Although they are both served cold, the similarities stop there.
Iced coffee begins with a hot brewed coffee that is poured over ice. (Hot brewing coffee releases the acids from the ground beans, so even served cold, you get the full flavor -- sometimes bitter -- and coffee aroma as a result of the hot brew.) Pouring the hot brew over ice may dilute those robust flavors.
Cold brew uses time instead of heat to steep the coffee so minimal acids are released. The cold brew is rich and smooth with a gentle natural sweetness.
Get our Cold Brew Coffee recipe.
When selecting coffee for a cold brew, choose a medium-dark roast, also referred to as a full-city roast, after-dinner roast, or a Vienna roast. Beans roasted to this stage have a fuller body and a nutty, chocolaty flavor. You may like some of the African and Central American coffees for cold brew. Whatever beans you choose, make sure they're fresh.
Got your beans? Here's the recipe:
Don't just DIY coffee -- you can make your own creamer too! It is cheaper (you probably own all three ingredients already), and you'll know exactly what you're flavoring your coffee with.
The Perfect Ratio:
1/2 cup cold brew + 1 to 2 tablespoons creamer + ice