Cold Brew Vs Iced Coffee - Your Cool Caffeine Fix Detailed!

Cold Brew Vs Iced Coffee – Your Cool Caffeine Fix Detailed!

Last updated on January 22nd, 2024 at 12:14

In the brew battle of Cold brew vs Iced coffee you will find out which is best suited for you, which has the most caffeine and the flavor profile of the two drinks in this article.

I’ll also detail the curious question why cold brew coffee is more expensive than iced coffee.

Keep reading for the details and find of which is the cool caffeine king!

Cold Brew Vs Iced Coffee

In the brew battle of Cold brew Vs Iced coffee it is important, very important to be impartial and detail both coffee drinks accurately to give you the knowledge that you need and are seeking to make an informed decision regarding which you want to try and to get a great understanding of what these two coffee drinks are.

Let’s get to the details!

Cold Brew Vs Iced Coffee
An Iced Coffee

Read: Why does cold brew have more caffeine?

What Is Cold Brew Coffee?

Cold brew coffee is unique, brilliant and tasty. It is by far the easiest coffee to enjoy as a true black coffee, that’s sugar-free and milk-free, which makes it the healthiest coffee drink due to the low calorie count and low sugar content.

It is a unique coffee brewing method and drink as it is intentionally brewed with cold water with the purpose of brewing coffee at a low temperature to extract the low temperature compounds and get all the mellow flavors into your cup.

By far the most common way of brewing cold brew coffee is using cold water and letting it extract at room temperature, but this presents two problems.

Since the majority of containers used to extract the cold brew coffee are not opaque, bright lights can damage the quality of your coffee. The obvious solution is to let it extract in a dark cupboard.

The other minor problem is not extracting the very low flavor compounds as the average room temperature is from 20C (68F). The obvious solution is to extract your cold brew coffee in your fridge as the temperature is much colder and due to being mostly closed your fridge will act to protect your coffee from bright lights.

The other popular way of brewing cold brew coffee is using the Japanese flash cold brew technique.

It’s a cold brew with a difference, it is actually hot brewed with hot water dripping over your coffee grounds which is then dripped drop by drop over ice and then into the receptacle below.

What Is Iced Coffee?

Iced coffee is a beverage that you are perhaps more familiar with than you may realize – even if you have not yet tried the drink.

It is a hot coffee drink that has ice added to chill it. More concretely, it is brewed coffee, drip brewed coffee that is double brewed and then chilled with ice.

Cold Brew Vs Iced Coffee Taste

Perhaps this section is of greater interest to coffee lovers and enthusiasts, the flavor profile of each of these two coffee beverages.

Cold Brew Coffee Flavor Profile

Cold brewed coffee is smooth, rich, very balanced and well-rounded with a low acidity, which is up 66% less acidic than other coffee beverages.

Nutty and chocolate flavors dominate this drink.

Cold brew can easily be enjoyed as it is without any sugar, milk, cream or any extravagant topping as there is literally no bitterness to the drink.

Which means, if you are on a diet, this is a great drink!

Cold Brew Coffee Flavor Profile
Bottled Cold Brew Coffee

Read: Difference between cold brew and iced coffee

Iced Coffee Flavor Profile

A traditional iced coffee is a hot coffee which means it extracts all the high temperature flavor compounds. Typically, it is brewed to be a strong coffee, often double brewed, to compensate for the melting ice.

A top “trick” that you can use to prevent your ice from melting is to pour your brewed coffee over ice in a cocktail shaker and shake it for 30 seconds and strain into a tall glass with fresh ice.

Iced coffee is bright, sweet and has some fruity notes. It is a refreshingly light tasting coffee and can be enjoyed with a splash of milk of your own choice.

Cold Brew Vs Iced Coffee Caffeine

It is not even a contest, not even that close: a cold brew coffee has more caffeine than an iced coffee for all drink sizes.

Check the table below for the full details of the caffeine content of these two distinct beverages.

Drink Sizes Cold Brew Coffee Iced Coffee
Tall 12 Oz (360 ml) 155 mg 120 mg
Grande 16 Oz (480 ml) 205 mg 165 mg
Venti 24 Oz (720 ml) 310 mg 235 mg
Trenta 30 Oz (900 ml) 360 mg 285 mg

Be careful with all cold brew drink sizes other than a Tall 12 Oz (360 ml) and the largest two iced coffee drink sizes. if you are pregnant. The maximum recommended daily caffeine intake for pregnant and nursing ladies as set by the FDA is 200 mg per day.

For healthy adults the suggested maximum caffeine intake per day is 400 mg.

Read: Does cold brew have more caffeine?

Why Is Cold Brew Coffee More Expensive Than Iced Coffee?

Cold brew coffee is more expensive at a coffee shop and is more expensive to make at home due to the quantity of coffee grounds used to make the drink.

Iced coffee is made using a 1:16 to 1:18 coffee to water ratio which means a Tall 12 ounce (360 ml) coffee drink will use 0.66 Oz (20 grams) to 0.75 Oz (22.5 grams) of coffee grounds while a cold brew coffee will need 1.5 Oz (45 grams) to 2 Oz (60 grams) of coffee grounds.

Also, the limited supply due to the long brew time plays its role in the pricing.

Can Cold Brew Be Served Hot?

Yes, absolutely! You can enjoy a cold brew coffee hot!

Heating it is easy just don’t use a microwave as you need control over the temperature as you don’t want your coffee to overheat or boil.

Use a saucepan at a low to medium temperature and heat it slowly. You can also heat your cold brew coffee gently using the steam wand of your espresso machine.

One of the easiest ways of enjoying a hot cold brew coffee is to start by making a cold brew concentrate to a 1:1 ratio and add 7 parts of hot water.

Can Cold Brew Be Served Hot?
Cold Brew Can Be Served Hot

Cold brew Vs Iced Coffee Starbucks

Starbucks does what Starbucks does best with their range of cold brew coffee drinks and makes them available as they are; as regular cold brew or as a delicious gourmet coffee beverage with sweet cream or cold foam toppings. Popular options are:

  • Vanilla sweet cream cold brew.
  • Salted caramel cold brew.
  • Irish cream cold brew.
  • Pumpkin cream cold brew.
  • Salted cream cold brew.

The coffee conglomerate has a range of nitro cold brew coffee beverages too, available only in selected outlets.

Their iced coffee is only available as it is and can be customized to your own liking and personal gusto but does not have anywhere near the range of drinks with your options being limited to iced coffee and iced coffee with milk.

Of course, all the popular coffee drinks like latte, cappuccino, mocha and flat white can all be ordered as iced, these are different from an iced coffee as they are espresso based.

Frequently Asked Questions About Cold Brew Vs Iced Coffee

Is Cold Brew Coffee Stronger Than Iced Coffee?

Yes, cold brew coffee is stronger and more caffeinated than iced coffee despite the smoother and more mellow taste.

The caffeine content of a cold brew coffee is as follows:

  • Tall 12 Oz (360 ml): 155 mg.
  • Grande 16 Oz (480 ml): 205 mg.
  • Venti 24 Oz (720 ml): 310 mg.
  • Trenta 30 Oz (900 ml): 360 mg.

Meanwhile, iced coffee has the following caffeine content:

  • Tall 12 Oz (360 ml): 120 mg.
  • Grande 16 Oz (480 ml): 165 mg.
  • Venti 24 Oz (720 ml): 235 mg.
  • Trenta 30 Oz (900 ml): 285 mg.

Clearly there is more caffeine in cold brew coffee for all drink sizes.

Why Does Cold Brew Taste Different From Iced Coffee?

Cold brew tastes different from iced coffee principally because it is a different brewing method and secondly because iced coffee, despite the name, is a brewing process that uses hot water, and it is then chilled using ice.

Regular iced coffee is hot brewed coffee; it’s double brewed drip coffee with ice.

Cold brew coffee is legitimate cold coffee. It’s brewed with cold water and extracts the low temperature compounds and uses a very long extraction time of typically 24 hours or longer. The result is a very different tasting cup of coffee that is mellow, well-rounded and with a reduced acidity.

Why Is Cold Brew More Expensive Than Iced Coffee?

Cold brew coffee is more expensive than iced coffee as it, primarily speaking, is a brewing process and technique that uses more coffee, typically twice as much coffee.

It’s also a brewing technique that takes considerably longer to brew.

Is Cold Brew Just Iced Coffee?

No, a traditional iced coffee is brewed coffee with ice. It is hot coffee that has been cooled with ice cubes.

Cold brew is a coffee beverage that is specifically brewed and specially brewed to extract the low temperature compounds using cold water using the full immersion technique of steeping the coffee grounds overnight, typically for 24 hours and even longer.

How Much Stronger Is Cold Brew Than Iced Coffee?

To determine how much stronger a cold brew coffee is than an iced coffee for all drink sizes available, check the table below.

Drink Size Iced Coffee Cold Brew Coffee Difference
Tall 12 Oz (360 ml) 120 mg 155 mg 1.29x
Grande 16 Oz (480 ml) 165 mg 205 mg 1.24x
Venti 24 Oz (720 ml). 235 mg 310 mg 1.31x
Trenta 30 Oz (900 ml) 285 mg 360 mg 1.26x

From the table we can easily deduce that on average a cold brew coffee is 1.25x stronger and more caffeinated than an iced coffee for the same drink size.

Is Iced Americano Same As Cold Brew?

No, an iced Americano is different from both an iced coffee and a cold brew coffee.

An iced Americano is an espresso-based coffee made with a shot of espresso and then diluted with cold water and iced added to chill the beverage.

Like iced coffee, it is a hot coffee that is chilled with ice. Cold brew extracts the low temperature compounds while an Americano and an iced coffee extract the high temperature compounds.

The result is that the high temperature brewing techniques extract the crisp acids while cold brewing doesn’t, which results in up to 66% reduced acidity.

Can You Order Cold Brew With Milk?

Yes, one of the great things about coffee is that quite literally everyone enjoys it slightly differently and every coffee shop knows that. Due to this you can fully customize any drink, including ordering cold brew with milk, or any milk of your choice and even a tasty topping like sweet cream cold foam.

Is There A Benefit To Cold Brew Coffee?

Yes, there are many benefits to drinking cold brew coffee. Cold brew coffee is more focused than other coffee drinks due to the high concentration of coffee used, meaning you get more antioxidants, phenolic compounds, flavonoids and nutrients than other coffee beverages.

It’s also less acidic, making it easier on your stomach.

Final Thoughts – Cold Brew Vs Iced Coffee

In the chilled brew battle of Cold brew Vs Iced coffee I hope that I have answered all your questions sufficiently, and you are now fully informed about these two rather nice summer coffee beverages.

If your information gap has not been filled, simply seek us out and ask any pertaining questions that you have! We will answer all your questions!

Join our cool coffee community and tell us all about the cool beans you are trying out and show off your coffee creations! Find us on Facebook/Meta.

Derek Marshall, a certified barista by the Specialty Coffee Association possesses over two decades of experience in specialty coffee shops. He holds professional certifications for coffee brewing and barista skills. Derek is also an author with authoritative books covering various coffee topics including specialty coffee, sustainability and coffee, coffee brewing, coffee recipes, coffee cocktails and books focusing on Brazilian coffee, Vietnamese coffee, Indonesian coffee and Malaysian coffee. As a barista for over two decades, Derek Marshall has worked in specialty coffee shops across the United Kingdom, Spain, Thailand, Malaysia, Cambodia, Indonesia, and Vietnam. His expertise extends to the distinct coffee cultures, specialty beverages, and brewing techniques of each nation. Functioning as a coffee consultant, Derek charges US$50 per hour. To learn more about Derek Marshall and Latte Love Brew, visit his About Me Page. For coffee inquiries, contact him at +34-639-410-375 or, mentioning your name and location

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