Cold Brew vs. Iced Coffee, are they really different? Let’s find out!

How many times have you woken up on the wrong side of the bed? 

It’s like every little thing just grinds your gears.

But then, just with a cup of joe, your mood changes from a grumpy Moe Szyslak to a happy-nothing-can-bother-me Homer Simpson.

Most of us have gone through that I can’t be bothered not unless I’ve had my morning coffee-fix state.

The presence of caffeine is a key factor that influences mood improvement.


Yep! Most definitely, this is why people seemed calmer after a cuppa coffee.

In this article, we will be discussing the difference between cold brew vs iced coffee.

RELATED: The 7 Best Health Benefits of Coffee 2022

Did you know that people who drank coffee were found to be less likely to develop depression?

According to a recent comprehensive review conducted by Dr. Alan Leviton of Harvard University.

“Coffee drinkers are at reduced risk of depression, in part because coffee has anti-inflammatory and antioxidative properties…”

Dr. Alan Leviton

Now I’m not saying that coffee is a cure-all for depression. It’s not. All I’m trying to say is that coffee decreases the risk of depression.

Cold Brew vs. Iced Coffee

Is Cold Brew coffee really different from Iced Coffee?


They’re entirely two different concoctions.

Iced Coffee is made with a normally brewed coffee, cooled, and then mixed with ice while Cold Brew is made by steeping the coffee beans for a longer period.

What Is Cold Brew And What Makes it Different?

With cold brew coffee, the process of extracting the flavorful caffeine out of the coffee beans takes a lot more patience.

This is because instead of using hot water to draw out the flavors, we depend on time to do the job. 

The coffee beans are soaked in water for about 12-24 hours. There’s no definite time on how long you need it to steep. It depends entirely on how “strong” you want the brew to be.

If you want a quick fix of coffee, then letting the brew sit out for about 2-4 hours is already good.

The ideal coffee roast for cold brew is a dark roast.

Remember that you’re not using hot water to extract the flavor of the coffee, so if you want a dark and richer taste, choose dark roasted coffee.

You can always adjust the flavor by changing the extraction time. 

Try Cold Brew! It’s Not as Bitter and Acidic as Its Hot Cousin, Yep!

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So what’s so great about cold brew?

If you’re like me, a coffee addict with a sensitive tummy then cold brew coffee is the best alternative you’ve been waiting for. 

It’s the best brew for me so far!

Back then, I had been so used to drinking hot coffee.

Whatever the weather, may it be extremely hot or freezing cold, I always go for a hot cup of joe.

I used to enjoy 4 cups of hot brewed coffee in a day but now, I can’t enjoy more than 2 cups because of acid reflux which is quite annoying.

Cold brew is less acidic compared to regular brewed coffee. It still has the antioxidants that caffeine offers but it’s not as bitter and acidic as its hot cousin.

Cold Brew Recipe

Cold Brew

For the simplest recipe of cold brew, all you need is coarsely ground coffee and water.

That’s it!


1 cup of Coarsely grounded

4 cups of Water

A whole lot of Time

A heavy dose of Patience

I already have a fine ground coffee, I’m all set then!

Well, If you want a muddy, bitter cold brew, then sure! But that’s not what we’re after.

What we want to achieve is a smooth cup.

So, if you like to enjoy your cold brew, then choose a coarse ground coffee.

Can I use tap water?

You might be wondering, is there a significant difference in the kind of water used when brewing?

You will be surprised but not all water tastes the same. 

Avid water drinkers swear by this. 

Filtered water gives you a smoother, cleaner taste compared to tap water.

I need my brew now, I can’t wait for 12 hours!

Word for the wise, when you decide to do cold brew, you have to commit your time and patience to it.

There’s a reason for this: Because you won’t be using hot water to draw out the rich and bold flavors of coffee, we’re using the time to do it.

The best time is at least 12 hours.

You can soak it much longer depending on how strong you want your brew.

Okay, Nuff said, let’s start brewing!

STEP 1: If you don’t mind giving yourself a good hand workout while grinding the beans to always get a fresh batch, then let’s grind that baby up like the jack-in-the-box on steroids. 

Remember to set the grinder on the coarse grind to get that perfect coffee texture for cold brew.

STEP 2: This is where the fun starts. All you need to do is pour your coffee ground into a container and then slowly fill it with filtered water. 

Don’t forget to cover the container.

STEP 3: And the waiting game begins. Set the container aside for about 12 hours. 

You don’t need to place it in the refrigerator, your countertop will do just fine.

STEP 4: You don’t have to do anything else but pour your brew into a cup since most of the cold brew containers already come with a strainer. See that? Easy peasy cold brewy.

If you’re using a mason jar or some other containers in your cupboard that don’t come with a strainer, just filter the grounds with a strainer and a cheesecloth. You will have to do the straining again just to be sure there are no particles left. 

STEP 5: Serve your cold brew with milk or cream.

How about we step up your cold brew game and make it fancy?

Cold Brew Irish Coffee

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4 oz Cold Brew Coffee

1 oz Whiskey

1 oz Simple syrup

½ cup Ice

Half & Half (to taste)


  1. In a glass, Mix your cold brew coffee, whiskey, and simple syrup. 
  2. Pour in ice and stir well. 
  3. Strain into a glass. 
  4. You can top it off with half & half and enjoy!

Nutella Cold Brew

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½ cup Cold Brew

¼ cup Milk

¼ cup Nutella

2 tbsp Brown Sugar



  1. Pour cold brew coffee, milk, Nutella, and sugar in a blender and blend the mixture well until it becomes a bit frothy.
  2. Transfer the blend to a glass
  3. Top it with some ice, and enjoy!

Tequila Cold Brew

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2.0 oz Cold Brew

1.5 oz Tequila

1.0 oz Vanilla simple syrup

0.5 oz heavy Whipping Cream

Coffee beans, for topping


  1. Combine all ingredients with ice in a cocktail shaker.
  2. Shake vigorously to combine.
  3. Pour into a rocks glass using a cocktail strainer.
  4. Top with coffee beans and enjoy!

Cold Brew Latte

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For Simple Syrup

¼ cup Sugar

¼ cup Water

For Cold Brew Latte

1 tbsp Simple Syrup

1 cup Cold Brew Coffee

¼ cup Milk


For Simple Syrup

  1. Place sugar and water in a small saucepan. 
  2. Continuously stir the syrup until the sugar is completely dissolved. 
  3. Set aside to cool.

For Cold Brew Latte

  1. Fill a glass with ice.
  2. Pour in your cold brew and simple syrup in the glass.
  3. Pour in milk, stir, and enjoy!

Cold Brew Tiramisu

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1 cup Cold Brew Coffee

½ cup Milk

2 tbsp Tiramisu Syrup


White Chocolate Sauce


  1. Squeeze white chocolate sauce inside a glass.
  2. Add a scoop of ice into the glass.
  3. Pour in cold brew and milk.
  4. Top it with tiramisu syrup, and enjoy!

I Just Found Out There Is Another Way of Making Iced Coffee! 

Yep! And this one is amazing.

Like the rest of us, we make iced coffee by mixing a cooled-down brewed coffee with some ice, literally, iced coffee.

But there’s one method that is so simple yet the process is a work of art. 

And It just makes more sense.

Aside from the mesmerizing cherry blossoms, picture-perfect landscape, and very rich culture, Japan has another work of art to offer. 

The Japanese style of creating iced coffee, and yes is amazing. 

All we need to do is use a pour-over coffee setup and then let that aromatic coffee concentrate drip over iced cubes. 

That’s it! Nothing too complicated about it.

Oh, What’s that? You don’t have a pour-over coffee set up? And you don’t want to buy one? Well, great news! Read my article on how I made my own Pour-Over Coffee Maker and have fun!

How about we step up your iced coffee game and make it fancy?

Kahlua Vietnamese Iced Coffee

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1 cup Brewed Coffee, cooled

2 tbsp Condensed Milk

1 oz Kahlúa



  1. Pour sweetened condensed milk into a highball glass.
  2. Add cooled brewed coffee and Kahlúa, and stir well to combine.
  3. Add ice and enjoy!

Unicorn Iced Coffee

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1 cup Brewed Coffee, cooled

Whipped Cream





  1. Pour cooled brewed coffee into a glass.
  2. Add some Ice.
  3. Top the coffee with whipped cream 
  4. Add sprinkles and M&M’s, and enjoy!

Frenchie’s Bulletproof Iced Coffee

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1 cup Brewed Coffee, cooled

1 tbsp Butter

½ tsp Vanilla extract


Milk or Cream (optional)


  1. Pour cooled brewed coffee into the blender.
  2. Add butter and vanilla to the blender and blend the mixture well until it becomes a bit frothy.
  3. Transfer the blend to a glass
  4. Add milk or cream (optional) and top with ice, enjoy!

Boba Iced Coffee

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½ cup Brewed Coffee cooled

½ cup Milk

2 tbsp Boba

1 tbsp Maple Syrup or Coconut Sugar


  1. Mix your cooled brewed coffee with milk in a glass.
  2. Pour your boba into the mix and then give it a good stir. 
  3. Add maple syrup or coconut sugar. Of course, you can add more sweetener depending on how sweet you want it to be.
  4. Add ice and enjoy!

If you want to make your boba from scratch, check out The Movement Menu site.

Viennese Iced Coffee 

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½ cup Brewed Coffee cooled

1 scoop of Vanilla Ice Cream

Whipped Cream

Cocoa Powder (optional)


  1. Scoop out vanilla ice cream into a cup.
  2. Pour in your cooled brew coffee.
  3. Top your coffee cup with whipped cream.
  4. Dust that works of art with some unsweetened cocoa powder, and enjoy!

Whether you’d go for cold brew or iced coffee, both drinks will give you that good caffeine kick.

If you have a sensitive tummy that keeps you from enjoying a cup of brewed coffee;

Go for Cold Brew

If you don’t have a lot of time to prepare a cup but still want to enjoy a cold coffee drink;

Go for Iced Coffee

Bottom line, whatever your preference is, there’s always a better and more fun way to enjoy your cup of joe. To each their own.

So tell me, what’s your go-to brew? And why is it cold brew?

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