An ironically hot topic in the coffee world, cold brew vs. iced coffee. What’s the difference? And even more important, what makes a better cup?
Let’s start by exploring the cold brew process. Cold brew, via the name, is coffee that has been steeped in cold or room temperature water for 12+ hours. Yes, that is a long time. What makes cold brew special is that it is never exposed to heat. Instead of using heat to extract the coffee’s flavor and oils, the cold brew process uses time. The slow, extended steeping gradually pulls out the natural sugars and caffeine leaving a highly concentrated yet smooth finish. All the acidity (due to the high caffeine content) with less of the bitterness.
Traditional iced coffee is brewed hot, then poured over ice or left to chill. The high temperature brewing process can give a bitter taste, however, high temperature extraction also pulls out more “coffee soluables” than the traditional cold brew. This gives traditional iced coffee a fuller body flavor than typical cold brews. Some cafes may leave the left over hot coffee they have to chill overnight, creating a batch of iced coffee for the next day.
However, our iced coffee is different. While ours is still brewed hot, we concentrate our batches so it is double the strength. This is so we don’t lose the full body flavor of the brew. Our Frisky Goat is always brewed fresh to prevent any extended oxidation which would leave typical iced coffees stale and flavorless.
And there you have it. Cold Brew vs. Iced Coffee. What will you be sipping on this summer?