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

Feature Photo Credit: NY Times

Summer has finally arrived!

For most coffee enthusiasts, now is about the time we switch from a warm latte to something a bit cooler & ice-filled. Iced coffee has been around for a while and is pretty self explanatory (coffee over ice) but what's this new, hip trend called cold brew? You've no doubt seen it in your local café or on the shelves in your supermarket, but what exactly is cold brew and what makes it different than your typical iced coffee? Below we'll discuss all of this and go into what makes cold brew the new "it" drink for coffee lovers! 

The best part? You can make it at home! All you need is a cold brew coffee maker or french press and oh yeah, some patience! The more patience you have, the better it's going to taste.

Check out Cliff & Pebble's best selling Cold Brew Coffee Maker

Iced Coffee

Iced coffee is simply that - iced coffee. Coffee over ice. Nothing fancy. Just brew up some coffee and serve it over ice.  

iced coffee cliff and pebble

Cold Brew

Cold brew is a completely different monster. It takes hours to create, can be served out of a tap (like beer), and is much smoother, sweeter & less acidic in taste than iced coffee. Cold brew is sweeping the nation and is without a doubt the "cool" thing in the coffee world. 

cold brew cliff and pebble


So what is a cold brew going to cost you at say Starbucks and Dunkin Donuts. Well, a decent amount. $3.45 at Starbucks and $3.19 at Dunkin. May not seem like a ton off the cusp but if you're spending that every day - it'll add up quickly! So, why not make it at home?

cold brew coffee maker

Making Cold Brew at Home

Step 1

Grind your beans using your burr coffee grinder. You'll want a pretty coarse grind for cold brew. 

Step 2

Using a french press, or just a bowl, add cold water. A very important step as this is "cold" brew after all, right? 

Cover and set in the refrigerator for 12 to 24 hours. Again, the longer the better. 

Step 3

Filter out the coffee grounds. If you used a french press in the step above, the will be easier. Otherwise, you'll have to get a little creative here but a simple pasta strainer works great here!

Step 4

Strain again with a damp paper towel. 

Step 5


Don't want to fiddle with all this? 

Invest in a cold brew coffee maker - starting as low as $79. In the long run, you'll save hundreds not going to Starbucks every day!


Cold brewIced coffee