Coffee Connoisseur: Hot or Iced, Does It Really Matter?

​Anyone who knows me knows that I love coffee. I love all kinds: hot, iced, flavored, etc. I would even go so far as to call myself a coffee connoisseur, but that’s mainly because I love the alliteration.

“But Karisa,” you cry, “how do you, someone who is notoriously indecisive, decide what kind to get?”

Well my friend, I have a system; one that has never failed me to this day. And I’m about to share it with you, so listen close. ​It all has to start with availability. If the place where you are buying your coffee only has two flavors, then the decision is much easier. However, if you end up at a place like Wawa, which has a much greater selection, the decision gets a bit harder. At that point, I generally go for what I am craving. Am I craving French Vanilla? Or perhaps I just want a regular medium roast. Whatever I’m feeling that day is normally what I get.

If you’re going for the caffeine buzz and are of the belief that the darker the roast, the higher the concentration of caffeine, I would recommend you try something other than your go-to. When coffee is roasted at temperatures above 200°F, as they are in a dark roast, the caffeine actually starts to burn off. So while the flavor may be stronger, a dark roast contains less caffeine than, say, a medium roast. On the other hand, if you like the taste of a dark roast and need that extra bit of caffeine, you can try a French press or something similar. The longer a cup is brewed, the more caffeine can seep out of the beans. So, making your daily cup of Joe in a French press will yield you a stronger cup than a drip maker.

Now for the great, iced coffee vs. hot coffee debate. Everyone has their preference. Some stick to either iced or hot, no matter the season. Others only drink hot coffee in the winter and iced coffee in the summer. Or, if you’re like me, you drink whatever kind you feel like. First things first, let’s debunk some myths. Iced coffee generally does not have more caffeine than hot coffee. It may seem that way, but that may be because you’re drinking iced coffee at a greater pace than you would hot coffee. Therefore, you get a stronger jolt of energy faster. Iced coffee may end up having more caffeine if it is brewed differently or if additional caffeine is added, but the same can apply to hot coffee.

While I greatly enjoy both iced and hot coffee, I do tend to default to hot coffee. Many times it’s just more readily available than iced. There is a fun little website, though, that tells you if it’s iced coffee weather where you live. According to the site for Allentown, it is not. I’ll drink iced coffee anyway.