Hot Drinks & Heavy Hearts

Now that the halfway point of the semester has passed and November is just around the corner, I, like so many collegiettes, have begun to embrace in full force all the trappings of autumn. The M&Ms in my candy jar have transformed from the bright colors of the standard bag to the falltime hues of what I can only assume is called the Harvest Collection. My dorm room floor is covered no more in discarded tank tops and sandals but in cardigans and boots. And my recycling bin is filled with the empty cups that held my pumpkin spice lattes and salted caramel hot chocolates, right?


You see, I am on a one-woman vendetta against warm beverages. Has a warm beverage committed some heinous offence against me in my distant past? No. Is the warm-beverage industry tied up in some deeply rooted social injustice? Not particularly. I just find warm beverages really, profoundly stupid.

I realize, of course, that I am almost entirely alone in this belief. Seemingly every self-respecting human being in America starts his or her day with a pipin’ hot cup o’ joe, at varying levels of pretension. The entire nation of England comes to an actual stop each day so its citizens can sit around sipping hot tea. And I will drink an ice-cold glass of lemonade in the middle of December.

Some may say that that makes me the weirdo. I say it makes me dedicated to my cause.

For I am not just impartial to warm beverages; I find them actively pointless. In the 1990s, Dairy Queen adopted as its slogan the phrase, “Hot Eats, Cool Treats.” This pretty much sums up my feelings on all things caloric. Food should be hot. Edible things that are not food should be cold. It’s not hard. Just as I would not want my soul-soothing plate of spaghetti to be served chilled, I do not want the refreshing drink with which I start my day or re-fuel between classes to be served hot. 

“But Sarah,” you say, “It’s so nice to hold that warm cup of coffee in your hands on a brisk winter’s day!” Have you ever tried holding a warm cup of soup? Having survived this thesis-y semester on Campbell’s products made in a microwave halfway across the dorm from my room, I can assure you that holding a warm cup of soup in one’s hands achieves the exact same thing – and if your beverage of choice is coffee, I guarantee the soup would taste better. 

On that note, in fact, let’s think about what kinds of beverages are served warm. First and most obviously, there’s coffee, a foul-tasting product made from a bean. Beans, of course, are quite typically a warm foodstuff, but in all cases other than coffee, they’re also just that: foodstuffs. Coffee, therefore, must only be warm because it’s made from something that should rightfully be a hot food, anyway. Then there’s hot tea, a beverage I’ve always found confusing for its proximity to leaves. If I wanted to eat leaves, I’d make myself a salad. Salad should not be a drink. And it also shouldn’t be warm.

The list goes on and on – hot chocolate, which should only be a thing when it’s a syrup on top of my ice cream, hot apple cider, which is just an offensive affront to all things apple – but the sentiment is the same. Warm beverages do not make sense, and I think it’s time we put a stop to them.

Tune in next week for part 2 of this series: “Sarah Is Unpopular!”