Cold Brew Vs Iced Coffee: Which One Is Better For You?

Iced coffee has always been the go-to caffeinated beverage to drink during the spring and summer months. However, the rising popularity of cold brew has created some competition for the classic drink. So what exactly is the difference between the two?

Iced coffee is just regular coffee served over ice (via Women's Health). That means it's brewed hot and chilled before it's poured over a generous amount of ice cubes. While the exact brewing process can vary, it is essentially a cold version of a regular, hot cup of coffee.

Cold brew, on the other hand, is made by steeping ground coffee beans in cold water for 12 to 24 hours. Unlike iced coffee, cold brew is never heated, making the flavor less bitter than its iced counterpart. "The cold brew method results in a lower acid solution with a natural sweetness and smooth dark cacao flavors and full body," Mark Romano, the vice president of education, quality, and sustainability at Illy, told Women's Health. Cold brew is also more concentrated than iced coffee. As a result, cold brew contains more caffeine than iced coffee.

Is cold brew healthier than iced coffee?

Since cold brew is less acidic than iced coffee, it may be easier on the stomach and digestive system. For people with sensitive stomachs, cold brew's lower acidity may be better for their gut health (via mindbodygreen). However, cold brew typically contains more caffeine than iced coffee, so if you're trying to cut back on your caffeine intake, iced coffee may be a better option.

Although cold brew and iced coffee have a few differences when it comes to taste, acidity, and caffeine content, they are nutritionally the same. Both iced coffee and cold brew contain powerful antioxidants and have been linked to a number of potential health benefits (via Well+Good). Both beverages may potentially reduce the risk of heart disease, diabetes, gout, Parkinson's disease, and uterine cancer. Since neither drink is any healthier or better than the other, whichever coffee you choose should be a matter of personal preference.