The Difference Between Iced Coffee & Cold Brew

Friday, August 18, 2017

Among iced coffee drinkers who have tried cold brew, 43% now prefer cold brew...

Among iced coffee drinkers who have tried cold brew, 43% now prefer cold brew. Because cold brew is brewed differently, it is an aromatic and packed-with-flavor alternative forcustomers looking for a refreshing cold beverage.1

Customers who have made the switch from iced coffee to cold brew believe cold brew is:

  • 53%: Not as bitter
  • 50%: Better tasting
  • 50%: Naturally sweeter
Cold brew coffee is made by steeping coarse coffee grounds in ambient or cool water for more than 10 hours to draw out the coffee beans’ complex flavors, then it’s filtered multiple times to create a smooth
texture. Cold brew is less acidic than hot-brewed coffee or iced coffee because it does not require heat to create. Bitter compounds are created when heat is introduced to coffee beans via hot water, so lower brewing temperatures alleviate the majority of that bitter flavor.2 Iced coffee is brewed in the same manner as hot coffee, then poured over ice. 
There's a difference between these cold coffee beverages2

Iced coffee:
  • Brew time: 10 minutes
  • High brew temperature
  • Hot drip brew

Cold brew:

  • Brew time: 10+ hours
  • Low brew temparture
  • Cold drip brew

Cold brew sells at a premium

Cold brew helps build check averages and attracts new customers; restaurants that run out of cold brew could miss these opportunities.4 The balancing act of time and money depends on the individual operator; however, a cold brew coffee concentrate allows foodservice establishments to offer up this distinctive beverage without worrying about training employees to create cold brew coffee from scratch.

Premium pricing for cold brew

  • Selling price of the average cup of iced coffee: 2.5$
  • Selling price of the average cup of cold brew coffee: 3$-4$

Master barista for Nestlé
Ola Persson

“With cold brew coffee, the mix of the coffee beans is so important. You need superior quality coffee beans to create cold brew.”



1. Datassential, CPP, 2015-2016
2. Givaudan Flavors, Why Explore Cold Brew Coffee? June 2016
3. Datassential, On the Menu, June 2015
4. Datassential, PULSE – Market Overview, May 2016