What’s the Difference Between Iced Coffee and Cold Brew?

What’s the Difference Between Iced Coffee and Cold Brew?

Plus, 4 Cold Brew Recipes to Try Right Now!

Summer is almost here, which means cold coffee season is upon us! With warm summer temperatures the norm in Hawaii, we love cooling off with a cold and refreshing coffee. But when it comes to chilled coffee drinks, there are two main options: iced coffee and cold brew. So, what's the difference between the two? Let's explore and share some delicious recipes to try with Kauai Coffee.

iced kauai coffee

What is Iced Coffee?

Iced coffee is brewed hot and cooled down before being served over ice. This brewing method retains the more robust and brighter, acidic flavors of hot coffee, providing a different drinking experience than cold brewed coffee.

How to Brew Iced Coffee

To make iced coffee, start with your favorite hot brewing method. Brew the coffee at double strength to account for the ice dilution. Once brewed, let the coffee cool to room temperature before pouring it over a glass of ice.

cold brewed kauai coffee

What is Cold Brew Coffee?

Cold brew coffee is a method of brewing coffee using cold or room temperature water instead of hot water. This process involves steeping coarse coffee grounds in cold water for an extended period of time, typically 12-16 hours. The result is a smooth, rich, and less acidic coffee perfect for sipping on a hot day.

How is Cold Brew Different from Hot Coffee?

The main difference between cold brew and hot brewed coffee lies in the brewing process and water temperature. Hot brewed coffee uses hot water to extract flavors from the grounds quickly. In contrast, cold brew relies on time and cold water to extract flavors, resulting in a different flavor profile. Cold brew tends to be smoother, less bitter, and highlights chocolatey, nutty, and fruity notes that might not be as prominent in some hot brewed coffees.

How to Cold Brew Coffee

One of the best things about cold brew coffee is that you don't need fancy equipment or extreme precision to make a delicious batch at home. We recommend starting with a ratio of approximately 3/4 cup of coarse ground coffee for every 25 ounces (about 3 cups) of cold, filtered water. Here is everything you need to make the perfect pitcher of cold brew at home.



  1. Add 2 cups of coarse ground coffee to the pitcher.
  2. Slowly pour 8 cups of filtered water over the grounds.
  3. Stir the coffee gently until all grounds are saturated.
  4. Cover the pitcher and let it sit at room temperature or in the refrigerator for 12-16 hours. The longer your coffee steeps, the more concentrated it will become.
  5. After the desired steeping time, filter the grounds out of the pitcher and store the cold brew coffee concentrate in the refrigerator for 7-10 days.
kauai coffee cold brew prepared for a beach picnic. A bag of kauai cold brew coffee sits on a beach blanket with two jars of prepared coffee

Kauai Coffee for Cold Brewing

We love cold brew coffee so much that we created a unique 100% Kauai Coffee made just for cold brewing at home. This coarse ground coffee produces an extra smooth, rich, and flavorful cup of coffee with a hint of sweetness. 

However, many of our Estate Reserve and 100% Kauai Coffees are also excellent in a cold brew preparation. Try any of these for an authentic taste of Hawaii.

Estate Reserve Typica Medium is naturally sweet-toned with a delicately complex flavor and lingering hints of sweet berry. The ripe berry notes are elevated when cold brewed, making it an excellent choice for summer sipping. Pair with a fruity scone or muffin for a delicious breakfast combination.

Roastmaster's Choice McBryde Estate is pleasantly sweet with rounding hints of chocolate, dry berry, and floral notes. Do not wait; cold brew this bean immediately for a rich, dessert-like cup of coffee. You'll wonder how you drank anything else! Enjoy with chocolate-covered fruit or fruity candy on the side for a special afternoon treat.

Coconut Caramel Crunch is the perfect choice when you want coffee, but also dessert! Sweet notes of nutty caramel are blended with tropical coconut for a tropical taste sensation. Add a little chocolate syrup or top with whipped cream for an extra decadent treat. 

coconut caramel crunch cold brew

4 Cold Brew Recipes to Try Right Now

Can't get enough cold brew? Try one of these delicious recipes!

Creamy Coconut Caramel Crunch Cold Brew


  • 1 cup 100% Kauai Coffee Coconut Caramel Crunch Cold Brew
  • 1/4 cup lightly frothed milk or cream
  • Ice
  • 1 tablespoon chocolate syrup
  • Whipped cream (optional)


Pour 1 cup of 100% Kauai Coffee Coconut Caramel Crunch cold brew concentrate over ice and top with cold frothed milk. Add a little whipped cream and chocolate syrup for a decadent dessert.

blended kauai coffees sit on a table with the kauai coffee hula girl logo

Macadamia Nut Cold Brew Frappe


  • 1 cup 100% Kauai Coffee Vanilla Macadamia Nut cold brew concentrate
  • Hawaiian Macadamia Nut Milk
  • Ice
  • Optional: Sweetener of choice, whipped cream


Pour 1 cup of cold brew concentrate, ice, and macadamia nut milk into a blender. Add preferred sweetener to taste and blend on high until everything is smooth and creamy. Pour your frappe into a glass and finish with a pinch of Hawaiian sea salt and enjoy!

kauai coffee cold brew soda

Cold Brew and Soda


  • 1 cup 100% Kauai Coffee cold brew concentrate
  • 1/4 cup coconut water
  • 1/4 cup sparkling water
  • Ice
  • Optional: Sweetener of choice, mint, and lime wedge for garnish


  1. Pour the concentrate and coconut water over ice.
  2. Top with sparkling water and stir in optional sweetener.
  3. Garnish with a lime wedge and mint leaves. 
cold brew popscicles

Tropical Cold Brew Popsicles


  • 1 13.5-ounce can of coconut milk
  • 1 cup 100% Kauai Coffee cold brew concentrate
  • 3/4 cup cocoa powder
  • 1/3 cup honey
  • 1 cup coconut flakes
  • Chocolate sauce (optional)


  1. Combine the coconut milk, cold brew concentrate, honey, and cocoa powder in the blender.
  2. Pour mixture into popsicle molds and freeze for at least 4 hours or overnight.
  3. Remove popsicles from the mold, dip them into chocolate sauce and coconut flakes, and enjoy!
kauai coffee estate reserve

Savor the Flavors of Hawaii with Kauai Coffee

Now that you know the difference between iced coffee and cold brew and have some delicious recipes to try, it's time to enjoy a refreshing cold coffee this summer. Whether you prefer the smooth, less acidic taste of cold brew or the robust, vibrant flavor of iced coffee, Kauai Coffee is perfect for you. Don't wait to elevate your coffee game—visit kauaicoffee.com to shop our selection of 100% Hawaiian coffees and bring the taste of paradise to your home. Cheers to a cool and caffeinated summer!

TAGGED WITH: cold brew, hawaiian coffee, iced coffee, kauai coffee, recipe