One question that always pops up at coffee shops is which one is better: Cold brew or iced coffee?
Most of us love a hot coffee in the morning to wake us up and get us going. However, what about the heat of summer, when it is sweltering and we melt into our chair? It is time to try something a little different in the shape of cold-brewed coffee or cold-brewed iced coffee.
Is there a difference between the two? Well, yes there is. It is important to know that the main difference between cold brew and iced tea is the type of brewing method used. Those who are used to the traditional old brewing technique for coffee will like to stick with the cold brewing method which remains at room temperature while younger ones prefer the iced coffee.
It also depends on personal preferences. While some prefer to stick with warm coffee regardless of the month or season, others prefer cold or iced coffee in spring and summer. Many older coffee lovers will say cold brew is better than iced coffee. You can either make a cold brew espresso with a pitcher at your home or simply go for those sold at coffee retail bars near you. It is important to know the difference between cold brew and iced coffee before going into other comparison factors.
Difference between Cold Brew and Iced Coffee
Cold brew coffee is known to possess more caffeine content than the iced brew and it is normally brewed cold without the addition of heat, which means the acid is not extracted from it.
For this reason, cold brew is usually smoother hence it could be the better option for those who need to reduce the level of acid in their diet. This type of coffee also stores well when kept in the refrigerator. For instance, a cup of this coffee can store very well for about 2 weeks.
Iced coffee, on the other hand, requires the traditional brewing of coffee with heat and, in most cases, it is often referred to as the “Iced Americano”. When hot, it contains an espresso in hot water, hence you will need an espresso, water, and ice to create an iced latte. Though it is best to brew iced coffee as a concentrate, one can also brew it in form of Chemex or some other pour over coffee. You need to ensure that you make use of a good coffee ground in order to achieve the best iced mix.
Another difference between iced coffee and cold brew is that iced coffee will contain higher amounts of total dissolved coffee than the cold brew. When coffee is first brewed using heat—as in the case of iced coffee—it contains more acid.
Why do most people think cold brew is better than iced coffee?
There seems to be a very long list of reasons why most people believe that cold brew is far better than iced coffee; however, the three most important reasons are:
- Less acidity
When it comes to taste, most coffee lovers will agree that cold brew is better than iced coffee. Taste is the first consideration when distinguishing between cold brew and iced coffee. The main reason for the better taste of cold brew is that it involves steeping the coffee ground inside cold water for at least 12 hours and the result of this is a much higher quantity of condensed flavor.
Long steeping hours will also reduce significantly the amount of bitterness. Hot water usually causes the bitterness of the coffee to be released. On the other hand, steeping coffee in cold water will prevent the bitterness from being steeped in the water. With this steep method, a natural sweeter flavor is promoted.
Less acidity of cold brew coffee allows cold water to brew coffee with lesser acidic content. With lower acidity, the coffee will produce a gentler effect on the intestine. If you have a sensitive stomach but enjoy consuming coffee, a cold brew will be friendlier on your body.
It is believed that cold brew produces 65% less acidity compared to the hot water brew which is known to release most acids in coffee into water. The hot water simply draws the oil in coffee from coffee ground. Cold brew produces better taste and reduces the sensitivity of the acidity.
Another consideration as to why many people believe that cold brew is better than iced coffee is that cold brew will save more money in your pocket in the long run. Cold brew coffee can be prepared at home and the taste will remain delicious always. With cold brewed coffee, there is no need risk of getting diluted and excessively watered coffee, unlike getting your own cold brewed coffee. With the aid of a French press, it takes just a few minutes to brew a cold brew coffee and a French press is very cheap and affordable. You only need to have steep the coffee ground in cold water for 12 hours before you brew (steeping overnight works best, if you plan on consuming the coffee in the morning).
Cold brew seems to be easier to drink it can also be flavored just like most other coffee drinks. If you add rose flavor to cold brew, for instance, you will get a chocolate and creamy taste that is very palatable.
Though many people believe that the popularity of cold brew coffee results from marketing gimmicks, the truth is different from this notion. New upgrades on cold brew reveal how come coffee bars are infusing the coffee with healthy substances such as nitrogen, though this type of infusion is still banned in many countries of the world but the promoters of such infused coffee believe that the health benefits far outweigh the resentments against such.
The Bottom Line
Both cold brew and iced coffee do provide their unique tastes and benefits and both can be enjoyed during the summer. However, the choice to be made by individual drinkers should depend on how their bodies can tolerate the two types of coffee.
If you don’t have any problem with the acidity in iced coffee, for instance, you may want to stick with it but if high acidity in coffee can trigger health issues in your intestine, then the cold brew may be the better option.