Iced coffee and cold brew sound very similar. That is why most people may confuse iced coffee for cold brew coffee. However, it is important to note that these are two different types of coffee regarding how they are prepared and enjoyed. You may note some similarities, but there are several differences between them.
Iced coffee is a regular coffee served over ice. But the coffee should be stronger to prevent it from getting diluted by the ice. On the contrary, cold brew coffee is prepared by soaking the coarse ground coffee in cold water for at least twelve hours. The grounds are then sieved, leaving a coffee concentrate that can be diluted with water or milk. Since the coffee is cold, you can serve it over ice.
Although iced coffee and cold brew coffee are both cold, they differ in several ways; first, they have different preparation methods, caffeine content levels, and tastes. Knowing how to prepare them and their health benefits; will help you choose the best one for you according to your preferences.
In this article, I will discuss the differences or similarities that exist between iced coffee vs. cold brew coffee.
Is Cold Brew Just Iced Coffee?
Cold brew is not just iced coffee; it takes time to prepare it compared to a regular iced coffee with a straightforward preparation method.
You have to soak the ground coffee in cold water for twelve hours or more and filter the grounds to get a coffee concentrate.
This concentrate is more robust than regular coffee, and you can dilute it with hot water, milk or serve it over ice.
If you are a cold brew fanatic but are short of time, don’t worry, you can find several brands of pre-made cold brew from a grocery store or outlets.
Some of the common brands available in the market include Starbucks, Califa farm, Chameleon cold brew, among others.
Apart from being convenient for busy folks like you, these bottled cold brews have stood the test of time for their bold flavor.
Is Cold Brew or Iced Coffee Healthier?
Coffee is produced from coffee cherry seed which is rich in oxidants. Therefore, when roasted, the antioxidant and inflammatory properties increase significantly.
Generally, coffee has many health benefits, but here I will share some of the cold brew health benefits. They include the following:
One of the significant reasons you should drink a caffeinated cold brew is to lower the risks of type 2 diabetes.
Research showed that people who drink at least a cup of this stimulant beverage are not likely to suffer from type 2 diabetes.
So why should you prevent type 2 diabetes? This type of diabetes can trigger other health problems such as heart attacks and kidney diseases.
While cold brew is sweet, the caffeine content present is believed to suppress hunger feeling a little, making you eat less throughout the day.
The reduced hunger level will result in fewer calories throughout the day hence lowering the chances of obesity and other related health issues like high blood pressure.
Boosts Mental Health
The presence of caffeine is another health benefit of the cold brew; it improves your mental health and physical performance.
Other health benefits of caffeine in cold brew include improved memory and focus that makes you feel motivated.
Caffeine is a stimulant that affects mental focus and daily performance. It also increases adrenaline and noradrenaline hormones that respond to fights by increasing heart rate and glucose level.
Once you take caffeine, these hormones increase, helping physical performance such as athletics. They also make you feel stronger and improve your overall productivity.
Reduces Stomach Problems Related to Coffee
Although the nutritional value of both iced coffee and cold brew is the same, cold brew has a lower acidity level which is gentler to the stomach.
In addition to low acidity levels, cold brew is less bitter, so you do not need much sugar that might irritate your stomach.
Prolongs Life Span
Most deaths are caused by high blood pressure, kidney failure, heart attacks, and other health complications.
Taking cold brew coffee lowers the risks of these diseases, living a healthier life, hence low chances of pre-mature death.
In addition, the study has it that if you drink a cup of coffee daily, you will be able to increase your days by 15%.
Source of Antioxidants
Coffee is an antioxidant superstar; it fights inflammation, an underlying cause of common chronic diseases.
The antioxidants also help neutralize free radicals found in metabolic function. In addition, chlorogenic acid, an antioxidant found only in coffee, helps prevent cardiovascular disease.
Researchers have linked coffee consumption with low chances of depression in both genders. It is believed that caffeine boosts neurotransmitters used to control mood.
Studies have shown that coffee drinkers have only a twenty percent chance of developing depression.
Is Cold Brew Sweeter Than Iced Coffee?
The preparation method of cold brew involves steeping the coffee ground in water for twelve hours.
As a result, the coffee oils, sugar, and caffeine extracted from the coffee grounds are less acidic and bitter than iced coffee. The many hours that the coffee sits in water also produce a tasty and robust flavor.
On the other hand, iced coffee has a bitter taste due to roasting or extraction.
Some of the reasons for bitterness in iced coffee include a high level of coffee roasting, type of coffee used, over roasting, stale coffee, taste bunds, and temperature.
Most people do not like the bitterness in the iced coffee, and as a result, they add sugar to the coffee to taste.
However, if you are a coffee drinker, you can make a less bitter coffee if you use fresh beans, the correct type of beans, brew fresh, fix extraction, and consider adding sweet diary or salt to your iced coffee to give it a taste.
Which Has More Caffeine Cold Brew or Iced Coffee?
Cold-brew is more caffeinated than iced coffee with 12.5mg per oz, while iced coffee has 0.38 mg per oz.
If you take this caffeinated beverage regularly, you will likely have improved mood, a lower likelihood of depression, and stimulated brain function.
The caffeine content also prevents diseases such as Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s.
Although there are many benefits related to caffeine in coffee, its overconsumption is harmful to your health.
Some of the health problems related to overconsumption of caffeine include heartburn, high blood pressure, and low born density.
If your body gets used to caffeine, discontinuing its consumption can cause withdrawal symptoms such as dizziness, headache, anxiety, etc.
Numerous factors affect the level of caffeine content in coffee, which includes:
There are four primary types of coffee beans: Arabica, Robusta, Liberica, and Excelsa. Robusta is less costly because they are cheap to grow, but they tend to be bitter.
On the other hand, arabica has a fruity taste but has high acidity levels; they are also expensive to purchase due to the high cost of production.
Type of Roast
There are two types of roasts, light and dark roast, and it is believed that the dark roasted beans are more caffeinated than the light roasted.
Note that the roasting time does not affect the caffeine content in the coffee but the mass of the beans. Therefore, the dark roasted beans are more caffeinated than the light roasted.
The Brewing Method
Methods that have high extraction levels produce a highly caffeinated coffee. Here are some of the brewing factors that affect the caffeine content in your coffee.
They include grid size, water temperature, time, and the brewing method.
Does Cold Brew Taste Different?
Cold-brew has a smooth and sweet taste, unlike iced coffee, bitter. Here are reasons for the taste difference between iced coffee and cold brew;
Hot water takes a short time to extract coffee from the ground producing the bitter and acidic end product.
Cold-brew uses coarse grind, while iced coffee uses different grind types depending on the brewing method.
The coarser the grind, the more it is likely to produce more flavor to your brew after soaking, but even a fine task can produce a strong flavor when water is forced through it; an example is an espresso.
Different roasts, such as dark roast or light roast, have different flavors. For example, a light roast will give you a more acidic mellow flavor, while a dark roast will produce a less acidic bolder taste drink.
Therefore, using a dark or light roast will result in different tastes and flavors.
Some people mistakenly think that you only drink cold coffee during summer, but if you want all the health benefits related to coffee, cold brew, or iced coffee, you need to take it all year round.
It will help you maintain fitness and healthy life, and above all, you will always feel motivated and energized.