Cold Brew vs. Iced Coffee: What's the Difference?

Ever wondered what the deal with cold brew is? Is it the same as iced coffee? If not, what even is the real difference? Worry not! King Bean is here to answer all your cold coffee questions!

pouring milk into a dark roast cold brew

First things first: What are they?

Iced coffee is made by brewing coffee using heat, for example a drip brewing machine. The coffee is then cooled down after the fact by placing it in the fridge or by adding ice. Sometimes this coffee is brewed with more grounds than you would usually use, this creates a hot brewed concentrate of sorts, then when this is mixed with ice it cools and dilutes it.

Cold brew is made without heat, instead coarse ground coffee steeped in cold water over a longer period of time. It is then filtered, and you are left with a cold brewed coffee.


Our Process

The process for cold brew here at King Bean begins with the roasting and blending of our beans. After roasting, our coffee never meets heat again, even the grinder we use is liquid cooled in order to ensure the friction of griding doesn’t get too hot. The coffee is coarsely ground and then brewed in a 450-gallon micro-brewing system where we keep the water below 40 degrees Fahrenheit throughout the brewing process. During the 18-hour steeping phase the mixture is intermittently agitated by an internal variable -speed mixer and recirculation pump to enhance extraction. After this steeping phase the cold brew is filtered using a .8-micron filter which creates a perfectly clear product. We take great pride in our cold brew and its excellent quality!


The Results

So now that we’ve covered the difference between the methods used to create
these beverages let’s address how this affects the end result. For one thing the
flavor is slightly different. Iced coffee tends to have a more traditional flavor profile like you would expect with a regular brewed cup of coffee. It is typically a little more acidic and is complimented well by adding sweetener, cream, or non-dairy milks.

Cold brew is considered smooth and richer in flavor and texture, with very low
acidity. It is a great way to really taste the subtle notes of coffee. With a natural
sweetness and creamy mouth feel many people do not feel it is necessary to add
much or anything to a high quality cold brew. This is enhanced further by the
addition of nitrogen to create the popular nitro cold brew beverage.

Here at King Bean we have two roast profiles available for our canned nitro cold
brew. Dark Velvet is rich, sweet, and indulgent with notes of dark chocolate and
black cherry. Light Velvet is bright, refreshing and light with notes of sweet
chocolate mousse and subtle citrus fruit. Our nitro infused coffee in a can is ready to drink. Shake and pour into a glass for a creamy cascade of fine bubbles and a frothy head or shake and drink straight from the can! King Bean Cold Brew has no
preservatives and is naturally sugar free, zero calorie and food allergy friendly.


Dig into the details:

Another way in which iced coffee and cold brew differ is in caffeine content.
Generally, iced coffee has around 140-160 mg of caffeine, the same amount as a
regular cup of coffee. Cold brew has about 170-200 mg of caffeine so there is a bit
of extra pep in your step when you drink cold brew! The longer brewing time means that more caffeine is extracted during the cold brew process.

Still curious?

Find your favorite today at King Bean online or come by our Roastery Shop in Charleston to try our cold brew!


Still Thirsty for more info?

Check out our sources:
What's the Difference Between Cold Brew and Iced Coffee? (
What's The Difference Between Iced Coffee & Cold Brew? — Iced Coffee Vs. Cold
Brew (
Iced Coffee vs Cold Brew | Bitty & Beau's Coffee (
Brewing Methods: Cold Brew vs Iced Coffee | Trade Coffee (
Cold Brew vs. Iced Coffee Caffeine | Moriondo (

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