It was 46 degrees Thursday morning, October 17 (10/17 Day around these Atlanta parts), when I woke up and went to my local Starbucks to get coffee. I typically order a cold brew, and this was our first true cold morning of fall.
When I pulled up to the drive-thru window, the barista said she was curious if I’d be changing up my order with the changing of the seasons. But I would never, because cold brew and iced coffee are perfect year-round.
Don’t get me wrong. I can also enjoy coffee when it’s hot, but the benefits of iced coffee are too great to ignore. For starters, I prefer to be cold than hot. You can put on layers to get warm, but there’s only so much cooling down you can do when it’s hot. Not that coffee ever really makes me feel hot, but the preservation quality of iced coffee or cold brew is much greater than that of hot coffee.
If you leave an iced coffee or cold brew in your car during the fall or winter, it’s pretty much in the same condition that you left it, unless you live close to the equator. That can really come in handy some days if you’re out running errands and don’t want to bring your drink inside.
The most annoying thing about hot coffee is that if you don’t finish it relatively soon after you start drinking it, it doesn’t just go from hot to lukewarm — it gets dumb cold. The worst case scenario with iced coffee is that it will be as cold at its warmest as the hot coffee, and that’s not bad at all. I can still finish that without issue. The hot coffee turned cold, however, is a problem.
Here’s a solid visual counterpoint to drinking hot coffee:
Mike Leach cooling off his hot coffee while Mark Dantonio answers a question during the Holiday Bowl press conference is the best Mike Leach moment ever. pic.twitter.com/jN6QyuUhDS— (@SamAdamsTV) December 27, 2017
The hot coffee stans would argue a few things. One is that if you’re outdoors and drinking coffee, hot is a better option. (I guess?) But I still don’t necessarily buy that as long as I’m layered up and looking good. After all, the “now I can really start dressin’” memes when it gets cold outside are funny because there’s a lot of truth to them (like most good memes).
The strongest argument against drinking iced coffee and/or cold brew throughout the year, in my opinion, is that changing the temperature of your drink signifies the changing of the seasons. That first iced coffee or cold brew sip when the temperatures get warm definitely means more compared to just drinking it that way all year — I can’t deny that. It’s like how certain songs can bring you back to a very specific place. However, I’m going for consistency and convenience — and that lies within iced coffee and cold brew.
I texted my mom, a 15-year Starbucks All-Pro and future Hall of Famer about this take of mine. She said cold weather drives a lot of their business, and that people typically switch with the seasons. A point in favor of drinking hot coffee.
She also pretty much said it’s impossible for her to feel strongly one way or the other, because 1. she just loves coffee and 2. she’s seen it made, and made it, every way possible:
After 15 years I have no judgements — you want 18 Splenda in that coffee? Sure! 6 pumps mocha, six pumps white mocha, 6 pumps vanilla, extra whip and extra, extra, extra caramel drizzle in that tall non-fat mocha? Sure!
The job of Starbucks baristas is to make your drink exactly the way you want it, sure. But there’s also an understanding that coffee as a beverage has to be damn near perfect for a lot of people to enjoy it.
The most severe case of this was when my mom once told me there was a customer who wanted a single pack of sugar opened up over her cup of coffee, and whatever fell in is what she wanted because “it’s what God intended that day.”
So, yeah, get your coffee how you want it. All I’m saying is your life might be better if you get your coffee in its cold form all year long.