Iced vs Hot Coffee: Whats The Difference?

My daily routine is the same as a majority of students. Everyday i wake up, get a shower, get dressed and most importantly, drink a cup of coffee. Without a strong cup of joe I can barely think. I’m less alert and my whole body feels groggy. Up until college I preferred iced coffee. I had a tendencunknowny to burn my tongue when it was hot and I simply didn’t enjoy the taste. However, over the past couple of months I have made the switch to drinking fresh brewed, piping hot coffee. It is simply less expensive and it is easier to make. Personally I feel as if iced coffee makes me feel better and more energized than hot coffee. Although this is simply an anecdotal opinion, I became curious to see wether or not there is actually a difference between iced and hot coffee.

To understand which type of coffee is superior, I first had to understand exactly how coffee works. According to Medical News coffee contains around 100 mg of caffeine per cup. The caffeine is absorbed throughout the body in about 45 minutes and it reaches its peak around 15 minutes after consumption. Caffeine binds to the bodies adenosine receptors and speeds up cell activity. As a result the body feels more awake and alert. Caffeine also increases heart rate, opens up breathing tubes and releases sugar into the blood stream. All of these effects lead to increased energy and promote a positive mood.

Now that we have established exactly how coffee effects the body, I decided to look into the specific differences in cold and hot brewed cups. According to Elite Daily there is no major difference in the caffeine content of either type of coffee. Both iced coffee and hot coffee have similar doses of caffeine and therefore effect the mind the same way. However, 635709361459128637-1195656316_4sthe website found that iced coffee is actually healthier for you than hot coffee. This is due to the fact that the acidity of cold brewed coffee is almost three times less than hot coffee. The less acidic a drink is, the better it is for a persons digestive system. This explains why iced coffee tends to cause less tension in a persons stomach than a hot cup. Another benefit found in cold brewed coffee is the taste. Although taste is a usually a matter of opinion, a study done by the UCLA Division of Life Sciences  found that the higher acidity in hot coffee leads to a more bitter taste. In contrast, the typically alkaline environment of an iced coffee has less acid and more flavor. The team sites evidence that the “oils in coffee (beans) can oxidize more quickly at elevated temperatures, causing coffee to taste sour” (Phung).

This study makes it clear that iced coffee is chemically superior to hot coffee. It makes perfect sense that the less acidic drinks causes less digestive problems and lead to a better taste. As an avid consumer of both hot and cold coffee, I think that the evidence presented in this article is accurate. It also supports my anecdotal claim that iced coffee is superior. Now I know that I have science to support my preference when it comes to choosing iced coffee over a hot cup.

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3 thoughts on “Iced vs Hot Coffee: Whats The Difference?

  1. Katherine Guerney

    I also need coffee in order to function in the morning and throughout the day. I liked reading your blog and I think that your finding on the acidity of iced coffee is interesting. However, I’m not really sure if proving that iced coffee is better for your digestive system proves if it is better. Also it wasn’t very clear what you meant by “better”. The goal of coffee is to make you more energized so I think it would have been more clear if you found some studies that compared people’s energy levels after they drank iced coffee in comparison to hot coffee. After reading your blog I started to think about the differences between coffee and other types of energy drinks. I found a study which evaluates multiple types of energy drinks (coffee, red bull, and five hour energy) and their effectiveness which I think is pretty interesting.

  2. sjb6039

    While your blog has evidence as to why you believe iced coffee is superior to hot coffee, I would have to disagree. Two studies conducted by a Yale University psychologist found that temperature has an impact on a persons generosity and if they judge others to be caring or not. The study found that those who hold a hot cup of coffee become more generous towards others and judged others to be more caring than those who drank iced coffee. So while iced coffee may chemically superior, it is not entirely superior. In the case of generosity and the perception of others, hot coffee comes out on top.

    Here is the entire link to the Yale University psychologist study:

  3. Xueyao Cao

    I think this is a well written blog. It’s nice to see that you have used different studies to support your hypothesis, and driven to the conclusion. One concern I had is that the topic of the study is that there might be tons of result supporting the opposite conclusion, that hot coffees are better than ice coffee, because those statement increased the number of customers on the specific type of coffee, and it helps to increase the amount of income. Maybe because ice coffees are easier to storage and serve than hot coffee, so it’s more popular. Anyways, to me, your blog produced a strong logical sense, so I think it really is possible that ice coffee is superior in terms of pH level and tastes.

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