Cold Brew vs. Iced Coffee: What’s the Difference?

Hands pour two cups of cold brew concentrate into two iced glasses.

Cold brew and traditional iced coffee are not created equal – find out what makes them different.

It’s very likely that you’ve seen cold brew just about everywhere– at a coffee shop, restaurant, or grocery store – but you probably didn’t know that the origins of cold brew coffee are believed to go back to 16th century China. Do you know the difference between cold brew and iced coffee? Or that cold brews can vary widely depending on how they’re made?

Definition

Cold brew refers to the process of preparing the coffee, not the temperature of the final product. Beans are ground then soaked in room temperature water for an extended period of time, usually 12 hours or more. Chameleon soaks its beans for 16 hours to ensure the best and most flavorful cold brew coffee experience. The result? A super-smooth, less acidic, and highly caffeinated coffee that can be served hot or cold.

Iced coffee is brewed using hot water to extract flavor (resulting in a hot cup of coffee) which is then poured over ice – think flavor dilution.

Hands pour two cups of cold brew concentrate into two iced glasses.

Brewing Method

Cold brew is brewed by soaking coffee beans in cold or room-temperature water for 12 hours minimum to extract sugars, oils and caffeine.

Iced coffee uses hot water to extract flavor (resulting in a hot cup of coffee) which is then poured over ice.

Three espresso cups filled with coffee on a white blanket beside a bottle of vanilla Chameleon coffee.

Flavor

Cold brew contains half the acidity (due to its brewing method) resulting in a better taste that is easier on the stomach. The end product is smooth and chocolatey.

Iced coffee yields a thinner taste due to the melting ice.

Usage

Cold brew can be served hot or cold, with a splash of milk, as an ingredient or enjoyed straight.

Iced coffee can be served over ice.

A bottle of vanilla Chameleon beside a glass of iced coffee with milk pouring into it.

So… Why Chameleon Cold-Brew?

More Flavor

Chameleon Cold-Brew coffee has a smoothness that’s unlike any other brew. The extra-long brew time allows more flavor to enter the water, creating a more concentrated coffee with a less watered-down taste. Using this technique, we create a flavorful coffee that maximizes taste and minimizes bitterness.

Less Acidity

You will likely find that high-quality cold-brew is easier on your stomach and less prone to stain your teeth. That’s because Chameleon Cold-Brew’s coffee has around half the acidity of traditional coffee. During the prolonged steeping process, oils and tannins are released, resulting in a less acidic coffee filled with a smoother flavor.

Increased Caffeine

Because master cold brewers can reduce the amount of undesirable coffee characteristics (acidity, off notes, dull flavor), they can increase what many coffee drinkers want more of: caffeine. On average, a cold brew coffee yields twice (if not more) caffeine content than a regular cup! Chameleon Cold-Brew’s On-The-Go Coffees range in 150mg to 250mg of caffeine per bottle. Chameleon Cold-Brew’s Concentrate average 65mg of caffeine per ounce, undiluted.

Now that you’re hooked on our cold brew, let us help you start enjoying the buzz. Find Chameleon Cold-Brew near you!

Our Impact

Committed to Sustainability

Organic, consciously crafted cold-brew takes commitment. Beyond ethically sourcing specialty grade coffee beans, we embrace our responsibility to protect the places and people that grow our coffee and the planet we call home.