Wake Up and Smell the Difference: Iced Coffee vs Cold Brew

Wake Up and Smell the Difference: Iced Coffee vs Cold Brew

One of the best parts of starting UCB is having people try cold brew for the first time. If we're honest though, we're getting a lil' tired of hearing the iced coffee folks thinking they've already indulged!. Sorry to burst some bubbles… but iced coffee and cold brew are as different as you are in the morning before and after your first cup of coffee. But no worries; we're here to help you iron out this confusing caffeine conundrum.

Now, you may be thinking: how different could they be? Coffee is coffee, right? Wrong. While these may seem interchangeable, the differences in their preparation techniques and taste profiles can totally impact your coffee-sipping experience.

So, What's So Different?

To keep it simple, iced coffee is literally hot brewed coffee cooled down with ice cubes. This brewing method uses hot water to quickly extract the flavors, oils, and caffeine, from ground coffee giving you a bold, well-rounded coffee experience. (This process, while most popular, can also lend to a bitter aftertaste and acidity that's not so easy on the belly.) Adding ice makes it a cool refreshing beverage... but it also dilutes the coffee, making it watery after a while - so drink fast, or you'll soon get a very different-tasting coffee!

On the other hand, cold brew is made by steeping coffee grounds in room temperature water for a lil' bit ('bout 12-24 hours...give or take). Because this brewing method uses time instead of heat to extract those same components, you get a richer, smoother, and more complex flavor..contrary to what you'd get from an iced coffee.

Now, no hate or shade towards iced coffee because we def indulge...sparingly, but the superior taste and smoothness of cold brew are why we prefer this method over the other. You can add ice, creamer, milk..whatever...and the flavor of cold brew will still shine like stars in the night's sky!

But don't just take our word for itexperience the difference for yourself!

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