There’s a good chance that you’ve been to a coffee shop somewhere and saw both Iced Coffee and Cold Brew offered on the menu. You’re wondering, both are cold coffee drinks, why are they named differently?
Actually, there’s quite a difference between Iced Coffee and Cold Brew. They’re prepared in a different way, and therefore, have different taste.
- Cold Brew is coffee brewed using cold water.
- Iced Coffee is regularly brewed coffee (with hot water) with ice added to it.
How Cold Brew Is Made:
Infographic credit goes to ILoveCoffee.JP
Cold Brew is referred to that way not only because it is served cold, but in fact because it is brewed with cold water and not boiling water like your regular cup of coffee.
To make a cold brew, you add room temperature or cold water to your coffee ground and let it steep for at least 12 hours. Some people let it sit for up to 24 hours. After the steeping time is up, remove the coffee ground from the coffee. At this point, what you’ll have is a coffee concentrate. You can create your coffee drink by adding cold water, milk or cream in your preferred ratio. And guess what? you can even add hot water to the concentrate to make a hot cup of coffee!
What’s So Special About Cold Brew, Anyway?
So why go through all this hassle to make cold brew? Well, it’s not really a hassle, but it just takes sometime to be ready. And if it wasn’t worth it then you wouldn’t have seen it grow this much in popularity.
In Cold Brewing, the interaction between the cold water and the coffee ground is different than hot water. Using cold water results in a flavorful yet mellow and acid-free coffee. It brings out a lot of different flavors that you’re missing out on with hot water brewing (provided you’re using quality coffee in the first place!)
Another, very important, difference is the fact that with cold brew, your drink is never diluted with melted ice, even when you actually add ice to it. This is because you’re starting with very concentrated coffee. So whether you add water or ice to it, it’s never diluted the same way iced coffee gets when the ice melts.
Cold Brew concentrate can last in your fridge for up to 3 weeks.
How To Make Cold Brew Coffee at Home:
Making Cold Brew is fairly simple. If you’re not into buying any special tools for it, then you can simply make it this way:
- Bring a large jug, add coffee ground and cold water.
- Cover the jug and let it cool in the fridge for at least 12 hours.
- Filter out the coffee ground and save the cold brew concentrate in a well sealed bottle or jug.
Your other option would be to buy one of these simple and inexpensive Cold Brew filter/pitcher:
Hario Cold Brew Bottle:
From the leaders of manual coffee brewing, this Hario bottle is simple to use, store and clean. It has a built-in filter that makes filtering the coffee as easy as pulling out the filter and putting on the lid to seal the coffee.
Toddy Cold Brew System:
The Toddy system is popular, although I personally believe it to be a little messy in comparison to Hario’s bottle. Toddy can make you a larger batch, though.
With Toddy’s system, you add the coffee ground and water to the large bucket-like container. This container needs replaceable filters (another reason I don’t like it) to use. Leaving the coffee to brew for up to 12-24 hours, it starts slowly dripping to the bottle placed under the container.
Osaka 4-cup Cold Brew Dripper:
the Osaka Cold Brew Dripper has a great drip style design, which is very similar to the large and expensive traditional old brew drippers. With the Osaka dripper, you get the top dripper and the carafe. The add ice and water to the top compartment and it will start dripping over the middle compartment which has the coffee ground, which will then start dripping coffee to the carafe. One of the best features about the Osaka dripper is the ability to adjust the flow speed, which gives you control over the strength of the coffee.