What’s the Difference Between Cold Brew and Iced Coffee?

Cold Brew and Iced Coffee

In a transformative moment around 2015, cold brew coffee shifted from obscurity to coffee shop ubiquity, reshaping the caffeine landscape. The preference for regular iced coffee now feels less than fashionable amidst the cold brew craze. Today, this haute caffeine trend of cold brew dominates menus and store shelves, sparking curiosity about its distinction from iced coffee. Let’s demystify the two and uncover their differences.

Cold Brew – A Slow Infusion

Cold Brew – A Slow Infusion

Cold brew, a term that’s not entirely accurate, could be better labeled as ‘cold steep’ or ‘cold infusion.’ In reality, cold brew doesn’t involve the traditional brewing process associated with hot water. Instead, coffee grounds are steeped in cold or room-temperature water for an extended period, ranging from 12-24 hours. Whether in specialized cold brew makers or a container with free-floating grounds, the slow extraction allows flavors and essential oils to gently unfold. Though commonly associated with coffee, this technique historically traces back to tea preparation, resulting in delicate, aromatic flavors.

Iced Coffee – Swift Brewing Over Ice

Iced Coffee – Swift Brewing Over Ice

Iced coffee mirrors the hot coffee brewing process, in which grounds are swiftly brewed with hot water, resulting in quick flavor extraction. According to Jera Corbin, lead at Dawn Coffee in Nashville, iced coffee is all about just brewing your regular hot coffee, but over ice. This method involves pouring hot water over coffee grounds, which bloom and release flavors rapidly, producing coffee in no time. Given its simplicity and mild taste, iced coffee serves as a versatile base for experimenting with syrups or innovative Vietnamese-inspired coconut iced coffee.

The Flavor Distinction

As Corbin notes, cold brew has a bolder flavor than iced coffee since the brewing process is longer. While iced coffee is typically milder in taste, the intense essence of cold brew often calls for dilution with water to achieve balance. Its robustness and velvety texture contrast with the lighter consistency of iced coffee. Corbin adds that cold brews are often enjoyed black, while iced coffees tend to be paired with cream and sugar, depending on personal preferences.

Grounds and Caffeine

Corbin explains that you need your coffee to be ground on a very coarse setting for cold brew coffee, while the opposite is true for iced coffee. Cold brew’s lengthier brewing period demands coarser grounds to prevent overpowering flavors. Interestingly, the same type of coffee, typically dark or medium roast, suits both cold brew and iced coffee. Regarding caffeine content, cold brew takes the lead due to its higher coffee-to-water ratio. The method’s slower infusion enables greater caffeine extraction.

3 Best Activities to Explore St. Barts

Set to the shore of the lapping Caribbean Sea, the little dot of French West Indies St. Barts is the perfect hideaway for the jet setters. Surrounded by rugged mountain cliffs and pristine unspoiled nature, there are postcard-perfect stretches of velvety white beach splashing with clear turquoise seawater. This is also the land of Swish fine-dining and French haute cuisine, bubbling beach clubs and alluring cocktail joints, luxury hotels and upmarket stores, and of course whitewashed cruise ships and celebrity yachts. Touch down to this luxe-land to experience the following treats.

Go for a Retail Therapy in Gustavia

The undisputed shopping capital of St. Barts Gustavia is lined with flagship fashion stores and bespoke design outlets, on almost its every lane and alley. The high-end shopping hotspot is home to iconic Quai de la Republique, offering desirable designers and exclusive limited-edition collections from Hermes, Bulgari, Dolce & Gabanna, and many other upmarket brands. You might get lucky to rub shoulders with one or two celebrities while shopping!

Enjoy the Architectural Treats

Away from posh shopping malls and outlets, St. Barts capital Gustavia also offers architectural treasures. A melting pot of English, Swedish, Carib, and of course French culture, the town features winding alleyways, cobblestone streets, bright red-bricked roofs, and Scandinavian-style old mansions. High above the town, there is a looming spire of a Gothic church overlooking the villages of little England. The sun-splashed harbor-side is obviously the popular spot for people watching, or yacht watching to locate a few known figures.

Savor Freshly-made Delicacies at Maya’s

Maya’s restaurant is little and welcoming and has a special reputation for bringing out a different menu each time. That’s because the chefs of this eatery have an ardent passion for the freshest local produces. They source their material each day across the entire island, forging new seasonal flavors and dishes. Run by an island of Martinique-based French-Caribbean locals, the kitchen of this casual bistro has been serving its colorful cuisine since 1984. Head to the diner to enjoy flavorful Fish Carpaccio or Vegetable Ceviche, served in a tempting rustic style.