Iced vs. Cold Brew Coffee: What Is the Difference?

Iced vs. Cold Brew Coffee: What Is the Difference?

Are you a coffee lover that enjoys brews of the colder variety during the heat of summer? Iced and cold brew coffee are often thought to be the same. However, they are two different ways of brewing that produce complementary but distinct coffee experiences.

In this article, we will explain the unique characteristics of these two brewing methods and how to try each at home.

Iced Coffee

Why We Love Iced Coffee

World Brewers Cup champion Tetsu Kasuya sometimes refers to iced coffee as "quenching.” It is characterized by a smooth texture and a level of acidity that gives it a nice crispness. Its texture almost feels like it has delightfully sharp edges that convey the delicious flavor of the coffee beans.

How Tetsu Kasuya Makes Iced Coffee

The following method will take only 2–2.5 minutes and give you around 200 grams of iced coffee.

1. Prepare the following:
    • Dripper
    • Filter
    • Server
    • Scale
    • Glass cup
    • 20 g Coffee grounds (medium-fine grind)
    • 80 g Ice
    • Hot water
    2. Place the server and dripper on the scale and push the “tare” button to set the weight to zero.
    3. Remove the dripper and fill the server with 80 grams of ice.
    4. Set the dripper on top of the server, insert the filter, and add the coffee grounds. Slowly brew 120 grams of coffee by pouring hot water over the grounds little by little, around 24 grams per pour (or five pours). Pouring slowly and swirling the grounds thoroughly will help extract the darker flavor components.
    5. When you have finished the brewing step, the scale should read around 200 grams. Stir thoroughly until all the ice in the server has melted.
    6. Add additional ice to the glass cup, pour the brewed coffee over it, and enjoy!
    Here is World Brewers Cup champion Tetsu Kasuya demonstrating how to make iced coffee.

    Cold Brew Coffee


    Why We Love Cold Brew Coffee

    Cold brew coffee is smooth with a mellow taste. It is steeped in room temperature water, which results in a slow extraction and thick texture. Since the acidity is muted, the overall experience is much softer than iced coffee.

    How Tetsu Kasuya Makes Cold Brew Coffee

    The following method requires 10–12 hours, so you may find it convenient to set everything up before going to bed.

    1. Prepare the following:

      • Large container
      • Cold brew coffee filter
      • 50 g Coffee grounds (coarsely ground)
      • 700 g Water (room temperature)
      2. Pour the grounds into the cold brew coffee filter.

    3. Place the coffee filter in the container and pour in the water, wait 10–12 hours, and you are done.

    Want to try a unique way of drinking cold brew coffee? Check out Tetsu Kasuya’s ice brew technique.

    Philocoffea’s Coffee Bean Recommendations

    The main differences between iced and cold brew coffee are found in the texture. They are complementary approaches to preparing coffee that you can switch up depending on your mood and lifestyle.

    When it comes to recommending particular coffee beans, the following varieties will be sure to delight. And don’t worry, because you can use them for both iced and cold brew coffee!

    014 (Traditional Dark Roast)

    The 014 (Traditional Dark Roast) is a well-balanced coffee with a sweetness matched by a firm bitterness characteristic of dark roasted coffee. This is the type of coffee that we think you will enjoy drinking daily.

    098 (Fruity Dark Roast) 

    Philocoffea's famous Ethiopian coffee 098 (Fruity Dark Roast) has a natural fruity taste and bitterness that only a dark-roasted coffee can provide. Harvested from Ethiopia’s Cayo Camino Farm, you will enjoy the jammy sweetness of grapes and black currants with a pleasantly bitter taste.

    A relatively new farm in the Sheka region of western Ethiopia, Cayo Camino specializes in forest coffee (cherries harvested from coffee trees growing wild in the forest). Western Ethiopia is said to be the birthplace of coffee. This is reflected in the Cayo Camino team’s dedication to producing superior specialty coffee through proper harvesting and post-harvest processing.

    Further Explanation

    If you are keen to explore other taste profiles after getting accustomed to the coffees above, we recommend experimenting with light-roasted beans.

    Enjoy Your Summer Coffee at Home!

    We hope you found this article helpful in understanding the differences between iced and cold brew coffee. If you decide to try one of our coffees, please share a photo with our community: tag us on Instagram with @philocoffea and use the hashtag #philocoffea to be featured!

    Either way, have a delicious summer!

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