It’s summertime, which means it’s time to start switching out your favourite warm winter beverages for iced varieties. When it’s sweltering outside coffee drinkers still needing that afternoon caffeine fix often switch to iced coffees or cold brew coffees but what’s the difference between these two cool beverages? They’re essentially the same right? If you’ve visited a coffee shop and ordered iced coffee, only to be given a cold brew, you’ll know that they’re definitely not the same yet these days many coffee spots are selling them as one and the same. Here’s the difference between them so you can know your stuff and ensure you get exactly what you want next time you order an iced cold coffee.

What’s the difference?

The biggest difference between these two drinks starts with how they’re made. Iced coffee is made similarly to regular hot coffee. It’s brewed in small batches and is then chilled and poured over ice, or just poured straight over ice without chilling. Cold brew coffee, on the other hand, involves mixing coffee grinds with cold water in a pot, letting them sit from 12 hours to a full day, before straining.

These differing methods result in pretty big flavour differences between iced coffee and cold brew. Iced coffee, especially when chilled first, has a subtle, cola-like acidic flavour while a cold brew, which has been steeped in cold water, tends to be nuttier and slightly less bitter or acidic than regular iced coffee.

Which one should you order?

When it comes to choosing between the two it all comes down to your flavour preference. Keep in mind that, since cold brew is less bitter than iced coffee you might find that you will need to add less sugar than with iced coffee, making it ideal for health-conscious types. For those looking for a real afternoon kick, cold brews often have more caffeine than iced coffee, so they’re perfect for beating that afternoon slump.

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