Cold Brew Vs. Iced Coffee

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Cold Brew Vs. Iced Coffee

What is cold brew and how is it different than iced coffee?


If you are any sort of coffee lover, you have likely heard of a popular brewing method called cold brew. Cold brew coffee is exactly what it sounds like, it is coffee grounds steeped in cold, or room temperature, water for anywhere between 8 to 24 hours. While it is a recently popularized trend, this method of brewing coffee actually dates back to 17th century Japan known as “Kyoto.” The Japanese brewed coffee in cold water for hours, extracting every flavor from the bean. It is said they learned this method from the Dutch. 


Eventually, the method spread around the world through different trade routes. So, when did it get to the US? In 1960, a man named Todd Simpson invented the Toddy Brewing System after taking a trip to Peru and introduced to cold brew coffee, but it wasn’t until the 90s when coffee shops in America began making coffee concentrate for their blended drinks.


While brewing hot coffee dates back to the 15th century, it wasn’t until the late 19th century that coffee was chilled with ice after being brewed. In 1840s Algeria appeared the first iced coffee, the mazargan, or masagran. This became a popular drink to combat the desert heat. There are actually benefits to drinking coffee iced rather than hot. According to a study done by Toddy, cold coffee is up to 67% less acidic than hot coffee, making it healthier for your stomach and teeth. 


So, how do cold brew and iced coffee really differ? The main differences between cold brew coffee and iced coffee are the flavor profile and convenience. Since cold brew is made by steeping the grounds in cold water, there is a more complex flavor profile. Cold brew also requires little manual labor, so it is more practical for coffee shops to make.