What is the Difference Between Cold Brewed and Iced Coffee?

After reading my blog post about the Tastiest Bulletproof Coffee Ever! Sally from the specialist coffee website www.littlecoffeeplace.com got in touch to discuss some of the finer points of making the perfect brew. She has graciously written a guest blog post about something very close to her heart.


In Cape Town, big coffee chains have figured out that there are a lot of coffee lovers. Walking outside on a Saturday morning at a city market with a cold coffee is a great way to start the weekend. The only problem is how quickly you can drink an iced coffee! With the rise of coffee shops, there are many options for the coffee drinker. And when the weather is warm it is tempting to go for a refreshing chilled drink. Cold Brew coffee has risen in popularity, but what is the big difference from iced coffee?

Iced Coffee is brewed coffee poured over ice. Since it is brewed, iced coffee is quick to prepare. Cold brewed coffee is never hot, the coffee is made by putting coffee grounds into water that has not been heated and letting the mixture steep for up to 48 hours. Steeping is a term often used for tea, but for cold brewed coffee to work, the long steeping process is important.

A fine example of a delicious Iced Coffee

A fine example of a delicious Iced Coffee

Taste Differences

Iced Coffee keeps the taste of the original brewed bean. Some coffee drinkers argue that cold brewed coffee’s flavor is dissipated and too light and sweet. This is because the grounds were never heated - less flavor and acid were released from the grounds. But there are many options appearing on the market which influence cold brewed coffee taste. However, cold brewed coffee is rarely bitter and is smoother than iced coffee.

How to Make Cold Brewed Coffee

There are best practices when brewing coffee, which can be applied to cold brewed coffee. If you want to try this trend at home, and since your coffee will spend so much time in water, don’t forget the quality of your water! If your tap water has a strong taste or smell, use filtered or bottled water. If you use hard water, the minerals won’t bond with the coffee and the result will be a weak brew.

You need time to brew, and a lot of it. A basic recipe for cold brewed coffee is to mix 1 and a half cups of cold water with a third of cup of coffee. Let the mixture rest at room temperature for at least 12 hours. Then the mixture needs to be strained, and the coffee concentrate mixed with equal parts water, or to taste.

Since the taste profile is different for both types of coffee, neither is better. Which type of coffee you like is going to be a matter of preference. And for the make-at-home coffee connoisseurs, iced coffee is quicker and brewed coffee takes patience and time. Though this article mentions a simple brew method, there are many different cold brew recipes and beans to use, so test out different techniques and see for yourself.

Cold Brew in all its glory.

Cold Brew in all its glory.


Find out more interesting and wonderful facts and articles about coffee by going to www.littlecoffeeplace.com