Cold Brew vs. Iced Coffee: Which Drink is Better?

As soon as the summer arrives, people immediately switch from warm and soothing drinks to cool and refreshing ones. And everyone’s favorite choice is 2 options: iced coffee and cold brew. Even though people get confused between cold brew vs iced coffee, they are actually quite different from each other in terms of flavor, texture, caffeine content, etc. And knowing the proper difference between the two drinks would be very useful so that you can pick the one that will be perfect for you. So let’s find out the difference between cold brew and iced coffee, and see how you can make them yourself!

What is Cold Brew?

Let us start by figuring out what is cold brew coffee. It is an espresso drink that is made without hot water. It is super easy to make and tastes quite smooth and comparatively less bitter than its classical counterpart. But if you’re wondering whether is cold brew stronger than iced coffee then the answer is yes. When we’re comparing the cold brew vs iced coffee, the former has a higher caffeine content – 100 mg.per cup instead of the 40 mg of the same amount of iced coffee.

Cold Brew: Key Features

To further understand the difference between cold brew and iced coffee, let’s take a look at some key features of the former:

  • Cold brew coffee has a smoother taste due to the absence of acids and oils that taste bitter.
  • Again, due to the lower content of acids, it is easily digestible.
  • It has a higher caffeine content to keep you energetic throughout your work hours.
  • This drink is a bit expensive due to the higher levels of caffeine.

How to Make Cold Brew?

What’s needed?

Making a cold brew is rather simple. All you need is:

  1. Grind the beans until they become coarse in texture
  2. Mix the ground beans with water
  3. Stir gently with a spoon
  4. Put it in an air-tight jar and let the mixture steep overnight
  5. Strain the drink using a sackcloth over a bowl
  6. Store the liquid in the refrigerator for a week
  7. Dilute it with milk or water and serve with ice cubes

What is Iced Coffee?

Iced coffee is quite similar to regular espresso, just that it is served with ice. And the major difference between cold brew and iced coffee is that the latter is made with hot water. You can either let the hot drink cool for a few minutes or pour ice cubes over it for an immediate cool espresso. Whichever method you choose, your drink will still taste great.

Iced Coffee: Key Features

Now, to further understand the iced coffee vs cold brew issue, let’s see what the former drink has to offer:

  • Iced coffee contains more acids. Hence, it is more bitter than the cold brew.
  • Making this drink is much easier and takes a lot less time –  around 10 to 15 minutes.
  • As it contains a higher amount of acids, it might be a bit difficult to digest.

How to Make Iced Coffee?

What’s needed?

Do you want to enjoy this drink at home? That’s simple! All you need is:

  • 2 tablespoons of instant coffee
  • 1 cup of hot water
  • 1 cup ice
  • 1/3 cup milk
  • 2 tablespoons of sugar
  1. Mix the instant coffee with hot water
  2. Add ice cubes and enjoy!
  3. Add milk and sugar as per taste

Cold Brew vs. Iced Coffee: What are the Differences?


When it comes to taste, many wonders: “Is cold brew better than iced coffee?” While there’s no accounting for taste, usually people do prefer cold brew. That is because it tastes a bit bitterer and watered down due to the presence of acids. Hence, the taste of the former wins in the iced coffee vs cold brew battle because of its delicate taste.

Caffeine Content

You might be thinking does cold brew have more caffeine than iced coffee? Yes, it does! As mentioned earlier, usually, a cup of cold brew contains 100 mg of caffeine, while iced coffee contains 40 mg/cup. So if you have some health issues, are pregnant, or just don’t like caffeine, then while choosing between cold brew or iced coffee, opt for the latter.

Effect on Health

Cold-brew helps in boosting the metabolism, lifts mood, lowers the risk of diabetes, heart disease, and is also easy to digest. Compared to these benefits, the health effects of iced coffee are preventing heart attack and elevating mood. It also has a few side effects like improper digestion. So as far as the effects on health, cold brew wins in this category of cold brew vs iced coffee comparison.


Now, let’s take a look at the content parameters of 16 oz of each drink, to further understand the difference between iced coffee and cold brew:

Parameter Cold Brew (in g) Iced Coffee (in g)
Calories 5 5
Sugar 0 0
Protein 0 0
Fat 0 0
Caffeine 205 165
Carbohydrates 0 0
Fiber 0 0
Sodium 15 10


And that’s all on the cold brew vs iced coffee dilemma, folks! Overall, if you like your espresso smooth, then go for cold brew. However, if you prefer a more bitter and potent drink, then iced coffee will be perfect for you. Also, you should choose a drink based on how much caffeine you require, or if you need to limit it. As the caffeine content varies hugely in both the espressos, make sure you pick the right one. So, depending on your taste, which flavor will you prefer more? We would love to know!

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