cold brew vs iced coffee

Cold Brew Vs Iced Coffee, Differences and How They Are Prepared

When you think about iced and cold-brewed coffee, most people think they are similar. However, they have different preparation methods. 

For a better understanding, I will explain the differences between cold brew vs iced coffee. Also, you will learn how each is prepared and whether they have similar qualities. 

As you hop into your favorite café, it will be easy to order your drink confidently. Therefore, let’s get into action and see whether these two coffees are the same or different. 

Is cold brew and iced coffee the same? 

Before I answer it, let’s look at what each of these coffees entails. 

Iced coffee 

Iced coffee is no different from your regular hot coffee. It is prepared the same way, only that it is allowed to cool and then shaken over ice. 

The preparation is just like other types of regular hot brewed coffee. But, instead of consuming it as a hot beverage, cooling and serving over ice makes it more refreshing. 

Although you can pour your hot coffee over ice, it can get over diluted. As a piece of advice, let your coffee cool before adding ice cubes. 

Does iced coffee have caffeine? The presence of caffeine depends on the type of coffee used. For regular coffee beans, your iced coffee has caffeine. However, decaf iced coffee doesn’t have caffeine. 

Cold brewed coffee 

Cold brewed coffee is different from iced. This one takes time to prepare and results in a more appealing flavor. 

The coffee is prepared by soaking coffee beans in cold filtered water for 12-24 hours.

Unlike espresso coffee, where beans need to be finely grounded, cold brews require coarse ground. 

The long time needed to make cold brew coffee makes it sweet. 

 difference between cold brew and iced coffee

What’s the difference between cold brew and iced coffee? 

These two types of coffee have pretty huge differences. From preparations to the final caffeine content, variations are easily noticeable. 

Method of preparation

The main difference is the method of preparation. Iced coffee preparation is faster. However, cold brewed coffee preparation process takes quite some time. 


The flavor in these two drinks is quite different. Cold brew has a smooth and less acidic flavor since the extraction period is extended and no heating is involved. 

On the other hand, iced coffee is a variation of hot coffee. This can lead to more acid and bitter taste. 

Caffeine content 

As you think about caffeine, you might wonder, does cold brew have more caffeine. A straight answer is that cold brew has a higher caffeine level

The main factor in this is time. Since cold brew has more time, it tends to have higher caffeine than iced coffee. 

By looking at the qualities of the two drinks, is cold brew stronger than iced coffee? You can confidently say cold brew coffee is a bit stronger. 

Owning it has more caffeine and intense coffee flavor; it’s an excellent option for coffee lovers. The good thing is you can enjoy cold brewed coffee as an iced version by adding ice cubes. 

Caffeine content is in cold brew Coffee and iced coffee 

Whether you love iced coffee or cold brew coffee, they all have caffeine. Unless you are using decaf coffee, regular drinks will contain caffeine. 

As we have seen, cold brew coffee has more caffeine than iced coffee. 

However, how much caffeine in cold brew? If you take, for instance, a 16 fl oz cup of cold brew coffee at Starbucks, it contains 205 mg of caffeine. On the other hand, the same cup, 16 fl oz of iced coffee at Starbucks, has 165 mg of caffeine. 

In this case, Starbucks iced coffee vs cold brew, you can see which one has higher caffeine. 

At Dunkindonuts, medium-sized cold brew coffee contains 260 mg of caffeine. However, iced coffee has higher caffeine at 297 mg for a similar cup. 

Unlike in Starbucks, Dunkin cold brew vs iced coffee is the opposite. However, many attributes result in caffeine differences between the types of coffees. 

Generally, there are many reasons why cold brew is stronger than iced coffee.

Why is cold brew stronger?

There are many reasons why the cold brew is stronger than the iced version. Some of the reasons you get more caffeine is due to the use of more coffee grounds. 

Preparing a cold brew requires a substantial amount of coffee to water ratio. This ensures a great-tasting and concentrated drink at the end of the process. 

Also, giving the beverage a longer time span means more caffeine extraction.

Cold brew and iced coffee pros and cons 

Cold brew coffee 


  • Has smooth taste 
  • Less acidic hence soft of stomach 
  • Higher caffeine levels 


  • Labor intensive 
  • Less coffee flavor taste 

Iced coffee 


  • Quick and easy to make 
  • It doesn’t need extra coffee beans 


  • More acidic taste 
  • Sometimes can be bitter


Whether cold-brewed or regularly prepared, coffee is great for giving the body a significant boost. With different ways to prepare, you can choose your path wisely to achieve your preferred coffee beverage. 

The caffeine content in cold brew vs iced coffee is different. However, it’s possible to enjoy your favorite coffee drink at home or in cafés. 

With every coffee explained in this guide, now you can order your favorite drink at peace.