This is a tough time of year for me. It’s a time of transitions, a time of letting go one thing and embracing another. Every October, I am faced with the question, how cold does it have to get before it’s time to make the switch from iced coffee to hot coffee? Or how long can my hands hold out until the temperature outside makes holding a cup full of ice excruciating?
And the reason why this is such a difficult switch for me to make is simple: iced coffee is better than hot coffee. And I mean that to be a blanket statement. I don’t care if we’re talking regular brewed coffee, a latte, some peppermint peanut butter raspberry mega-mocha thing, or, my favorite, an Americano; it’s better when it’s cold. Or at least, I think it is. Here’s why:
- I am impatient, and I don’t like paying someone to hurt me. If I buy a cup of coffee, I want to be able to drink it when it’s handed to me without get my tongue seared in the process. There’s no waiting game with iced coffee. It’s ready for injury-free consumption as soon as it hits the counter.
- I don’t want sweet coffee. I want coffee with sugar in it. And yes, there’s a difference. Sweet coffee is when you add sugar to hot coffee and all of the sugar melts making it, well, sweet. Coffee with sugar in it is when you add sugar to iced coffee and the sugar is dispersed throughout without melting, giving your beverage a grainy, deliciously uneven texture. (Users of simple syrup, you are missing out.)
- Coffee is mostly water. And water tastes better when it’s on ice. Hot water is just a vessel for holding other stuff, like tea (also better iced). Iced water can also serve as a vessel, but since it is robust enough to stand on its own, making iced beverages bolder than hot ones.
- Iced coffee is the gift that just keeps giving. You know at the end of action movies, when they’ve “killed” the bad guy, but it turns out he’s not totally dead and the good guys need to kill him again, this in a definitive way (like by blowing him up) so that that you, the viewer, understands he’s not coming back? Iced coffee is like that bad guy, only instead of trying to kill the good guys, it’s giving them a little present. Here’s the scientific explanation of what I’m talking about: coffee gets trapped between ice cubes where the straw can’t get to them making it seem like the you’re finished. However, fifteen minutes later, when the ice has melted freeing these pockets of coffee, you get an EXTRA SIP! Meanwhile, with hot coffee, it’s one and done. There is no after party.
So now you understand why I get so sad when the weather forces me to trade in iced coffee for its far inferior heated cousin.