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Iced Coffee: What’s the Difference Between Iced Coffee, Toddy and Nitro?

Summer is officially here and no matter where you are (but especially in humid Cincinnati!), a nice cold coffee drink is exactly what you need to survive the heat.

We won’t lie: cold drinks can be confusing. So what really is the difference between cold brew, iced coffee, Japanese iced coffee, and even the new nitro-coffee method? Well, here’s your answer:

Cold Brew (Toddy): As the name suggests, “cold brew” coffee is brewed using cold or room temperature water and is left to steep with coffee grounds for 12-24 hours. The result is a much smoother cup of cold coffee with less acidity and bitterness. You also tend to get more fresh, herbal or vegetal flavors from cold brew versus the sweet brewed aromas that result from a hot brewed cup of coffee. The water to coffee ratio is much higher in cold brew, which is why it may be considered stronger or having a bolder taste.

Iced Coffee: Simply put, iced coffee is made by cooling hot coffee and pouring it over ice. As with freshly brewed hot coffee, this chilled coffee will tend to be brighter in acidity and slightly bitter. One reason for this is because of the oxidation process involved in coffee and how it changes in flavor over time. The application of heat in this process will always lead to the extraction of bright acids in coffee and sometimes bitterness, depending on how the coffee was roasted. In addition, one may consider iced coffee less strong because the water to coffee ratio doesn’t yield as rich of a concentrate. The results of iced coffee are not always as satisfactory, but this is subjective as everyone has different taste preferences. In comparison to the long soaking process involved in making cold brew, this is a quicker alternative that will still make an iced drink.

Japanese Iced Coffee: A Japanese iced brewed coffee uses traditional manual brewing devices like the Hario v60, Chemex or AeroPress. Coffee in this method is brewed hot, directly over ice, and results in a beautifully aromatic, perfectly chilled and balanced iced coffee drink. This differs from the aforementioned version of Iced Coffee because it is hot coffee that’s brewed with the intention to be served as cold coffee. Knowing the ice will slightly dilute the coffee, the brewing ratio of coffee to water is increased which results in a beautifully aromatic, perfectly chilled and balanced iced coffee drink. If you’ve ever experienced a perfectly crafted iced coffee, you’ll find the inviting aromas you would expect in hot coffee, only cold!

Nitro Iced Coffee: This is a new, emerging movement that has captured the eye of many coffee lovers who enjoy a bold, black cup. Nitro iced coffee is made by adding nitrogen gas into cold brew through a pressurized system. The best feature of this drink is that through the infusion process, the coffee becomes extremely creamy. At La Terza, we have just recently started brewing cold coffee using this method!

The History of Cold Brew

At La Terza, we are huge fans of cold brew, so let’s take a deeper dive into the history of the drink, and how to make it yourself!

The history of cold brewed coffee dates back centuries, as the drink was invented in the 1600s by the Dutch East India Traders. These traders were at sea for extended periods of time, forcing them to begin brewing coffee with cold water when they had no access to hot water. The result was a very bold, rich batch of coffee that lasted for many days.

 

How to Make Your Own Cold Brew at Home

Is has now become very easy to make cold brew at home. All you need is to get yourself a Cold Brew or Toddy Bucket. This normally comes with a glass decanter, strainer and brewing container, as well as brewing instructions. However, if you aren’t interested in purchasing the kit, simply put ground coffee into a bag and leave that bag in a pitcher of cold or room temperature water to steep for 12-24 hours. Strain everything out and what you’ll be left with is a super rich and smooth cup of cold brew.

Our master roasters love making cold brew and experimenting with different beans. La Terza Roaster, Robert Mbabazi, says, “My main recommendation for which beans to use would involve choosing a bean to begin with that already has a low acid level; for example, a Pulp Natural or Natural Brazil. One of the main reasons people are enjoying cold brew is because of the low levels of acidity extracted from coffee using this process. These coffees tend to have heavy bodies, nutty flavors and a dark cocoa in the finish.”

 

Where to Get La Terza Cold Brew This Summer

Of course, you can always stop by our Roasterie in Lockland to purchase a fresh, iced drink, or check out a local farmer’s market this summer to grab one:

Farmers Market Schedule:

Wyoming Ave Farmer’s Market – Tuesdays, 3:00 – 7:00 pm

Blue Ash Farmer’s Market – Wednesdays, 3:30 – 7:00 pm

West Chester Farmer’s Market – Saturdays, 9:00 am – 1:00 pm

Hyde Park Farmer’s Market – Sundays, 9:30 am – 1:30 pm

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