by Simon Lavarack on
May 17, 2020

Difference between iced coffee & cold brew coffee

The Difference Between Iced Coffee and Cold Brew Coffee: The Drinks You Need This Summer


This is a guest postfrom Barista Barn about the difference between iced coffee & cold brew, along with a lovely infographicshowing the journey of a coffee bean right from harvesting through to brewing.

With summer quickly approaching, people across the UK will be seeking cool, refreshing and caffeinated beverages to keep them going on a hot day at work. In fact, it was estimated that the iced and cold coffee market increased by 18% in 2016 to reach an estimated £338 million. We’re guessing a lot of these sales happened during the summer time (although cold coffee is just as enjoyable in the winter months too!) and that the cold coffee industry will continue to grow as our love affair with cold coffee grows ever stronger.

Iced coffee cold brew.

The options for cold and refreshing drinks in the summer are endless, with coffee shops and cafes offering an almost overwhelming variety of drinks to choose from. However, there are two beverages that take centre stage: cold brew coffee and iced coffee.

“Aren’t they the same thing?” we hear you ask. Actually, no, there’s quite a difference between these cool beverages that many people aren’t aware of! As specialists in all things coffee, we’re here to help you understand the difference between iced coffee and cold brew coffee so you can find the perfect drink you need to see you through the summer months.

Iced Coffee

This warm-weather favourite is as simple as it sounds: coffee is brewed with regular coffee brewing equipment, cooled down and poured over ice. This is a quick-fix method to getting the icy and refreshing drink you’re after as it takes the regular amount of brewing time that normal coffee does. However, this method dilutes the amount of caffeine in the beverage, reducing that little afternoon pick-me-up that many people crave on hot summer afternoons.

This happens due to the ice melting, slowly reducing the amount of actual coffee you have over time. To solve this problem, you can put an extra serving of coffee in your coffee maker, or if you’re ordering from a cafe, ask for an extra shot.

These types of beverages can be completely customised to your specific taste. Whether you want extra coffee, a shot of flavoured syrup, more or less ice… the opportunities are endless and each one just as enjoyable and as tasty as the other.

Cold Brew Coffee

Cold brew coffee is slightly different to its icy cousin, and this is mostly down to the brewing process. Cold brew coffee is brewed with specialist cold brew coffee equipmentand takes a little bit longer to create that piquant flavour we know and love, whilst also incorporating that ice-cold finish.

To be able to create this beverage, you’ll need to take your ground coffee and steep it in cold water for at least 12 hours. Note: the longer you leave the coffee to steep, the stronger and bolder flavour you will get. Feel free to play around with this process to create the perfect flavour balance for your tastebuds.

Once the steeping process is complete, it is filtered to leave you with a rich, coffee-concentrate that can be mixed with milk, water or even poured over ice for that extra cold effect.

Due to the steeping process and how it uses time instead of heat to release the flavours, cold brew coffee is generally less acidic and bitter than iced coffee, making it perfect for new-comers to the world of coffee.

The Verdict

Both of these cold, caffeinated brews are ideal for when the heat picks up and you need something to take the edge off whilst getting a nice boost to see you through the day.

If you want a coffee that is instant, quick and easy, we recommend choosing the iced coffee version. However, if you want something with more caffeine that offers more of an “experience”, then cold brew coffee is the one for you.

If you’re looking for state of the art cold brew coffee equipment that caters to all budgets, have a look on Barista Barn. We’ve compiled the ultimate collection for coffee lovers, consisting of cold brewers and other essential tools and utensils for cold coffee creation to help you create the best coffee experience.

Feel free to get in touch with us if you have any questions about our range of equipment. Our friendly team will be more than happy to help answer any questions you may have and help you find the perfect product.

Barista Barn

Author Bio: Barista Barn:

Specialists in all things coffee, Barista Barn was started in 2017, with over 75 years worth of experience in the industry.

We aim to offer the best coffee equipment and accessories for coffee artisans under one roof.

Barista Barn is a UK-based coffee specialist offering a huge range of coffee equipment, accessories, gifts, and cleaning gear.