Difference between cold brew coffee and ice drip coffee


The prevalence of Starbucks has driven the coffee craze among the younger generation. Under its hype, cold brew coffee has become an attractive coffee category.

Cold brew coffee is to add cold water to the coffee powder and leave it in a low-temperature environment for about 12 hours (including coffee powder). This method is similar to cold brew tea.

Ice drip coffee is made by dripping ice into coffee powder, extracting it drop by drop, and then fermenting the coffee liquid (without coffee powder) in a low-temperature environment for several hours.

The extraction speed at low temperature is slow, but because the high temperature easily decomposes the tannic acid in the coffee into pyrogallic acid, it causes sourness and bitterness. Compared with the coffee at high temperatures, the coffee extracted at low temperatures has a more mellow flavor. Therefore, the audience is large. Common cold-brewed coffee, iced American coffee, and iced coffee are all low-temperature products, but the preparation methods and flavors are quite different.

Cold-brew coffee

The cold brew coffee extraction process is to grind the coffee beans, add cold water, soak them in a low-temperature environment for at least 12 hours, and filter out the coffee powder before finally drinking. The brewing method of cold brew coffee can amplify the flavor and aroma of the coffee, reduce acidity, and make the coffee flavor cleaner and purer. The more iced the coffee, the better the flavor. You don't need to dilute it, and just add ice is already very attractive.


Adding nitrogen to cold brew coffee will produce dense bubbles, making nitrogen ice drip coffee look like a beer, so some people call nitrogen coffee beer coffee. In terms of taste, bubbles can make the coffee texture smooth, and it tastes as if it has been added with cream, which is more mellow than pure cold brew coffee, and even without sugar, it has a natural sweetness.

Ice drip coffee

Ice drops use a mixture of ice and water below 5 degrees C. Let the ice cubes melt naturally and let the ice drip into the coffee powder through the valve. The coffee powder slowly dissolves the coffee flavor under the ice dripping and then drips out the extract. The complete extraction time is 2-8 hours. Then pass 12-48 hours of refrigerated fermentation. In this way, the amount of each extraction is very small (usually 30-60 ml), and the concentration is high when no ice is added. If the coffee liquid is too strong, add ice cubes to dilute it according to personal preference. Because the speed of iced coffee is very slow, the price is very good, but people who have drunk it said that the taste is excellent. Compared with cold brew coffee, iced coffee is more aromatic and has a more delicate and subtle taste.


Iced American coffee is extracted from an espresso machine at high temperatures. Finally, the coffee liquid is poured on ice cubes, and then ice water is added according to personal preference. The flavor of ice cubes is the same as that of general high-temperature extraction coffee. The ice cubes have the effect of cooling and diluting.

Japanese-style cold coffee

Japanese iced coffee is not iced coffee, but it tastes better than iced coffee. The method is to put a cup with ice cubes under the pour-over coffee filter to directly cool the pour-over coffee extract. This method saves time and tastes good.

The taste of coffee extracted at low temperature is affected by many factors such as coffee roasting degree, water volume, water temperature, water drop speed, coffee grinding thickness, and so on. In general, the low-temperature extracted coffee tastes low in glycol and acidity, mild in bitterness, and more layered after fermentation. The disadvantage is that the special flavor that will be released at a high temperature cannot be obtained. Therefore, the choice of coffee bean varieties and roasting degree must be special note.

Finally, if you want to know more about coffee pots, you can refer to 15 Best Drip Coffee Makers.

4 tips for making coffee by refrigerating at home:

  1. The coffee beans should not be ground as coarsely as possible, and should be about the same thickness as breadcrumbs, and adjust according to the extraction time;
  2. The time required for ice brewing is 12-24 hours, 18 hours is the best drink; the extraction time of ice drip coffee is shorter, and the speed of dripping 1 drop of coffee per second is enough;
  3. It is not necessary to choose ice water at 0°C, just filter water below 20°C;
  4. If it is cold brewed coffee: filter out the coffee grounds and drink it.