What’s the Difference Between Iced Coffee and Cold Brew?

And why most people prefer one to the other.

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For coffee drinkers, warmer weather signifies the much-anticipated switch from a hot cup of joe to a tall glass of iced. It makes sense, then, that a new trend in iced coffee is taking both coffee shops and grocery stores by storm: cold-brew coffee. The hype is nothing to scoff at: Starbucks reported a 20 percent increase in iced drink sales nationwide after it introduced cold brew coffee in stores, according to Bloomberg. But what sets it apart from traditional iced coffee? Here’s everything you need to know.

Iced Coffee: This is just what it sounds like: coffee that is brewed hot, poured over ice, and served cold.

Cold Brew Coffee: Coarse-ground coffee is steeped in room-temperature water for an extended period of time, the grounds are filtered out, and the result is a coffee concentrate that is mixed with milk or water and poured over ice. Because the coffee is never heated, the acids and oils that can give hot coffee its bitter taste are never released, resulting in a smoother sip. Getting thirsty? It’s incredibly easy to make at home. If you prefer tea to coffee, we have a cold-brew recipe for iced tea, too.