What’s the difference between cold brew and iced coffee?
The simple answer is that:
Iced coffee refers to coffee that’s brewed hot and then cooled down with ice.
This is a process that usually takes minutes and not like cold brew that’s a slow process that takes hours. It’s brilliant if you haven’t planned ahead and would like a cold coffee there and then.
When it comes to cold brew, it’s a long and slow process, because extraction is done at a much lower temperature the process takes longer than brewing a filter coffee or an espresso. It’s an immersion brewing method, which means that the coffee grounds are submerged throughout the brewing process.
An easy and inexpensive way of making cold brew (if you don’t feel like purchasing any of the cold brew equipment out there) is to basically get out your favourite coffee beans, grind them coarsely. Keep in mind that if you don’t do a coarse grind then, your coffee might become gritty and muddy, as you might have figured, but it also might end up over infused.
The next step is to simply combine the grounds with room temperature water and let it steep overnight, around 12 hours for the best result. The coffee will slowly infuse the water. The final step is to strain the coffee as to get rid of the coffee ground lurking at the bottom of the brew. The result is a strong delicious cold cup of coffee, unlike perhaps an iced coffee where the coffee often ends up being watery as the ice melts and dilutes the coffee.
It’s in your gift to choose how strong you would like to make your cold brew, but I would recommend starting with 1 cup of beans mixed with 4 cups of water and then play around with stronger or a weaker ratio to find your sweet spot.
If you want to serve your cold brew with ice but you really don’t like the idea of the ice diluting the coffee as mentioned before, well a fun and excellent way of avoiding this is by making coffee ice cubes. Brew some coffee and put in an ice tray and make coffee ice cubes, they work like a charm.
- The brilliant thing about cold brew is that you don’t lose any of the amazing coffee flavours.
- But you’ll be happy to know it actually leaves behind most of the compounds that can make coffee taste bitter and sour.
- The result is that cold brewed coffee is incredibly smooth and almost sweet tasting.
Now, if you want to avoid the mess of having to strain your coffee before drinking it then you can always get a cold brew bottle, like for instance the Hario Cold Brew coffee pot or the cold brew bottle. Both contains a strainer where the coffee is placed (with a lid on top) the water is then poured into the bottle and let brewing for 8-12h.
With cold brew you can also play around a bit with the flavours and perhaps add slices of orange to the water as to add to the flavours during the extraction.
When serving why not add a splash of your favourite type of milk, your go to syrup or paraphs a slice of lime or perhaps a twig of mint.