With the warmer days of summer upon us, we tend to transition from our hot cup of joe that warms your fingers in the morning to an iced cup of coffee that cools you down and refreshes your morning. But there are several types of cold coffee to choose from — mainly iced coffee and cold brew coffee.
What is the difference between the two and how do you know which one to order or brew?
How to Brew it
To make iced coffee, you must first make hot coffee. The hot water will percolate and draw out the flavor of the ground coffee beans.
When brewing with iced coffee as your end goal, scoop more grounds into the coffee filter than you usually would. You will brew a stronger cup of coffee, which will help prevent the ice from diluting your preferred strength and taste of coffee.
Cold brew, on the other hand, does not rely on temperature to brew. Grind your coffee beans and allow them to soak in room temperature water for at least 12 hours. The longer you let them soak, the stronger the coffee bean flavors you will taste.
After it has finished brewing, throw away the soaked coffee beans and you have your concentrated brew.
How to Drink It
Simply wait for the coffee to cool down and then pour it over ice. If you want to further prevent dilution, you can freeze some coffee from the day before in ice cube trays and then pour the coffee over these frozen “ice” cubes. That way, you do not have to add any actual ice into your coffee at all.
Store your cooled down coffee in the refrigerator for future use. Do not add any ice until you are ready.
It is necessary to mix your newly brewed coffee with water when pouring yourself a cup. The more water you add, the more diluted it will become, but you do need to add some water as your brew is extremely concentrated. Try a 50:50 ratio of water and cold brew and start sipping to see what you think.
Since it takes longer to make, it makes sense to brew a big pot and store it in your refrigerator. You also can heat cold brew up if you prefer drinking your coffee hot. It will not negate any facets of the cold-brew specific flavor profile. You may just not know what to call it — hot brew?
What it Tastes Like
Iced coffee and cold brew contain the same ingredients and therefore offer similar calorie counts. Iced coffee is more bitter, however, and may require a little more cream and sugar to mellow it down. The consistency of iced coffee is also thinner than cold brew and will continue to thin as the ice melts.
The soaking process will bring out the distinct flavor of beans, an increased amount of caffeine, and a reduced amount of acidity. It will produce a cup of extremely smooth, yet powerful coffee.
With half the acidity, cold brew coffee produces a rich and thick consistency. It tastes naturally sweet, smooth, and almost chocolatey. It also tastes more mild than iced coffee and is easier on the stomach, despite its increase in caffeine.