To start, cold brew is made by steeping coarsely ground coffee in cold or room temperature water for 18 - 24 hours (the longer the coffee steeps, the stronger the flavor), and filtering it through a cloth or paper filter. Our iced coffee recipe (see below), on the other hand, is made by pouring a small amount* of hot water into a bed of coffee grounds in a filter over ice. The hot coffee melts the ice as it drips down which simultaneously chills and dilutes the coffee. You can make iced coffee using a pour over or automatic brewer.
Cold brew and iced coffee also differ in their general flavor profile. Unlike traditional brewing methods, cold brew coffee is never exposed to heat. Cold brew uses time, rather than heat to extract the coffee resulting in a cup with a smoother and sweeter flavor profile than other brewing methods. Cold brew is typically heavier in body with a richer mouthfeel and less pronounced acidity. In contrast, we often find iced coffee to be brighter, more lively, and lighter-bodied.
Because cold brew doesn’t require the use of hot water (which accelerates oxidation), it can be kept for up to 2 weeks in the refrigerator – much longer than iced coffee, which we suggest drinking within 1 - 2 hours after brewing.
Cold brew’s deeper flavors make it especially good for pairing with milk or non-dairy alternatives. Try it for yourself by making our Cinnamon Oat Milk Cold Brew and Cold Brew Latte recipes.
We prefer to enjoy iced coffee on its own or with minimal cream added and suggest using more floral and fruit-forward coffees whose nuances really shine when iced. Start with our Burundi IWCA Coffee or our Colombia Cauca Coffee. You can find our go-to iced coffee recipe using an automatic brewer below:
1. Fill coffee pot with ice
2. Place a filter and 50 grams of coffee into the brewing basket
3. Fill the brewer with 400ml water
4. Start the brewer, and enjoy your iced coffee once the brewing has finished
*half as much as you would use for hot coffee
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