While both cold, there are huge differences between coffee brewed for an iced coffee as opposed to our technique of cold dripping coffee. These variations are in the process and resulting coffee flavour.
Brewing an ice coffee is a fast process where the coffee is extracted hot and much stronger than a regular coffee. This is to allow for the extra liquid when the ice melts.
This rapid and intense coffee extraction can result in bitterness. This is because at elevated temperatures this process will also extract bitter and acidic compounds from the coffee bean.
Cold drip is a 10-hour process which gently extracts flavour from the coffee bean.
Over this period chilled filtered water is slowly percolated through freshly ground coffee. The water flows through the coffee drip by drip, and then falls into a collection vessel.
We cold drip our coffee at 2 degrees and heat is never used in any part of the process. This results in a smoother, richer flavour, with less acidity and more sweetness than a hot cup of coffee. This is because the bitter and acidic compounds in the coffee bean are not extracted at the temperatures we brew our coffee.
This slow and gentle extraction has a massive effect on the final flavour of the coffee. This is because chilled water extracts fewer fatty oils and acids than hot water. This results in a less bitter and naturally sweeter coffee.
The cold drip process is quite technical. It requires precise control of water distribution, flow rates and temperature for the best results.
Open flames were not allowed on ships. So, the Dutch sailors of the 1600s had to find inventive ways to be able to transport and drink coffee on their long voyages.
They experimented with brewing coffee with cold water, and this is how the first cold drip coffee were made. This brewing technique was then introduced to the various countries the Dutch sailors travelled to over the years.
So even though it has a long history it’s still very much growing in popularity.
For these reasons above, cold dripping is generally considered the better method for producing coffee for iced drinks. Might need to celebrate with an iced coffee or even a tasty an espresso martini!