Cold Brew vs Iced Coffee
What is the difference?
Understanding the difference between cold brew vs iced coffee will guide your brewing choices. Retail espresso bars use a Toddy or a Filtron cold brew system, but you can make cold brew at home with a pitcher and a strainer or a French press. We hope you try making cold brew coffee at home with our recipe. Just like any recipe, when you get your ratios right, you’ll have success. We recommend that you cold brew coffee with a blend you enjoy. We like our Ladro Espresso roast for cold brew.
Cold brew coffee has more caffeine than coffee brewed by other methods and since it is brewed cold (actually without added heat) it doesn’t extract the acids from the coffee. Because of this difference, cold brew coffee is smooth and is a great option for people who need to limit acid in their diets. It also keeps well when refrigerated. You can store it up to two weeks.
Iced coffee uses heat to brew the coffee. Iced coffee is typically often an Iced Americano. When made hot, an Americano is espresso and hot water. For an Iced Americano you need espresso, ice, and water to fill your cup. Make iced lattes the same way with milk instead of water.
You can brew iced coffee in the form of a Chemex or other pour-over, though it’s best to brew the coffee as a concentrate. To brew an iced Chemex, place ice in the base of your brewer (weight it to to add back the water you reduced from the recipe. Use a pretty fine grind to ensure the need for less water (half the amount in our recipe) to reach 18-22% extraction. This coffee will have a higher amount of total dissolved solids. When you enjoy your drink, the ice in the base will dilute the concentrated coffee perfectly. When brewed with heat, the coffee that results contains more acid.
Our current favorite iced coffee is the Shakerato. A Caffe Shakerato is from Italy. The version we prefer is espresso with a little turbanado sugar, shaken over ice and strained. It creates a refreshing coffee with a nice froth and a little sweetness. Many variations of the Shakerato exist. Some cafes use a different sweetener. Sometimes bars add a liquor to make a cocktail. We find it is the perfect summer afternoon pick-me-up. Countries around the world have different takes on iced coffee; you might enjoy these as well.
Whether you prefer cold brew or iced coffee, either choice is perfect for summer fun. Take your cold brew and iced coffee on a walk, to the beach, to the course or on the boat.