Cold Brew Coffee Vs. Iced Coffee – Is There a Difference?

This time of year, many avid coffee drinkers switch their usual order from hot coffee to cold coffee. Many people may use the terms cold brew coffee or iced coffee interchangeably as a way to simply describe a cold coffee, but did you know these two beverages are actually quite different?

We should clarify that while many consider iced or cold brew coffee a summer drink, we at 7 Corners Coffee are firm believers that you can enjoy the silky smooth taste year-round. Yes, even in the frozen tundra of the Coffee shops in Downtown Minneapolis!

When it comes to iced coffee vs. cold brew coffee the biggest differentiating factor is in how they are made. 

What Is Iced Coffee?

Iced coffee is simple. It is exactly how it sounds, regularly brewed coffee served over ice. This method is fairly quick and easy. All you have to do is brew coffee as usual, let it cool, and then serve it over ice. It can be good practice to make your brewed coffee for iced coffee extra or double in strength to prevent the ice from watering it down. Some even make ice cubes south of coffee to double up on flavor. 

What Is Cold Brew Coffee?

Making cold brew can be a more complicated or time-consuming process. The thing that makes cold brew coffee special and delicious is time. To make cold brew, coarse-ground coffee is steeped in cold water for at least twelve hours. The longer the coffee sits, the stronger the flavor. Since it tends to be stronger, serving cold brew with ice is okay.

Once it’s done steeping, the grounds are filtered out, leaving you with a coffee concentrate that can be mixed with milk or water and served over ice. Because cold brew uses time instead of heat to extract the coffee’s oils, sugars, and caffeine, the end result is generally less acidic and bitter and more smooth and rich than iced coffee.

What Is Nitro Cold Brew?

Nitro cold brew is new to the cold coffee scene in the last few years and has rapidly grown in popularity. Nitro cold brew is cold brew coffee that has been infused with nitrogen gas through a pressurized valve. Much like regular cold brew coffee, nitro cold brew is known for its sweetness and low acidity. The added nitrogen creates a frothy layer at the top of the drink, similar to some beers. The smoothness of cold brew coffee combined with the silkiness of the top frothy layer creates an amazing taste and texture.

Cold Brew Coffee in Downtown Minneapolis

Now that we have reached spring and summer in Minneapolis, the Cold Brew and Nitro Cold Brew on our coffee menu at 7 Corner Coffee is growing in popularity. If you are looking for a cool and refreshing beverage this summer, stop by our Minneapolis or Eden Prairie locations.

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