Cold Brew vs. Iced Coffee: Your Ultimate Guide

Cold Brew vs. Iced Coffee: Your Ultimate Guide

Let's Talk Cold Brew vs. Iced Coffee: Your Ultimate Guide

Hey there, fellow coffee lovers! Ever found yourself on a hot day craving a cool, refreshing coffee but torn between an iced coffee and a cold brew? You're not alone. Let's chat about the differences, and while we're at it, let's dive into the world of coffee grounds too! (Yes they do go hand in hand!)

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

So, iced coffee and cold brew, they're the same thing, right? Not quite! Iced coffee is your regular hot coffee that's been cooled down and then served over ice. It's like your morning coffee decided to chill out, literally.

Cold brew, on the other hand, is a whole different ball game. It's made by letting coarsely ground coffee hang out in cold water for a good 12-24 hours. After that, you strain it, and voila, you've got a smooth, rich coffee concentrate that's ready to be served over ice. For those that like to grind their own beans Cult Coffee offers a versatile American Espresso whole bean found HERE


Same Grounds for Cold Brew, Can We?

Well, you could use any coffee grounds for cold brew, but the size of the grind can make a world of difference to your taste buds. Coarse grounds are the way to go for cold brew. Why? Because the long steeping time can make finer grounds overstay their welcome, resulting in a bitter taste.


Spotting Coarse Ground Coffee

Coarse ground coffee feels chunky, kind of like sea salt. If you're grinding your own beans, it's the setting on your grinder that leaves the biggest particles. Buying pre-ground? Look for labels saying "coarse" or "French press" grind.


Fresh Ground Coffee for Cold Brew, Yay or Nay?

Oh, it's a big yay! Freshly ground coffee is like a breath of fresh air. Coffee beans start to lose flavor as soon as they're ground, so for the best tasting cold brew, grind your beans just before you start brewing.


Fine Grind vs. Coarse Grind Coffee: What's Up with That?

Think of fine grind as table salt and coarse grind as sea salt. Fine grind is perfect for quick brewing methods like espresso, while coarse grind is your best friend for longer brewing times like cold brew or French press.


How Long Can Grounds Hang Out in Cold Brew?

The sweet spot for steeping cold brew is between 12 to 24 hours. Any longer and the coffee might start to taste bitter.


Can Grounds Overstay Their Welcome in Cold Brew?

Absolutely, they can! If grounds stay in cold brew for too long, they can over-extract and make your coffee taste bitter. So, remember to strain them out after the recommended steeping time.


Why Do We Love Coarse Grind for Cold Brew?

Coarse grind is the star of the cold brew show because it prevents over-extraction. The larger coffee particles allow for a slower extraction process, which is just what we need for the long steeping time of cold brew.


Does Finer Grind Mean Stronger Coffee?

Grinding coffee finer can make it taste stronger, but be careful, it can also make it taste bitter if it's over-extracted. The finer the grind, the faster the extraction. So, for quick brewing methods like espresso, a fine grind is your go-to.


Why Is My Cold Brew Acting All Bitter?

If your cold brew is throwing a bitter tantrum, it's likely because the coffee was over-extracted. This can happen if the coffee was ground too finely, steeped for too long, or if the water to coffee ratio was off.


The Golden Ratio for Cold Brew, What Is It?

The golden ratio for cold brew is generally 1 cup of coarsely ground coffee to 4 cups of cold water. But hey, coffee is personal! Feel free to adjust this to your taste. Some like it stronger and go for a 1:3 ratio, while others prefer a milder brew and use a 1:5 ratio. If you want to dive deeper into this topic you can read our other blog post HERE

So, there you have it! Iced coffee and cold brew, while both are delicious ways to enjoy coffee, they're different in their own ways. And remember, the grind size and steeping time can make or break your brew. Now, go forth and brew some delicious cold Cult Coffee!
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