Today, our motto seems to be “death before decaf” and we’re constantly looking for a way to get the most optimal caffeine kick possible. For a while, iced coffee was our go-to for a refreshing way to kick start our mornings. But when cold brews came into the mix, coffee lovers everywhere were questioning the difference between the two. It’s time that the cold brew vs iced coffee debate is settled, once and for all.

Iced Coffee

Our original go-to for a cold, caffeinated beverage: iced coffee. A fan favorite for so long, iced coffee faces some serious competition with cold brew in the game. This is because the method used to make iced coffee results in the bitter taste that we hide by adding milk and sweeteners. Unfortunately for us, that also means adding calories.

Iced coffee is simply normally brewed hot coffee that's been cooled and poured over ice. The high temperature that the coffee is brewed at brings out the acidity in the drink. In terms of caffeine, iced coffee tends to be so watered down that you’re getting more of a sugar rush from the sweeteners than a caffeine kick from the coffee.

Cold Brew

The new player in the coffee world is the cold brew, a less acidic coffee with chocolatey and nutty notes. The most important part of the cold brew is the technique used to make it. Coffee grounds are soaked in room-temperature or cold water for hours, and sometimes even days. The liquid is then drained and stored (if you’re feeling trendy, mason jars are the way to go). This helps create a more concentrated source of caffeine with a natural sweetness.

Since the grounds are steeped, the coffee isn't as watered down as it is in iced coffee. The best part about this technique is that the freshness of the grounds doesn’t matter. The method doesn’t take away from the flavor and caffeine of the coffee. If you’re looking for a less acidic way to enjoy cold coffee, give this brew a try.

So, depending on your need for caffeine, the decision between cold brew vs iced coffee will continue forever. Whether you need an infinite amount of caffeine to get you through the day, or are looking for a sweet and delicious drink, cold brew and iced coffee will always be there for you. Next time you need to choose a brew, you’ll know what to do.