Iced Coffee vs. Cold Brew: Is There Any Difference?

glass cup filled with ice latte on tabletop

While they might sound like the very same thing, there is a difference between ice coffee and cold brew! And the truth is, it comes down almost entirely to temperature.


True ice coffee is brewed hot and poured over ice. This means that the oils are extracted by the hot water during the brewing process and diffused, leaving a more acidic and bitter flavor.


Ice coffee can be made much more quickly than cold brew, making it a great option in a pinch. But once brewed, the coffee should be left to cool down in the fridge, or it will melt the ice and become watery.


Cold brew is made by steeping coarse-ground coffee in water for 12-24 hours. The brewing process can take place in the fridge or at room temperature. Afterward, a cold brew is good to keep for two weeks.


There is no heat during the cold brew process, so the oils remain intact, making for a creamier and more balanced flavor. Less acidity can be easier on the stomach, and since it is smoother, there is less impulse to add high-calorie milk and sweeteners.


Whether opting for ice coffee or cold brew, cold coffee is always delicious on a hot day or all year round. Both options would be great with quality beans from Fatemi Coffee.