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What's The Deal? Cold Brew vs. Iced Coffee

Is there a difference between iced coffee and cold brew? The first and most important response is that there is a major difference that effects process and flavor.

The art of cold brew is extracting the flavor with time rather than heat. Iced coffee is made by using hot water over ground coffee to extract the flavor and then once it cools you add ice! Cold brew contains a completely different flavor profile that can’t be found with hot brews. Why? Not all flavor compounds of coffee solubles are equally soluble. A majority of the coffee solubles are still able to leach out of the grounds, even in colder water. The compounds that don’t dissolve are the ones often attributed to unfavorable flavors (these stay in the grounds that are subsequently tossed away). Consequently, cold brew takes on a much sweeter, floral profile.

A good ratio for cold brew is 1 lb. of coffee to 9 cups of water. This is a method for people who plan ahead and want the real deal when it comes to iced coffee. Leave the ratio business to us though. We have created cold brew packets just drop 2 pitcher packs into a 48 fl oz (or larger) pitcher. Add 32 fl oz of cold, filtered water to the pitcher. Steep coffee in the fridge for 24 hours. Gently remove the pitcher packs and add 10-16 fl oz cold, filtered water to taste.

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 at room temperature, less acid forms, which is what typically gives hot coffee its signature bite. Though, cold brew doesn’t merely taste like hot brew without the bitterness.

Alrighty little coffee connoisseurs - go on make a batch and let us know how it goes!