Hot Coffee, over Ice?

Hot coffee, over Ice? Can it really be as simple as the temperature?

There seems to be a nostalgic aspect to choosing which coffee to enjoy, depending on the temperature. The taste has to be a factor for some. You either like it hot or not, but the temperature can be very persuasive.

Maybe some like more buzz for their buck. Iced coffee is not some regular brewed coffee, poured over ice. Often what a location does (Starbucks, McDonald’s, etc.) When making iced coffee is double brew it so it ends up twice as strong. It’s definitely stronger before anything is added, but most places add cream which balances out to be about the same as hot coffee. So if you want the big iced buzz, skip the cream.

Does Price play any role in the underlying decision. Results lead us to believe that ice coffee (or Toddy, as connoisseurs call it, named after a particular brewing machine) cost more than hot coffee. But is this really true or is it a splendid way for coffee providers to take advantage of your underlying temperature settings?

Many bodegas, diners and coffee carts still serve coffee by chilling their hot java, resulting in a watered-down and bitter swill that follows the same economics as hot coffee. So therefore the cost should remain the same or decrease, if anything. This line of thinking is; no more pouring cooled off coffee down the sink, once cooled recycle over ice.

The Einstein theory is you can charge twice as much for the stuff you almost threw out. Brilliant.

But really why the increase in price for everyone?

More established coffee houses follow a different type of process called cold brew; a more distinguished and proper way to go about it, which is a lengthy process that justifies a price increase. Right?

Put your thinking cap on, right now;

Let’s consider the numbers for a sixteen-ounce cold-brewed coffee versus a twelve-ounce hot coffee — the best comparison, as ice displaces about four ounces of liquid. The cold one will cost anywhere from a quarter to a dollar more. But the café will hardly claim the entire difference as profit.

Like the hot stuff, cold-brewing involves mixing pulverized beans with water, but the latter process requires about twice as much ground coffee. Those grounds infuse filtered water for 12 to 24 hours, creating iced-coffee concentrate. That liquid is cut with water to taste, at a ratio of about one to one. Yet even after all this dilution, a cup of cold-brewed joe can include 62 cents worth of ground coffee. A hot cup might include 35 cents’ worth of beans.

For a coffee shop to thrive, its owners must keep their cost-of-goods around 28 percent of menu price. This magic number, basically a four-fold mark-up, allows businesses to pay for labor, insurance, rent, equipment, and marketing. Sticking to that formula is much easier with hot coffee — invest about 50 cents, including the cup, lid and sleeve — then charge around $2 bucks for a product with traditionally reliable sales. The difficulty with cold brew stems both from the higher fixed costs and the unpredictability of iced consumption based on you.

There definitely seems to be a definitive aspect for choosing which coffee to enjoy, simply put, the temperature. The taste may also carry some weight in your decision. You either like it hot or not, but an increase or decrease in temperature will most likely sway your final vote every time.

Taking all this into consideration, what temperature is your tipping point for coffee? Or is the temperature even a definite factor in deciding your daily brew.  Share your insights, into a world of coffee loving consumption.

And remember if it’s too hot, you may want to consider ice!

Thanks for reading and enjoy!

*Starme

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About strme

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