Coffee Trends

Is Cold Coffee Better Than Hot Coffee?

three people holding coffee. one iced coffee and two hot coffee latte with latte art

It’s a classic debate amongst coffee drinks and there are many reasons why, but is cold coffee better than hot coffee? The short answer – it depends on personal preference and what the term “better” is referring to. 

Sometimes there is nothing better than having a hot cup of black coffee on a cold winter’s morning or a cold brew coffee on a warm summer’s day, but for some, it’s more about the taste than the weather.

It is also worth noting that we are including cold brew and iced coffee collectively as ‘cold coffee’ and the main coffee types (latte, cappuccino, americano, black) as hot coffee, in this article.

We have covered the main benefits of both types of coffee and also assessed which one is better based on several categories to give you more of an idea of which one to go for. 

Benefits of Cold Coffee

If you have a preference for iced coffee or cold brew, there are benefits to drinking it over a hot coffee. See also cold brew vs iced coffee.

1. Cold coffee is less acidic

Cold brew coffee is less acidic compared to hot coffee, it has up to 70% less acid than regularly brewed coffee. In hot coffee, coffee grounds are brewed with hot water, and oils full of acidic compounds are released. This gives it that bitter taste people associate with their hot cup of joe. The less acidic the coffee is, the better it is for coffee lovers who have a problem with their digestive system.

2. Cold coffee is more flavorful

Cold coffee is more flavorful because it has fewer acid compounds.

It’s also very easy to make at home as cold brew coffee only requires a pitcher or a mason jar, and something to strain out the coffee grounds. Not only will you have homemade coffee that will stay tasty for the next 10 days but you’ll save yourself some money by not heading to Starbucks.

Related: Japanese style iced coffee

3. Cold brew coffee has less caffeine

For coffee lovers who can’t get enough coffee but have trouble with caffeine sensitivities or sleeping, swapping hot coffee for iced coffee might be the solution. Cold coffee has 40 mg of caffeine per 100g while hot coffee has 60 mg per 100g of coffee.

Less caffeine in coffee offers better sleep, helps lower blood pressure, and it aids in balancing hormones in women. It is worth noting that cold brew is higher in caffeine than iced coffee but lower than hot coffee.

4. Cold coffee can help reduce the risk of heart attacks

Various research has stated that cold coffee helps prevent heart attacks. Aside from the lower levels of caffeine found in cold coffee, it also contains magnesium, phenolic, and trigonelline compounds which help lower and stabilize the blood pressure.

No matter what temperature you prefer your coffee could still reduce the chances of getting a heart attack by 7%. This is based on research studies and is debatable still.

5. It’s perfect for a hot day

There’s no denying that it’s difficult to enjoy a hot coffee on a hot sunny day, no matter how much you love coffee. That’s where cold coffee steps in to save the day. You can still get the caffeine hit and the taste of coffee, but at a much cooler temperature which makes it refreshing and enjoyable to drink in the summer months. 

Related: Iced coffee recipe

Benefits of Hot Coffee

Although cold coffee became a rising star in the health field over the last few years, hot coffee still has some significant advantages.

1. Hot coffee has higher antioxidants.

In an article published by Scientific Reports entitled “Acidity and Antioxidant Activity of Cold Brew Coffee” it was found that hot coffee has higher levels of antioxidants than cold brew, which makes it healthier to a certain extent. 

Antioxidants present in coffee are imperative since it is known to lessen the risk of cancer and lower the dangers of diabetes, heart disease, and liver disease. 

2. Hot coffee offers a pleasant mood

Consuming a cup of hot joe in the morning may perhaps put you in a better mood. Holding a cup of coffee can increase feelings of interpersonal warmth as concluded by a study published by NCBI entitled “Experiencing Physical Warmth Promotes Interpersonal Warmth”.

3. It’s better in the colder months

Just like we mentioned above, hot coffee is more enjoyable in the colder seasons. Especially during the fall when the popular pumpkin spice lattes hit the scene. It does a good job of keeping our bodies warm and creates a feeling of emotional warmth as mentioned above.

4. There are more syrup variations

This could be a benefit or a con depending on who you ask! For some people, syrups are the heart of their coffee drink. With hot coffee, you will find that there are many more variations when it comes to syrups, including hazelnut, caramel, pumpkin spice, salted caramel, and more. 

5. It’s easier to get creative with hot coffee

There’s no denying that there are so many more recipes out there for hot coffee than cold coffee. This is mainly down to how well coffee can mix due to its temperature. For example, Irish coffee is a popular coffee creation, however, make that with cold coffee and it probably won’t turn out the same. 

Is Cold Coffee Better Than Hot Coffee

There is no real way of telling if cold coffee is better than hot coffee without first taking a look at individual factors such as taste and caffeine for example. Below we will list the main factors to determine which is better:

Taste 

Cold Coffee – Can be bitter and lack regular coffee notes. Can be really sweet if going for iced variations.

Hot Coffee – If brewed correctly can have a unique aroma and you can taste the coffee beans perfectly. 

Winner – Hot Coffee


Texture

Cold Coffee – More like a soft drink with a strong taste of coffee. Can be rich and smooth if brewed correctly.

Hot Coffee – Can be smooth and creamy depending on the type of coffee.

Winner – Hot Coffee


Price

Cold Coffee – Can be more expensive if buying pre-made iced or cold brew coffees, but relative if purchasing fresh.

Hot Coffee – Can be cheaper if you opt for standard black coffee or more expensive if you have syrups and different kinds of milk.

Winner – Neither


Volume

Cold Coffee – You can generally only drink cold coffee as a full glass, you can’t have an espresso or lungo of cold coffee, it just doesn’t work.

Hot Coffee – Sizes range all the way from espresso to the largest cup size possible.

Winner – Hot Coffee


Acidity

Cold Coffee – Cold brew coffee is generally lower in acidity compared to hot coffee, but not by very much.

Hot Coffee – Hot coffee is higher in acidity, however, it also depends on the type of coffee.

Winner – Cold Coffee



Caffeine

Cold Coffee – Cold brew coffee is higher in caffeine levels than iced coffee but lower than hot coffee. 

Hot Coffee – Hot coffee has more caffeine than cold coffee in general. However, this does depend on the type of coffee again.

Winner – Cold Cofee


Variations

Cold Coffee – With cold coffee, you have cold brew, nitro brew, and iced coffee with all the syrup and sweet additions.

Hot Coffee – Hot coffee is the basis of every coffee drink out there, so there is more to the variety of drinks than cold coffee.

Winner – Hot Coffee


Mood

Cold Coffee – In the summer months, cold coffee is very refreshing, and iced coffee can even act as a great desert to make you feel happy.

Hot Coffee – In the winter months, hot coffee is great for feeling warm and getting cozy. Some people only drink hot coffee to feel that warmth, so it does wonders for the mood.

Winner – Hot Coffee


Health

Cold Coffee – Cold coffee contains less caffeine and slightly lower acidity, and still packs the antioxidants in. 

Hot Coffee – Hot coffee can be slightly worse for you if you have acid sensitivity or caffeine sensitivities.

Winner – Cold Coffee


The Final Sip

So is cold coffee better than hot coffee? In some aspects, it can be, but overall, it depends on your preference and what you are looking for out of your coffee. If you want a sweet treat, then an iced coffee might be the way to go. Whereas if you want a quick caffein fix, a hot espresso is perfect.



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