Iced Coffee vs. Cold Brew - What's the Difference?

Iced Coffee vs. Cold Brew - What's the Difference?

Iced coffee and cold brew are both delicious ways to enjoy a refreshing cup of coffee on a hot day, but what's the difference between the two?


Brewing Method

The main difference between iced coffee and cold brew is the brewing method. Iced coffee is made by brewing hot coffee and then pouring it over ice. Cold brew is made by steeping coarsely ground coffee in cold water for 12-24 hours.

Flavor and Caffeine Content

Iced coffee typically has a brighter, more acidic flavor than cold brew. This is because hot water extracts more of the coffee's soluble compounds - acids and oils. Cold brew, on the other hand, has a smoother, more mellow flavor. This is because cold water extracts fewer acids and oils from the coffee beans.

It's often thought that cold brew has a higher caffeine content, but that's mostly because it is brewed as a concentrate. The caffeine levels drop quite a bit once the cold brew is served over ice, and varies by how much you dilute it. 


Which One Should You Choose?

Which type of coffee you choose is a matter of personal preference. If you like a bright cup or simply want the coffee sooner then iced coffee is the way to go. If you prefer a mellower cup of coffee, then cold brew is the better choice. 

Here are a few more things to keep in mind when choosing between iced coffee and cold brew:

  • Iced coffee is faster and easier to make. If you're in a hurry, iced coffee is the way to go. Just brew a pot of coffee and pour it over ice.
  • Cold brew can be made in advance and stored in the fridge for up to two weeks. This makes it a convenient option for busy people.
  • Cold brew is typically enjoyed black or with a splash of milk. This is because the smooth flavor of cold brew doesn't require any additional sweeteners or flavors.
  • Iced coffee can be customized to your liking. You can add milk, sugar, cream, or flavored syrups to your iced coffee to create your perfect drink.

The great news is that Hooked makes it easy to make Cold Brew - check out our how-to guide here

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