7 Differences Between Cold Brew and Iced Coffee

By Evelina •  Updated: 06/02/21 •  6 min read

The Short Answer

Unlike iced coffee, which is brewed hot and later chilled, cold brew is created by soaking ground beans in ice water. This leads in an extended brew duration as well as a softer flavor.

Have you ever felt surprised by the difference between cooled coffee and cold brew coffee?

I understand that it might be perplexing; even so, they are both coffees sipped over ice.

They are brewed, flavored, and presented in a variety of ways. Various situations typically require iced coffees. Both are easy to make at home.

Continue scrolling if you want to know their differences!

The Cold Brew Preparation

Cold-brew, is prepared without the use of heat. It’s created by soaking ground coffee or black coffee for a few days in cold, purified water, that removes most of its bitterness found in drip coffee.

As an outcome, the finished product is essentially sweeter and gentler. Cold-brew seems to be much like iced coffee on the outside, but it is not.

Cold-brew is a process of extraction, not of people serving.

The Iced Coffee Preparation

Making iced coffee involves making hot coffee, allowing it to chill, and then spilling it over ice cubes or coffee ice cubes for a more concentrated taste. It’s really just regular coffee that somebody placed in the fridge.

Cold Brew vs Iced Coffee Differences Table

DifferencesCold BrewIced Coffee
Preparation Time18-24 Hours or More4 Minutes
Caffeine Levels210 mg Per 0.5 Liter170 mg Per 0.5 Liter
Water TemperatureCold WaterHot Water
FlavourBitter, Strong, Intense, ConcentratedSweet, Light, Mild, Watery
Tools-MachineryA Glass Jar or French Press or Moka Pot and StrainerMoka Pot or Aeropress Machine
DifficultyMedium to EasyEasy

Cold Brew vs Iced Coffee : Caffeine

There is a little difference in caffeine levels. Cold-brew has more caffeine than iced coffee since the coffee grounds come in touch with the water for a longer period of time.

Iced coffee is often more watered and contains less caffeine, though that isn’t always the truth.

Finally, it is up to your personal tastes and techniques of preparation.

Cold Brew vs Iced Coffee: Water Temperature

Iced Coffee Water

To get the most taste from iced coffee, we require water that is around 200 to 205 degrees Fahrenheit. And that’s why it develops so quickly, around 5 mins.

Cold Brew Water

We use ice water for cold brew. As a result, cool water lasts more time to release flavor. The soak-time is typically around 18 and 24 hours.


Iced Coffee Flavour

Heat appears to extract several of the most powerful and fragrant elements from coffee beans, resulting in the acidic, somewhat sour taste of hot-brewed coffee.

Since cold brew is brewed with cold water, it feels somewhat sweeter, gentler, and less bitter than regular iced coffee.

Cold Brew Flavour

Cold brew is much less acidic, more aromatic, and milder in flavor. These characteristics occur as a result of the oils and acids that generate harsh tastes when dissolved in cold water.

The Process

Iced Coffee Process

Iced coffee is a quicker way of acquiring a cooled cup of coffee to help you relax.

Once you create hot coffee, you can prepare iced coffee. Initially, brew your fresh ground coffee beans after grinding, using your preferred method ( Moka Pot or AeroPress machine ).

Then, simply serve the hot coffee over ice, you can shake it in a shaker with ice, or place it in the fridge for several hours. The longer hot brewed coffee stays, the more it loses its taste.

Cold Brew Process

If you don’t mind making your coffee a day ahead of time, cold brew is a wonderful way to satisfy your coffee needs on a sunny morning.

Finely ground coffee, room temperature or chilly water, a big cup such as a glass jar or French Press or Moka Pot, and a strainer are everything you need. Fill your container halfway with water and pour your coffee grinds.

Allow this mixture to soak for 18 – 24 hours. Strain the coffee through the strainer (filter) of a thin fabric. To eliminate all of the tiny particles, you may need to repeat the filtering procedure. Pour ice water to the exact coffee to water ratio, and you’ve got yourself a freshly made cup of cold brew coffee!

Frequently Asked Questions: FAQ

Is Cold Brew Stronger Than Iced Coffee?

It depends.

Strong coffee and its intensity go with the caffeine levels for sure but also on how concentrated the coffee is.

Basically, cold brew might appear with a smoother taste and appear really sweet and light, but in reality, it contains a bit more caffeine than iced coffee, so it’s considered theoretically stronger!

Has Cold Brew More Caffeine Than Iced Coffee?

Yes. Cold-brew has more caffeine than iced coffee since the coffee grounds come in touch with the water for a longer period of time. Iced coffee is often more watery and contains less caffeine.

Why Is Cold Brew More Expensive Than Iced Coffee?

Cold brew coffee is often less bitter and harsh than iced coffee, with a more delicate flavor. However, if you create your own, cold brew is typically more costly, because the taste is less dumbed down and it takes longer to produce.

Is Cold Brew Good For You?

Yes! Caffeine, phenols, magnesium are among the chemicals in cold brew coffee that may lower your chance of cardiac problems. They improve, insulin tolerance, blood sugar stability, and blood pressure control.

Can I Warm Up Iced or Brew Coffee?

Yes, cold coffee can be heated.

Because it is normally concentrated, pouring warm water just warms it up and waters down the concentration, making it more like a standard cup of coffee. You may change the amount of hot water you use to customize the intensity of your hot coffee.

Why Does Cold Brew Give Me The Tremors?

Many individuals’ tremors and Acid reflux, are caused by coffee due to the extreme caffeine levels and its effect on the nerve muscles.

Large quantities discovered in some icy brews could indeed make a person feel unwell, with side effects such as nervousness, tremors, nausea, or even elevated stress and anxiety.

Last Thoughts

In the battle over iced coffee vs cold brew, you may be certain that either choice is delicious on a sunny morning. Cold-brew requires longer to prepare but tastes less harsh. Iced coffee, on the other hand, could be made in minutes and always taste delicious!

Coffee lovers Enjoy!


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.