Cold Brew vs. Iced Coffee: Understanding the Difference and How to Make Both

Cold Brew vs. Iced Coffee: Understanding the Difference and How to Make Both

As summer heats up, the debate between cold brew and iced coffee becomes as hot as the midday sun. While both beverages provide a refreshing caffeine kick, they are fundamentally different in preparation, taste, and overall experience. In this guide, we gulp down what sets cold brew apart from iced coffee and share step-by-step instructions on how to make both at home.

What is Cold Brew?

Cold brew is a method of brewing coffee that involves steeping coarsely ground coffee beans in cold water for an extended period, usually between 12 to 24 hours. This slow extraction process occurs at room temperature or in a refrigerator. The result? A coffee concentrate that is less acidic, smoother, and naturally sweeter than its hot-brewed counterparts.

Key Characteristics of Cold Brew

  • Smooth and Sweet: The slow extraction process reduces bitterness, resulting in a smooth, sweet flavor profile.
  • Low Acidity: Cold brew’s lower acidity makes it easier on the stomach and less likely to cause heartburn.
  • Strong and Concentrated: The resulting coffee concentrate can be diluted with water, or milk, or used in various coffee-based recipes.

What is Iced Coffee?

Iced coffee is simply hot-brewed coffee that has been cooled down and served over ice. It’s quick to make and offers a more traditional coffee flavor, one that becomes somewhat diluted as the ice melts.

Key Characteristics of Iced Coffee

  • Quick to Prepare: Iced coffee is prepared using regular hot brewing methods, making it faster to prepare compared to cold brew.
  • Bold and Bright: The hot brewing process extracts the coffee’s full range of flavors, resulting in a bold and bright taste.
  • Variety of Recipes: Iced coffee serves as a versatile base for numerous coffee drinks, from frappes to iced lattes.

How to Make Cold Brew

Making cold brew at home is easier than you might think. Follow these steps for a flawless cold brew every time.


  • Coarsely ground coffee beans
  • Cold or room temperature water
  • A large jar or pitcher
  • A fine-mesh sieve or coffee filter


Combine one cup of coarsely ground Moo Crew Cold Brew with four cups of cold or room temperature water in a large jar or pitcher. Stir to ensure all coffee grounds are saturated. Cover the jar or pitcher and let the mixture steep for 12 to 24 hours at room temperature or in the refrigerator.

After steeping, strain the coffee through a fine-mesh sieve or coffee filter into a clean container. Discard the coffee grounds.

To serve, dilute the cold brew concentrate with water or milk to taste. Serve over ice, and enjoy!

How to Make Iced Coffee

If you’re short on time but still crave a cold caffeinated beverage, iced coffee is your go-to choice.


  • Freshly brewed hot coffee
  • Ice cubes
  • Sugar or sweetener (optional)
  • Milk or cream (optional)


Brew a pot of your favorite Fluffy Cow Coffee using your preferred method (drip, pour-over, French press, etc.). Make it slightly stronger than usual to account for dilution from the ice. Allow the brewed coffee to cool to room temperature. For faster cooling, you can place it in the refrigerator for 20-30 minutes.

To prepare, fill a glass with ice cubes. Pour the cooled coffee over the ice. Add sugar or sweetener if desired, and top with milk or cream for a creamy finish. Stir and enjoy!

Enjoy Your Favorite Cold Coffee

Whether the smooth, low-acidity taste of cold brew perks you up or you prefer the quick and bold flavor of iced coffee, both beverages offer satisfying ways to beat the heat while enjoying your favorite Fluffy Cow Coffee. Happy brewing!