Is it Too Chilly for Iced Coffee? The Cold, Hard Truth

Is it Too Chilly for Iced Coffee? The Cold, Hard Truth

Sean Michael
4 minutes of coffee drinking

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What is it about coffee that makes people so passionate? Besides the unparalleled flavor, the ridiculously awesome health benefits, and the strong caffeine kick, that is.

Despite the unique and varied benefits of coffee, coffee drinkers still manage to quibble, quarrel, and squabble over which form is the best.

Hot coffee? Iced? Black? Flat White? Cold brew? All of them are delicious—and all of them offer their own perks.

Still, the mere visual of a stranger sipping an iced coffee during the winter months can send even the strongest coffee fans into a frenzied, Reddit-posting rage.

But really, why should anyone be judged for their beverage temperature, regardless of the time of year?

Oh—I get it. They're probably thinking that ingesting iced coffee makes you feel icier, and they have to let you know about it.

Logic checks out.

But does the science check out?

Why Iced Coffee Can Still Warm You Up in Cold Weather

It's important to note that coffee helps you heat up, but not just based on how hot or cold it is.

In fact, believe it or not, you might feel warmer from drinking some strong cold brew or iced coffee with a lot of caffeine in it.

That's because, believe it or not, it's more the strong caffeine content in coffee that stimulates our metabolism and keeps us warm—not just its temperature at the time we sip it.

So believe it or not—you know what, at this point, let's just go with "believe it"—iced coffee can still help keep you warm during the cold winter months.


 Science seems to be inconclusive at this point, but from firsthand experience, I would suggest that iced coffee can definitely help keep you warm during winter.

Related: Can Hot Coffee Actually Cool You Down More Than Iced Coffee?

Of course, it's hard to discount the "perception" factor here—if you believe the warm thing you're drinking is going to make you warmer than the cold thing, then you'll likely feel warmer. So, you probably won't feel like drinking an iced latte on an absolutely freezing cold winter day, but if you crave a cold glass of strong iced coffee on a mildly cold winter's day, go for it. And if you don't, go for it. It'll be fine.

If nothing else, a cup of delicious iced joe can be a welcome break from the hot beverages that seem to become ever more ubiquitous as winter takes hold.

Believe it: iced coffee is here to stay. No matter what the Gregorian calendar says.

The Iced Coffee Cometh

If you're a strong advocate of iced coffee during winter then who are we to judge? After all, why should anyone police another person's food and beverage choices—especially if it helps them face the bitter cold that awaits them just outside the door?

Hot or cold, strong or strongest—no matter what caffeinated drink you prefer during wintertime, there's no need to make fun of the other side. Unless it’s decaf.

So whether you're a hot, cold, or lukewarm caffeinated coffee person, just do what makes you happy without worrying about judgmental looks from bystanders.

And feel free to remind them that temperature isn’t actually what matters here; it's the flavor, potency, and strength of your caffeinated elixir that really counts. And no one can argue with that—there are like three big words in that sentence!      

Let's remember that coffee is an individual experience—what works for one person might not work for another. In the end, it doesn't matter if you’re a coffee fan who loves a strong, caffeinated cold brew in Green Bay in December or a weirdo who enjoys a hot cayenne pepper flat white in Death Valley in July. Let's put an end to judging our fellow coffee drinkers and just accept that everyone has their own unique coffee preferences.

And the next time you see someone sipping an iced coffee in the middle of December, don't gasp with shock and offer them nothing but contempt and dismay. Offer them a warm smile and a nod of solidarity instead.

After all—strong coffee fans unite!

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