Which is the better choice, cold brew or iced coffee? Well, it mostly depends on what taste and caffeine level you prefer in a coffee.
They are definitely not the same, even though they may look similar. Some of the biggest differences include the brewing process, taste, price and caffeine level.
You should choose which one you prefer based on taste preferences, desired level of caffeine, budget and time restraints.
In this article, I break down the key differences between the two and which one to choose based on your personal needs.
Is cold brew coffee the same as iced coffee?
No, cold brew coffee is not the same as iced coffee. One of the biggest differences is that cold brew coffee is never heated up, which explains the name.
On the other hand, iced coffee is basically regular ole brewed coffee poured over ice to make it cold. This would explain its name as well.
Because of these differences, there are distinct differences in taste. Iced coffee will taste less strong and is often watered down by the ice.
Cold brew is less bitter and less acidic compared to iced coffee, which is why many people prefer cold brew vs iced coffee.
Is cold brew better than iced coffee?
It depends on your personal taste preferences, but most people prefer cold brew because it is less bitter and less acidic compared to iced coffee. It’s also a bit smoother.
That being said, iced coffee is weaker than cold brew, and some people may prefer that. Sometimes the coffee taste is a little too much, especially in the morning. But, I’m sure many people would disagree with me on that.
Does cold brew have more caffeine than iced coffee?
Yes, cold brew has more caffeine compared to iced coffee. 12 ounces of cold brew coffee contains about 207 milligrams of caffeine while the same amount of iced coffee contains about 136 milligrams of caffeine.
That makes cold brew coffee almost twice as strong as iced coffee. If you are looking for a strong morning cup of joe, cold brew coffee is the way to go.
Is cold brew healthier than iced coffee?
There have been many mixed opinions when it comes to the health benefits of coffee. While it can cause heartburn and acid reflux in some, there are some benefits to consuming a moderate amount of caffeine. Along with this, coffee contains some antioxidants which are beneficial for health.
This being said, there is some evidence to suggest that hot coffee has a higher antioxidant activity compared to cold brew coffee. Since hot coffee is used to make iced coffee, it may be a better choice if you are looking for a high antioxidant drink.
We still need more research to know for sure if iced coffee has higher antioxidant activity compared to cold brew coffee. But for now, the evidence points to iced coffee being the better option.
Other than antioxidant levels in coffee, it’s also important to note that what you add to the coffee will affect how “healthy” it is. But, in the grand scheme of things, what really matters is your overall diet pattern. You can add sugar and cream to your coffee as long as your overall added sugar and saturated fat consumption over the course of a day isn’t too high.
Is cold brew good for weight loss?
There are many claims out there that coffee increases your metabolism and helps you burn more calories, therefore resulting in weight loss.
It only increases your metabolism a small amount (about 3-11%) which is only a few extra calories burned per day. While it could lead to a small reduction in weight, most likely you won’t notice a difference.
If you are serious about losing weight, it’s best to speak to a dietitian and work on a plan to create a manageable and maintainable caloric deficit.
Is cold brew or iced coffee more expensive?
Cold brew is typically more expensive than iced coffee, whether you make it at home or purchase it at a coffee shop.
For example, at Starbucks, a tall iced coffee is about $3.45, while a cold brew coffee is about $3.95. This of course depends on location, but generally a cold brew coffee is more expensive than an iced coffee.
When you make coffee at home, it’s much cheaper, but cold brew is still more expensive than iced coffee.
48 oz of cold brew is typically around $6, which comes out to $1.50 per serving. On the other hand, 12 oz of coffee grounds is usually about $5–8, depending on the brand. This comes out to $0.29-0.47 per serving considering you can make about 17-12 oz cups of coffee per 12 oz bag.
If you are looking for the cheapest option, iced coffee is definitely the way to go.
What’s the better choice: cold brew vs iced coffee
As mentioned earlier, it depends on your preference for taste, caffeine level and budget.
If you are looking for something less bitter and acidic, want a high caffeine level and aren’t worried about how much it costs, cold brew is the way to go.
If you don’t mind the bitter and acidic flavor, want something lower in caffeine and have a small budget, iced coffee is the way to go.