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| For international shipping issues call 808-322-6712 or email for immediate help

What Is Iced Coffee?


What Is Iced Coffee?


When the sun starts blazing and the temperature climbs, the thought of a chilled, refreshing iced coffee becomes irresistible. 

At Buddha's Cup, we're all about embracing coffee in all its forms. So, what is iced coffee, and what does it taste like? 

Whether your heart beats for a classic black iced coffee or a sweet and spicy infusion, we're here to guide you through the options and ensure you experience iced coffee to the fullest.

The Basics of Brewing (Hot vs. Cold)

The process of crafting the perfect iced coffee involves two brewing methods: hot brewing and cold brewing.

These techniques yield distinct flavor profiles and textures that cater to different taste buds.

Hot Brewed Iced Coffee: Quick and Classic Method

Hot brewing, the common approach to brewing coffee with hot water, is familiar and straightforward.

With conventional coffee makers such as pour-over, AeroPress, or French press, you can make aromatic coffee, which is then cooled by ice.

However, this rapid cooling process might result in a slightly bitter or acidic taste due to the high-temperature extraction.

Cold Brewed Iced Coffee: Slow and Steady Extraction

In contrast, cold brewing needs a bit of patience.

This method involves steeping coarse coffee grounds in cold water over an extended period, typically spanning 12 to 24 hours. The outcome is a smoother, less acidic, and often sweeter coffee concentrate.

Cold brewing accentuates the intricate flavors of the coffee beans without the bitterness.

If you're willing to wait longer for a more soothing and refreshing cup, cold brew might just become your beverage of choice.

Flavor Profile Comparison: Temperature's Impact on Taste

The temperature at which coffee is brewed has a significant influence on its taste.

Hot-brewed coffee carries more acidity and bitterness, whereas cold brewing extracts fewer of these elements, resulting in a mellower and smoother flavor.

Opting for hot brewed iced coffee is perfect for those of you who love spirited and pronounced flavors.

Cold-brewed coffee has a gentler character, preserving sweeter and more delicate notes.

Hot Brewing and Chilling of Traditional Iced Coffee

Cold brewing rewards patience and precision.

To create a smooth and flavorful cold brew concentrate, follow these steps:

  1. Grind coffee beans coarsely.
  2. Combine coffee grounds and cold water in a container.
  3. Gently stir to ensure comprehensive saturation.
  4. Cover the container and allow it to steep in the refrigerator for 12 to 24 hours.
  5. After steeping, strain the mixture through a fine mesh sieve or coffee filter.
  6. Dilute the cold brew concentrate according to your preference, using water or milk.
  7. Serve over ice and relish the velvety, refreshing essence of cold brew.

Iced Americano (The Classic Espresso)

An Iced Americano is a typical choice for espresso enthusiasts, especially those who are after a cool and invigorating experience. 

To whip up this timeless creation, follow these easy steps:

  1. Brew a shot of espresso using an espresso machine or moka pot.
  2. Fill a glass with ice cubes.
  3. Pour the freshly brewed espresso over the ice.
  4. Add water to achieve the desired strength.
  5. Give it a delicate stir.

Here at Buddha’s Cup, we have all your gourmet coffee needs covered.

Iced Lattes and Mochas

Milk-based iced coffee variations, such as Iced Lattes and Mochas, offer a creamy twist to your coffee experience.

Sweet and Flavorful Infused Iced Coffee

For those who want to take their iced coffee experience to the next level, there's a wonderful opportunity to experiment with infused flavors. 

By adding spices, syrups, and extracts, you will discover a whole new world of coffee flavors.

Iced Coffee vs. Cold Brew

Now, the ultimate dilemma: iced coffee or cold brew? 

Brewed with hot water and cooled down, iced coffee retains familiar coffee qualities while giving a refreshing twist. It creates a well-rounded flavor profile.

Made by steeping coarsely ground coffee in cold water for hours, cold brew boasts a smooth, mellow taste with less acidity and bitterness. The steeping process highlights the beans' sweetness.

If you enjoy traditional coffee with a refreshing touch, opt for iced coffee. But if you're after a smoother, concentrated flavor with less acidity, cold brew is the way to go. 

Enhancing Your Experience

As you enjoy your iced coffee creations, here are some tips to make the most of every sip.

Creative Glassware and Presentation: Elevating Aesthetics

The way you present your iced coffee determines the overall experience, as it can turn a simple beverage into a work of art. 

By trying out different glass shapes, and sizes, and adding garnishes, you will create a visually appealing masterpiece that makes you love your drink even more.

Perfect Pairings: Matching Iced Coffee with Treats

Matching your iced coffee with the right treats is like creating the perfect blend of flavors. Choosing foods that complement each other will elevate both the subtle notes of your coffee and the taste of your snack.

Personalizing Sweetness and Creaminess: Customizing Flavors

Adjusting the level of sweetness and creaminess in your iced coffee is a skill that lets you create a drink that perfectly suits your taste.


As we wrap up our guide on iced coffee, one question lingers: What is iced coffee? It goes beyond being a simple beverage; it opens up a world of possibilities. 

It harmonizes age-old techniques with modern twists, creating a space where imagination and adaptability blend. 

Whether you prefer the richness of hot brewing, the elegance of cold brewing, or the indulgence of special blends, we encourage you to explore all avenues. 

If you’re in Hawaii, visit us for an immersive, educational Kona coffee tour and a tasting of some of the best Kona coffee available. 

We also ship our specialty coffee across the globe so you can experience the taste of Hawaii from your own home.

Get in touch with us today.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

What is iced coffee and how is it different from regular coffee?

Iced coffee is a chilled coffee beverage that's specifically brewed to be enjoyed cold. It's different from regular hot brewed coffee in terms of preparation and flavor. While hot brewed coffee is brewed with hot water and then cooled down, iced coffee is brewed using methods that preserve its smoothness and flavor even when served over ice.

What does iced coffee taste like compared to hot coffee?

Iced coffee tends to have a milder acidity and bitterness compared to hot coffee. Cold brew iced coffee, for instance, boasts a smoother and less acidic profile, with subtle notes of chocolate and nuttiness. On the other hand, hot brewed and chilled iced coffee keeps some of the familiar coffee flavors.

Do certain coffee beans align better with iced coffee?

Absolutely, choosing the right coffee beans determines your iced coffee experience. While personal preference plays a significant role, certain coffee bean characteristics tend to work well for iced coffee. Medium to dark roast beans are often a popular choice due to their ability to stand up to the cooling effect of ice without losing their essence. 

Can one introduce sweetness sans overpowering the drink with sugar?

Certainly! Achieving the perfect level of sweetness in your iced coffee without overwhelming the coffee flavor is a balancing act. Natural sweeteners and careful measuring are key to striking the right balance. Agave syrup, for example, is a low-glycemic natural sweetener that dissolves easily in cold liquids. Honey is another option that adds a touch of natural sweetness. 

What's the recommended technique for storing cold brew concentrate?

After the cold brew concentrate has steeped for the recommended 12 to 24 hours, strain it through a fine mesh sieve, coffee filter, or cheesecloth to get rid of all the coffee grounds. Transfer the strained cold brew concentrate to an airtight container. A glass jar or bottle works perfectly. Place the sealed container of cold brew concentrate in the refrigerator. When you're ready to enjoy a glass of cold brew, simply dilute the concentrate with water, milk, or a milk alternative to achieve your desired strength.