cold brew

Is cold brew just coffee with ice?

Once the temperature starts to rise, you can always see people on the streets with cold drinks in their hands. If you pay close attention, iced coffee is always the drink of choice.

Is iced coffee just coffee with ice? Is cold brew coffee just iced coffee? Seemingly the same cup of cold coffee, there are distinct differences between the two drinks, from the way they are made to the way they are tasted.

We will continue to explore the differences between cold brew coffee and iced coffee, read on to gain more.


The Difference Between Cold Brew and Iced Coffee

All cold brew coffee can be called cold coffee, but cold coffee cannot be called cold brew coffee. We can distinguish between cold brew coffee and cold coffee from the following points.

cold brew

(click the picture for more cold brew coffee bottle detail)

Difference 1: Production method

Cold brew coffee (including ice drip, and cold brew), is usually made from room temperature water / cold water or ice water mixture in contact with the coffee powder, using low-temperature extraction of the drip filter or steeping method.

Cold coffee is made by adding ice and water to the espresso liquid after high-pressure extraction in an espresso machine.

Although both are " frozen coffee", cold brew is made by low-temperature extraction, while cold coffee is made by adding ice after hot extraction and cooling.

In terms of drinking taste, cold brew tastes clearer and cleaner. Cold coffee has a lighter taste due to the melting of the ice.


Difference 2: Coffee beans

Cold brew coffee (including iced drip and cold brew) is mostly made with coffee beans from a single production area, which amplifies the unique flavor of the coffee beans themselves through slow extraction at low temperatures so that the quality of the coffee beans can be better tasted, and the flavor and sweetness are more prominent.

Most cold coffee, on the other hand, is made from espresso blended coffee beans, which are usually roasted in a medium to deep roast, and blended beans are mainly used in the base of espresso production, which is more inclined to acid and bitter balance. There will not be an emphasis on a particular dimension and there will not be a very pronounced flavor expression.


Difference 3: Time cost

It takes about three minutes to make a cup of cold coffee. It is a very simple drink to make.

Making a cup of cold brew coffee takes a dozen hours, and most cafes sell cold brew coffee beans that need to be ordered in advance. The maker has to have a certain level of skill and patience. So the cold brew coffee we taste is not just a drink, but also a wonderful flavor and taste of time.


Difference 4: Drinking period

Cold coffee needs to be consumed within half an hour, after half an hour of cold coffee, you will get a second cup of "light" ice water.

Cold brew coffee, on the other hand, can be consumed within 2 days and needs to be placed in the refrigerator to keep the flavor intact.


Difference 5: Caffeine

Cold brewed coffee has a higher ratio of powder to water and is extracted at a lower temperature, so its caffeine content beats that of cold coffee.


What is Cold Brew?

Cold brew coffee is made from ground coffee beans that have been steeped in cold water for at least 12 hours and extracted and filtered through a professional appliance. For a higher degree of fullness, the time can be extended to 24-48 hours. Chemical apparatus like ice drip apparatus in boutique coffee shops is a common method used for cold extraction, in short, the process of low temperature coffee extraction is cold extraction.


Features of cold brew coffee:

Low temperature and long extraction time are the two main features of cold brew coffee, and the two main differences between cold brew coffee and hot brew coffee, hot brew coffee are extracted from coffee beans through hot water, and the temperature is between 82-95 degrees Celsius, generally no more than 5 minutes. The fastest espresso is only 18-23 seconds, while cold brew coffee far exceeds hot brew coffee in terms of time.

In terms of flavor, the high temperature causes the tannins in the coffee to break down into pyruvic acid, causing acidity and bitterness. Studies have shown that the acidity in cold brewed coffee is 67% lower than that of the hot brew method. Therefore, compared to hot extracted coffee and iced coffee with ice after hot extraction, coffee made by the cold extraction process is less acidic and more popular.

In addition, the low temperature and the long contact time with the coffee powder make it difficult to extract only small molecules of flavor, such as floral and fruity notes, and those large molecules, such as smoky and roasted flavors. This is why cold brew coffee does not smell a very impactful aroma, but tastes smoother, richer, and layered, with a distinct sweetness and no greasy feeling.


What is Iced Coffee?

Another variety that can be easily confused with cold brew coffee is iced coffee, which has a similar name to cold brew coffee but is completely different, such as iced hand brew. This type of coffee is a cold brewed coffee that is quickly extracted with hot water and then cooled down with ice or rapidly. The temperature of cold brew coffee can also be formed in the case of slow production speed, but the coffee still undergoes the process of first hot and then cold, the ratio is not well controlled, the melted water will dilute the coffee, and the high temperature process has caused the coffee to undergo the same changes as a hot brew.

Traditional iced coffee is produced relatively quickly, but if the cup is not cooled in advance, or if the coffee liquid and ice are not fully stirred, to a large extent you will drink a cup of coffee that is not so icy and warm in taste. In addition, the gradually melting ice will dilute the original strength of the coffee, and you will end up with a bland taste.


Types of Cold Coffee

Whether it is cold brew coffee or iced coffee, it is a kind of cold coffee, so what are the types of cold coffee?

1. Iced latte coffee
This is a star drink of the summer.
Iced milk, an espresso, and syrup to make iced latte coffee.


2. Cappuccino iced coffee
Another hot summer drink.
One-third espresso, one-third steamed milk, and one-third frothed milk. You can also add syrup for a smooth taste.


3. Iced Americano
Coffee made with espresso and iced water. It is an essential drink for many fitness professionals.


4. Iced mocha coffee
If you like sweet coffee, then iced mocha coffee must be your must-have drink.
Back to blog

Leave a comment

Please note, comments need to be approved before they are published.