In this transitional season, sometimes rainy and sometimes hot, there is one drink that sounds refreshing: Cold Brew. But should we choose Cold Brew or Iced Coffee? And what’s the difference between these two throat-refreshing coffee drinks?

In this article, we will talk about cold coffee drinks. From brewing methods to flavors, we also look at the differences between these popular coffee drinks. Cold Brew and Iced Coffee, what’s the difference? Let’s see the explanation below!

Cold Brew and Iced Coffee

How are these two drinks made, what makes them different? The main difference between Iced Coffee and Cold Brew is how each drink is prepared and served. As the name suggests, Iced Coffee is regular brewed coffee that is cooled using ice. To make it, you just need to brew hot coffee as usual. You can refrigerate this hot coffee or brew it directly on ice. While Cold Brew is a coffee drink brewed using cold water. Cold Brew is made by steeping coarse coffee grounds in cold water for 8 to 24 hours.

But what exactly happens in the brewing process of these two drinks, and how do they come out with such different flavors? It turns out that the difference in time and temperature greatly affects the final result of the coffee.

Cold brew is everywhere, from small coffee shops to multinational cafes. The principle of making it is very simple, that is, coffee is brewed with cold water, not hot. Since heat aids in extraction, cold brew needs to be balanced by dramatically increasing the brewing time.

Cold Brew will always require hours for optimal extraction. Despite that, Cold Brew still cannot achieve the same level of extraction as hot extraction. The extraction results are also very different from other types of coffee drinks.

Coffee made with the Cold Brew technique has a ph value of 6.31 pH. This coffee is suitable for those of you who don’t like acidic levels in coffee because the pH is higher than coffee brewed with hot water. This makes Cold Brew taste more chocolaty and malty than coffee brewed with hot water.

Let’s discuss one by one the factors that could explain the cause of this difference.


The process of shaping the character and flavor of a coffee drink, known as “extraction”, is influenced by a myriad of factors. However, what stands out the most is time.

From the previous explanation, we know that Cold Brew uses a long steeping method that lasts from 8 to 24 hours. Forbrewing, either plain water at room temperature or cold water is generally used. This is also what distinguishes Cold Brew from regular coffee, Cold Brew coffee is never exposed to heat (temperature) so it does not extract the acidity character of coffee. In addition, the results of cold brew tend to feel lighter and more distinctive.

As for making Iced Coffee, it is simpler, almost the same-even the same-with brewing the usual Manual Brew style. After regular brewing with hot water, the coffee will be cooled by adding more ice cubes to it. Alternatively, you can use the Japanese Iced Coffee method, which is to brew directly onto a server that has ice cubes added to it.

Because it is brewed like a normal Manual Brew , this method also uses hot water-but at a less extreme temperature. The flavor is generally slightly bitter and more full bodied compared to Cold Brew.


The right water temperature depends a lot on the coffee drinker’s taste-what kind of coffee do you want? Bitter, sweet, sour, flat, or what?

What is more important to understand is the effect of coffee temperature on the flavor of the coffee, so that people don’t fall into the trap of thinking that certain water temperatures are better than others. Because everything is relative. It depends on the type of coffee, the roasting profile, the water quality (pH, TDS, etc.), and most importantly what kind of flavor you want to achieve.

The higher the temperature of the water used to brew coffee, the higher the extraction rate.

Usually, coffee drinkers who enjoy the bitter taste will brew their coffee with boiling water temperature. Because the higher the water temperature, the higher the extraction. We know the term“over-extracted” for a level of extraction that is too high or excessive. And one of the characteristics of over-extraction in your coffee is excessive bitterness.

So, if you feel that your coffee has been too bitter and you want to reduce the bitterness, one of the ways you can do this is by lowering the water temperature. But if the temperature of the water you are using is already very low (e.g. 50 degrees Celsius), and your coffee is still too bitter too, then the problem is not with the water temperature. Problems can come from the coffee beans, the roasting profile, the brewing technique, and even the quality of the water itself. If you don’t want a headache, just add sugar.

According to the National Coffee Association, the best water temperature in making coffee is 195 degrees Fahrenheit to 205 degrees Fahrenheit or 90 – 96 degrees Celsius. Professional baristas agree that the ideal water temperature range for brewing coffee is 85 – 95 degrees Celsius. But some people usually use temperatures below 90 degrees Celsius when brewing with the Manual Brew method. It all comes down to individual taste. What is clear is that the temperature is never above 96 degrees Celsius because it will make the coffee taste bitter and the flavor in the coffee may be lost.

What does it feel like?

All these factors affect how quickly the flavor will come out of the coffee bean.

Cold Brew is low temperature, low pressure, and takes a lot of time. This is why the resulting flavor can be quite different from other cold coffee drinks.

cold brew and iced coffee
Cold Brew may also have more caffeine than regular Iced Coffee.

Cold Brew is delicate and complex, and is famous for its sweet and indulgent flavor that we all know and love. In addition to this unique flavor, Cold Brew may also have more caffeine than regular Iced Coffee. With a longer extraction time, more caffeine is extracted from the coffee beans.

And what does Iced Coffee taste like? With just hot water, extraction happens much faster, and the resulting flavor compounds are thick, bitter and sour. You will also find less of the typical mellow flavor and a more traditional coffee taste.


That was the difference between Cold Brew and Iced Coffee. In essence, the technique of making coffee with Cold Brew will be much healthier than regular Iced Coffee. You can also drink and try Cold Brew sold at various stores.

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Are you a coffee lover? It’s time to visit the KopiKita platform to find coffee from various regions in Indonesia at the best price.k.