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What is the difference between cold brew and iced coffee?

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Cold Brew vs. Iced Coffee?

What can you do when you’re in the mood for a cold drink but you also need some coffee in your system? The obvious answer is cold coffee, but don’t try putting your cup of coffee in the fridge and let it cool down. What you’ll get is a yucky flat-tasting bitter coffee! What you should go for is either cold brew or iced coffee, and here’s how to make them.

How is cold brew different?

Cold brew coffee uses a completely different brewing method than regular coffee, iced or not. If you’d like to kick off your day with a cup of cold brew, you’d better get that coffee started well before you go to bed. 

Cold brew is prepared by leaving the ground coffee beans to soak in water, cold or room temperature, for at least 12 hours. Some leave it as long as 24 hours! Many prefer this type of coffee as the cold water brings out the sweet components in coffee, whereas the oils and acids are not as soluble in water at room temperature. 

A cold brew coffee will taste smooth and mellow, definitely less bitter than a regular coffee.

As it is less acid, cold brew is recommended for people with a sensitive stomach.

How do you make cold brew?

You can prepare cold brew by using a French press or simple quart-sized Mason jar. Put one cup of ground coffee in the jar or the French press, add four cups of filtered water and stir. 

Cover the mix with a lid, put it in the fridge, and let it soak for 12 hours or more.

When you’re ready to drink it, just filter the coffee with a regular coffee filter or use the plunger of your French press. Your cold brew is ready!

It is a bit more complicated than making regular coffee, but the good news is you don’t have to go through the whole process every day. If you make a large quantity, keeping in mind the proportions indicated above, you can store your cold brew in the fridge for up to two weeks and it doesn’t go bad.

Is cold brew the best way to make iced coffee?

First, you have to decide if you like the taste of cold brew or you still prefer your regular brew. However, many experts say using cold brew is best for iced coffee as it tastes sweeter. And it is obviously easier to make if you already have some cold brew in the fridge. Just add some ice cubes and there you go, you have iced coffee!

However, most iced coffee drinks you can find in a coffee shop are made with regular coffee or are espresso-based. 

Typically, baristas will blend the espresso with ice and milk in a blender, then top the beverage with milk foam, whipped cream or syrup to create a Frappuccino or a Mocha.

If you want to make iced coffee at home, you should definitely try putting ice cubes in your machine and let the coffee drip over them.

Cold brew is sweeter than regular coffee, but it takes longer to prepare as you have to wait 12 hours for the coffee ground to soak in water. Simply add a few ice cubes to your cup of cold brew and you’ll have a delicious iced coffee in an instant.

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What’s the Difference Between Iced Coffee and Cold Brew Coffee?

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