Ever replied to someone’s “cold brew or iced coffee?” with “either one, they’re the same anyway”? If yes, this one’s for you — iced coffee and cold brew aren’t chilled twins, they’re cousins! With many similarities, they also have their fair share of differences.
Iced coffee is very simply brewed coffee served with ice. On the other hand, cold brew is ground coffee submerged in cold water for over 12 hours. Letting the latter sit for so long hence gives it a stronger flavour than the former.
Plus, iced coffee is characterized by a caramel flavour, while cold brew has more of a naturally sweet and chocolaty taste with a pleasant aroma. Cold-brew is also believed to be healthier than iced coffee because of its lower acid levels.
The biggest difference between iced coffee and cold brew is that your cold brew will never be exposed to heat. It uses time rather than heat to extract the flavours and caffeine. In return, cold brew offers a smoother, less acidic flavour when compared to regularly brewed cups.
So, now you know and can hopefully give a more accurate answer the next time someone asks!