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What is the difference between Cold Brew & Iced Coffee?

It’s no surprise that we here at Hiline Coffee are big fans of coffee. Truth be told, we’re drinking our third cup of coffee as we speak. We’re not ones to be picky with the way we consume our coffee. Whether it’s drip, iced, espresso, or cold brew, it will always hit the spot. But let’s talk about a popular question that often arises: what’s the difference between iced coffee and cold brew? 

What is iced coffee & how is it made? 

For starters, making iced coffee is a must faster process than cold brew and it’s rather simple. Iced coffee is made by brewing hot coffee, letting it cool and then pouring it over ice. Oftentimes, popular coffee shops pre-cool the brewed hot coffee so it’s easily accessible for orders. Seems simple enough, right? 

Well, on the other hand, cold brew is a more significantly more intensive process. 

What is cold brew & how is it made? 

The short answer: Cold brew is brewed by soaking coffee beans at cold or room-temperature water for a minimum of 12 hours to extra sugars, oils and caffeine. 

The long answer: Cold brew is up to 60% less acidic than typical, hot-brewed coffee. This happens because coffee grounds, or more specifically the various oils, acids, and other aromatic molecules, are most easily extracted at about 195-205 degrees. When you create coffee using cold or room temperature water, less acid forms, resulting in a coffee that has a sweeter, floral profile.  

In terms of caffeine, cold brew has a bit more of a kick to it, but when it comes to calories, there isn’t a difference between the two before adding any flavoring. However, cold brew’s naturally sweeter, creamier profile might make it easier for some drinkers to cut back on cream and sugar (which can increase the calories by the hundreds). 

Do you have a preference?