During the hot summer season, nothing beats the refreshment of having an ice-cold drink. And if you’re a coffee lover like us, a cold coffee might be the perfect drink for you. But among the various options available, which one to choose?
Here, we’ll talk about two cold coffee drinks- Iced Coffee and Cold Brew and how they vary, so you can get an idea and know which one will be better for you!
How are they prepared?
The preparation method is where the difference between a Cold Brew and an Iced Coffee starts. This difference also accounts for a change in the flavors of the two drinks. One is the traditional coffee served with lots of ice, and the other is cold throughout the preparation time.
To prepare an iced coffee, one usually brews the regular hot coffee that is either refrigerated or poured directly over ice. However, a cold brew is prepared differently. Baristas generally soak the coarse coffee grounds in cold water overnight or for about 12 to 24 hours.
But what makes these two brewing methods so different from each other? It’s the time taken to prepare each cup of coffee and its brewing temperature.
How much time is required to brew them?
Time is one of the most necessary factors that come into play while extracting the flavor out of coffee beans. Also, each coffee bean has different flavor compounds, and they’re drawn out at varying speeds. So, the total brewing time of these coffee beans can immensely affect the flavor that comes out of them.
An Iced Coffee is generally made within minutes with fine ground beans, whereas a cold brew takes a lot more time because coarse ground beans are used. These beans are soaked in cold water for 12-24 hours to extract the best flavor from the beans without making the coffee bitter.
What should be the ideal water temperature for each drink?
The temperature of the water is another factor that matters in brewing coffee. If the water is hot, it’s more likely for the flavor to get extracted quickly. But if you’re using cold water, like in a cold brew, it might take a few hours to get the most flavorful coffee.
Also, use hot water while making an iced coffee to extract the flavor faster.
How are their flavors different from each other?
Both time and temperature are two primary factors that affect the taste of your coffee. Your cold brew requires low pressure, low temperature, and a lot of time. That’s why the resulting flavor varies a lot from other coffee drinks.
With a lengthy extraction period, one can taste the most complex flavor compounds that are usually not extracted well by other methods. These include smooth, sweet, and indulgent chocolatey notes. It also has more caffeine percentage than your regular iced coffee.
Now, preparing an Iced Coffee requires hot water. As a result, the extraction is faster, but the taste is more on the acidic, bitter, and intense side.
So, now that you know a little about the two drinks, you can easily choose between them. However, we recommend you try both drinks first to understand their flavors. Who knows, you might end up liking both- an Iced Coffee as well as a Cold Brew?