic taste. Furthermore, this slower brewing also allows for greater concentrations of caffeine flavor.

Another distinct characteristic between cold brew and iced coffee is their strength. Cold brew tends to be stronger and more concentrated than its frozen counterpart, usually getting brewed at standard strength before being served over ice. Both beverages usually include plenty of crushed ice.

Cold brew and iced coffee differ in their brewing process and flavor profile. Iced coffee may be a refreshing way to cool off on hot days, but cold brew offers a smoother taste profile that’s less acidic and highly concentrated.


Coffee drinkers, it’s clear that cold brew and iced coffee offer distinct flavor experiences. Iced coffee may be refreshing and quick to make, while cold brew offers a smoother, less acidic cup of joe. As an adventurous hipster who appreciates quality coffee, I urge you to explore your options – trust me; you won’t regret it! Keep sipping, caffeine connoisseurs!