Cold Brew vs Espresso Coffee: A Detailed Comparison

By Evelina •  Updated: 06/19/21 •  7 min read

The Short Answer:

Espresso has more caffeine than Cold Brew coffee. Cold Brew is less acidic and has more “dark” flavors than Espresso. Their brewing time also differs, Cold Brew needs 16-24 to make, while Espresso only 2 minutes.

What is Cold Brew

The technique of soaking coffee grinds in room temp or ice water for a long duration of time is known as cold brew coffee.

To provide the water greater chance to remove these small particles, from the coffee grounds, an extended brewing period and better coffee to water ratio are required.

What is Espresso

It’s a coffee-brewing technique that employs pressure and heat and delicately ground beans to produce a tiny strong shot.

Though dark roasted beans have traditionally become much more diverse and interesting in Italy, wherein espresso is originated, espresso may be made with any type of coffee bean from every source and at any roast degree.

Cold Brew vs Espresso List

DifferencesCold BrewEspresso Coffee
TasteA much less acidic, with a lot more 'dark' flavors (from cocoa to earthy)

Nutty, Thick, Intense, Creamy, Bitter, Earthy, Chocolate and Caramel Undertones
Caffeine Levels~200 mg per 16 ounces64 mg per shot of 1 ounce
AcidityLess AcidicHigh Acidity
Health BenefitsEasier on your stomach. Boosts Metabolism and MoodContains Antioxidants and Magnesium. High Energy and Focus.

Cost3.95 - 6.00$2.00 - 3.50$
OriginJapan in KyotoItaly
Water TemperatureCold WaterLukewarm or warm right after it is produced
Grind SizeMedium to coarseMedium to fine
Time Brewing16-24 hours or 2 minutes with AeroPress2 minutes
Matches Best WithSweet and SourSweet
ConsistencyWatery, refreshing, light, and smoothIt'll be thick and heavier than typical brewed coffee, but not watery

Cold Brew Coffee


Cold brewed coffee feels very distinct from hot brewed coffee that has been cooled. It has a far lower acidity, more ‘black’ flavors (ranging from chocolaty to nutty and earthy), and less of the nuanced smells that define the coffee’s roots, type, and method.

Related Article: 10 Ways to Make Cold Brew Coffee Sweeter.

Caffeine Levels

The caffeine content in a standard 16-oz. cold brew is 200 mg. So, in a summary, cold brew has much more caffeine than icy coffee, and, based on the way it’s made, it may occasionally have almost double the caffeine content of its cold coffee competitor!


Cold brew coffee has less bitterness than iced coffee or any other brewed technique since acidity is proportional to warmth. Because the beans actually are not released to heat during the cold brewing procedure boiling cold brew concentrated seems to have no influence on its bitterness.

Health Benefits

Cold brew coffee contains more polyphenols… Cold brew coffee has all of the primary health advantages of espresso, such as a lower risk of heart attack and diabetes.

It is possible that it will lower your chances of Parkinson’s and Dementia. Cold coffee could be gentler on your digestion.


If you enjoy your coffee icy, you could be depleting your coffee money quicker than expected: cold brew, which has grown, in recent years, can account for up to $6 in numerous places, while the usual cool drink prices approximately $4.


The term “Kyoto” refers to the first known mention of cold brew coffee, that arose in Japan around the 17th century. This sort of coffee got the nickname from the coffee’s fame in the town of Kyoto.

Water Temperature

For best results, your brewer must keep the water temperature around 15-18 Degrees Celcius.

Related Article: Best Cold Brew Coffee Makers

Grind Size

Cold brew coffee grounds should be medium to thick in texture. A thin grind will lead to far too much grease being removed, which might end in a sour taste.

If you’re using an ultra-coarse grind, your coffee will be watery and undeveloped. Cold drip coffee is best made with a thick cold drip grind level. As a result, a grinding grade of 9 – 10 is ideal.

Related Article: Best Coffee for Cold Brew

Time Brewing

Because the water is cool it must soak for 16 to 24 hours to absorb the texture, taste, and caffeine of the coffee. The cold filtration technique extracts less acidic components from coffee, resulting in a lighter and softer cup.


Cold brew coffee has a texture that dripped over cold coffee doesn’t really. Since it’s soaked over such a longer time frame (24 hours), the taste is determined further by the thick grinds’ contact to ice water and the duration of contact than by the coffee brew directly.

Espresso Coffee


Espresso that has been properly made is full of rich tastes. The acidity is intense but well-balanced. The sharpness is controlled by a little bitterness, which provides deep undertones.

Aromatic fragrances rise from the shot and reach your nose and your mouth. It has nutty chocolate and earthy tones.If prepared properly, a pleasant sweetness binds the entire dose altogether.

Caffeine Levels

1 oz of espresso contains 64 mg of caffeine. Drip coffee, on the other hand, has 14-18 mg of caffeine per oz on typical.


The lesser the amount of acid, the darkest the roast. Coffee Espresso or French roast, for example, will have less acidity than just an American long black coffee. A reduced acid (darker) roast would also be “softer”; keep in mind, acidity = more aroma diversity in coffee.

Health Benefits

Espressos, in particular, are high in antioxidants, which help the immune mechanism. Espresso drinks can potentially lower the chance of heart attack or stroke, and brain focus, notably in overweight individuals. Diabetes could be prevented by drinking espresso.


Expenses are expected to grow based on the quantity invested in the machine’s ingredients solely. The higher the quality, the pricier the coffee, and typically at stores, they are around 2 to 4$! Greater coffee equipment typically focuses on high and costly materials. 


Espresso means “to express” or “to press forth.” As a result, caffè espresso clearly translates “compressed coffee.” Espresso is widely thought to have originated in Italy in the 19th century.

Water Temperature

Espresso is being made at a temperature of 98°C (200°F).

Since temperature impacts extraction (the quantity of components removed from the coffee), boiling espresso at elevated temperatures produces a more strong coffee, whereas preparing espresso at a cooler pressure produces a more acidic coffee.

Grind Size

These tiny granules are required for filtration effectiveness. Espresso is ground more coarsely, and yet extremely fine. Secondly, the stiffness provided by the thinner coffee grounds will allow the water to flow slower.

Related Article: How to grind beans without a grinder.

Time Brewing

It’s ready in only 2 minutes in your favorite espresso coffee machine, with no difficulty. It is the best, for your busy schedule and will match perfectly with your breakfast.


We all know that espresso is creamy, thick, and concentrated. It’s not watery at all and it has a rich and powerful taste. It has a nice crema and smoothness that feels like silk in your tastebuds.

FAQ: Frequently Asked Questions

Does Cold Brew have more Caffeine than Espresso Shots?

Cold-brew coffee contains more caffeine than espresso. This is since cold brew coffee requires twice, often treble the number of coffee beans. You’ll most likely be preparing a cold-brew concentrate. Water, cream, or milk substitutes could be used to soften this cold-brew extraction.

Can you use Cold Brew Concentrate as Espresso?

Cold Brew coffee is way softer than espresso, which is a coffee extract. You’re requesting coffee concentration if you order an espresso from the barista. A shot of espresso is the most intense coffee possible. It’s a powerful, delicious coffee that’s not for everybody.

Does Espresso Taste Like Cold Brew?

In terms of taste, if you have both dark grinds for espresso and cold brew, espresso will have a richer flavor due to the pressure applied to the grounds during extraction. Cold brew could be condensed, but not to the same extent as espresso.

Last Thoughts

So, if you are trying to choose which of these coffee styles is suitable for you, this list that we created can really help. Each of these 2 has various differences but they really appropriate for every coffee enthusiast.

The Cold Brew has a sweeter and lighter profile than espresso. Its really refreshing and watered down, making it perfect for every occasion and hour. It has a bit more caffeine than espresso but it’s mostly soft.

Here, let’s say that the only bad thing is that it needs a lot of time to be made, or at least you can purchase it concentrated and dilute it with water, milk band many toppings.

On the other hand, espresso is intense, high caffeinated, and strong. It is inexpensive and tasty. It has a thicker texture, and it is a bit bittersweet.

All in all, they are both worthy and super tasty, so I would suggest trying both and decide! The choice is yours. I hope our ideas helped you with this issue.

Enjoy, coffee Surfers!


Evelina’s passion for coffee could never been hidden. Having worked as a barista, she learned the true value of the coffee bean and its secrets. As she continued to evolve as a barista, so did her knowledge, techniques on making different coffee blends and most importantly how to operate every kind of gear when it comes to coffee. Having a degree in biomedicine and being a barista, allows her to provide our community with in-depth knowledge surrounding the topics of coffee.