Iced Coffee Versus Hot Coffee

Although most coffee drinkers prefer their drink hot, iced coffee has steadily grown in popularity in recent years, perhaps largely due to the promotion of trendy cold coffee drinks by Starbucks and other coffee shops. Here is a quick comparison between iced coffee and regular hot coffee.

Iced Coffee

As the name implies, iced coffee is chilled coffee served with ice but it is not necessarily made by pouring regular hot-brewed coffee into a cup filled with ice. It can be made this way but the resulting drink will likely be bitter-tasting and diluted.

Many iced coffee drinkers prefer the cold brewing technique. This involves pouring cold water into a container filled with ground coffee, allowing it to steep for hours (8+ is not uncommon), and then filtering.

Another commonly used technique is to make double-strength hot coffee, cool it down in the refrigerator, and then pour the chilled drink over ice. A similar technique often used in coffee shops is to make espresso to which cold water or milk is added. If a sweet drink is desired, it's best to add the sugar to the warm coffee because sugar does not dissolve very well in cold water.

Regular Coffee

Coffee is made from the roasted seeds or beans of the coffee plant. It is brewed in a number of ways, including percolation, dripping hot water through grains, French press immersion, or simply adding grains directly to a pot of water and boiling.

Caffeine Content

The caffeine content of iced coffee is less than or comparable to that of hot coffee, depending on how it is prepared. For example, an iced coffee from Starbucks has about one-half the caffeine of a hot coffee drink.

Other Considerations

Both iced coffee and regular hot coffee can stain teeth but iced coffee reportedly stains your teeth less than regular coffee because it contains fewer polyphenols. These are compounds that not only add flavor to coffee but also have health-promoting effects.