Who else loves cold coffee?! ? Too many people don’t understand that iced coffee and cold brew are NOT the same thing. As a cold coffee snob, let me help you differentiate…
Iced coffee is simply regular coffee poured over ice. It can be drip, pour over, french press, whatever! But it’s brewed as normal coffee and poured over ice.
There’s nothing wrong with that- regular coffee is amazing. I do have a couple issues with iced coffee though…
- In most cases, hot coffee is poured over ice, resulting in watered down coffee. Or worse, a ton of places will refrigerate unsold coffee and serve is it as iced coffee the following days.
- Hot brewed coffee does not keep well, so you may find it kinda sour after a day or two.
But I don’t want to poo-poo on iced coffee. The great part about iced coffee is that it is SO easy to make! You just need a cup of coffee and some ice. That’s it.
And then we have cold brew. More than just a fad, it is truly the best coffee in my opinion.
Cold brew is made by steeping ground coffee in water for up to 24 hours. By slowly steeping the coffee, you actually remove all of the acidity and bitterness or regular coffee. The result is a smooth, bold, and slightly sweet flavor.
Plus, it will stay delicious for weeks! The downside is because it takes so much time to brew and requires more coffee beans to produce (since you’re steeping in water, a lot of water gets absorbed, so you net less liquid) it ends up being pricier.
Something people don’t realize about cold brew is that it can also be served hot. Cold brew just refers to the brewing method, but it doesn’t need to actually be served cold. Heating it up will give you an amazing cup of coffee with very little acidity!
A lot of people are intimidated by making cold brew because of all the equipment out there- but you don’t need any of it!
Sure, cold brew devices make brewing much easier, but aren’t a necessity. You can get a great cold brew by letting coffee grounds sit in a large bowl of water, and then filtering out the coffee grounds. It’s really that easy! Check out my cold brew guide if you want to make your own.
You may be thinking, “so why do I get charged more for iced coffee vs hot coffee if its the same thing?”
That’s the million dollar question. Basically, it’s a scam, and one of those unfair things in life you have the accept. You’re just getting charged for ice… which is extra unfair, because you’re also getting less liquid due to the ice in the cup.
Regarding caffeine content, iced coffee and cold brew should be very similar. Cold brew is going to be a bit higher, but it’s not a guarantee. Most times, cold brew ends up getting brewed as a concentrate that you have to add water to at the end.
The concentrate is very caffeinated, but once you water it down (or else it will taste waaayy too strong) it can end up being very similar to an iced coffee. It’s all going to come down to how concentrated the cold brew is. Typically, it will end up being a bit stronger than iced coffee, resulting in more caffeine, but it will depend on the brewing method.
I love to make my own, because that provides me with full control over the strength of the coffee.
The moral of this story is that while not all coffee is equal, it’s still coffee, so it is all amazing.
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