Cold Brew and Iced Coffee – What will you choose?

When it comes to cold coffee, sometimes the names can get slightly confusing.

Well, fear not, We’re here to stop some of that confusion.

So, what is the difference between a cold brew and iced coffee? Simply put, one involves brewing your coffee cold, while the other involves hot coffee and cooling it with ice. Below, we will explain the differences in a little more detail. Ready? Let’s dive in!

Cold Brew

As it says in its name, a cold brew is simply coffee that has been brewed cold. But I’m guessing you figured that part out on your own.

To make cold brew, the coffee grounds are steeped in water for up to 24 hours. This amount of time allows the coffee to ‘brew’, or more like in this case, ‘extract’. This method produces a concentrated coffee extract. This is then diluted to taste and served chilled.


a galss with ice and cold brew coffee


Crafting a cold brew will result in a range of different flavours being extracted that you wouldn’t find in a regular brew. Some coffee aficionados believe that this process brings out more of the natural characteristics of the beans from different origins too.

Cold brews are often mellow and sweeter than other coffees such as an Americano or filter coffee. To make it even better, cold brews are a greener option as they don’t require heat or electricity.

Take a look at How To Make Cold Brew At Home to get a better idea of the process.


a cafetiere filled with coffee and cold water


Iced Coffee

I’m fairly certain you don’t need me to tell you what iced coffee is.

Adding ice to your coffee can often dilute it and leave you without any flavour. To counter this, coffee drinkers often double up the amount of coffee they put through their device. Alternatively, coffee ice cubes can be made to keep the flavour.

Three methods can be used when making iced coffee.


A tall glass filled with iced coffee


The first is brewing your coffee directly over ice. Using an Aeropress would be ideal for this method. The flavours that are typically released when adding hot water are kept inside the mug as the coffee is instantly chilled. This method gives your iced coffee a bright, crisp acidity.

The second is to pour your ‘normal’ espresso over a little sugar (if you have a sweet tooth), mix in your cold milk and add the ice last. This way, the ice doesn’t melt and water down your coffee. Head to our brew guides to see our step by step ‘How To Make Iced Coffee’ guide.


Ice splashing into a glass of cold coffee


Speciality coffee shops often use these methods above to make iced coffee.

The last method is to brew your coffee, as usual, leave it to cool and then add ice to it. Using this method will often rid the coffee of its natural aromas and eventually will leave your coffee stale.

Iced coffee is hardly ever made using this method. However, some fast food chains still sometimes use this when they have leftover coffee.

Which method will you choose?

Before you get started, you’re gonna need some speciality coffee. Head over to our shop to grab a bag now.


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