Cold Brewed Coffee: Immersion Cold Brew Versus Cold Drip – What’s the difference?

Summertime is in the air, and you’re looking for a solid choice for your caffeination sensation to keep that heat in check. Let us help you make a better choice.

Immersion cold-brew and cold drip, are quickly gaining popularity, and frappes, iced coffees and long blacks are in the past.

You’re on the right track thinking of a cold caffeinated beverage instead of your usual latte order, but which one do you choose?

Let’s dig deeper to find out how these two summertime champions differ so you can make a better choice.

What is immersion cold brew coffee?

Cold Brew Coffee

As the name suggests, immersion cold-brew uses a total immersion or full immersion technique where coarse coffee grounds are immersed in cold water. Unlike its hot counterparts that use heat to accelerate the extraction process, cold brew extracts oils, acids and caffeine at a much slower rate – so you’ll want to leave the coffee grounds submerged for at least 18 to 24 hours).

After you’ve hit your desired flavour profile, you’ll need to filter the coffee to remove the solids to get a crisp and clean cup. Note: your choice of filter will make a big difference to the final result. A metal filter will allow more oils to come through, while paper filters will remove some of the oils and give you a cleaner body.

This immersion-style tends to work best at producing a coffee concentrate, rather than a ready to drink coffee. This means that you can dilute the coffee concentrate with water, add ice, or you can even get super creative with it by adding your favourite milk, tonic or even soda to create excellent coffee cocktails. If you’re not a fan of the bitter flavours of your morning cup of coffee, you can even heat up the cold immersion brew to make a less bitter hot coffee experience.

Tip – The extraction times of cold brew will depend on your water temperature. If you are putting your coffee and water mixture in the fridge to brew overnight, you’ll find that your cold brew will require more time to produce a strong flavour. However, if you brew in room temperature (say on your kitchen counter), the mixture will require less time to achieve a full-bodied taste.

What is cold drip coffee?

Cold Drip Coffee

The cold drip method is a somewhat more cumbersome and a less accessible brewing process when compared to immersion cold-brew. Instead of full immersion of the coffee ground, cold drip coffee uses a pour-over style technique by introducing an apparatus or “drip tower”. The drip tower allows the iced water chamber to drip slowly over freshly ground coffee.

The extraction time is controlled by how fast, or slow the dripper is set and also how fine or coarse the coffee grind size is. As the chilled water slowly drips onto the coffee grind in the next chamber, the ground coffee will absorb each drop of water. Once the coffee becomes saturated enough, you’ll see it starting to drop into the separate vessel at the bottom of the tower. The whole process can take anywhere from 5 to 12 hours.

The result? Also a super-smooth, less acidic and highly caffeinated coffee (when compared to its hot counterparts). When compared to cold brew, cold-drip is usually lighter, brighter and has less caffeine content that you can drink served black and on ice. While you can brew coffee concentrate, it can be challenging to achieve the same bold flavours you’d gain from immersion cold-brew.

Which cold brew should you choose?

Cold Brewed Beyond

Well, the honest answer here is that it’s totally up to you – you can’t go wrong either way.

If you’re a type of person that prefers a hands-off style brewing method that allows you to make a creative array of coffee drinks, such as, iced coffee, coffee tonics, coffee sodas), then immersion cold-brewing is excellent for you. Plus it also tastes great black on ice, with milk or even heated up πŸ™‚

However, if you get your kicks on being a hands-on brewer, then cold drip brewing is excellent for you. You’ll enjoy a rich and balanced cold brew coffee in a quicker time frame, that is less intense but very rewarding.

The answers should be becoming more apparent now – so which one will you choose? The bold, forgiving and lengthy immersion cold-brew method- or the hands-on, stylish and lighter cold drip method?

Whatever method you choose both are solid choices for summertime coffee vibes. They’ll give you a mellower, less acidic brew which is not only a sweeter, lighter and more refreshing than their hot counterparts. If you’d like to get into cold brewing coffee. Beyond Coffees’ brew bags offer an inexpensive way to get high-quality results.

Check out to learn more.

Cold Brewed Beyond
Beyond Coffees’ brew-bags can be brewed either hot or cold.

Until next time,
Stay caffeinated!

Posted in Brewing Guides and RecipesCoffee Knowledge

Jon O'Neill    
Written by
Jon O'Neill    20th Sep 2020

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