Warmer weather has finally arrived, and you know what that means: Iced coffee season is here! Of course, for addicts like myself, this also means accepting that we'll be dropping some extra dough over the next few months to get our fix. But why is iced coffee so expensive, anyway? According to Grub Street, there are a few very legitimate reasons chilled java costs a few more bucks than its hot counterpart.
As someone who drinks iced coffee almost exclusively over hot, I can personally attest that it's a bit of a luxury. Alternatively, since my husband exclusively drinks hot coffee, we get to see this price contrast play out on the regular in our household — which always ends with him trying to convince me to convert. Never! You can take my extra cash, but you'll never take my cold coffee, unless you pry it from my over-caffeinated clutches.
So while we're at an impasse, iced coffee lovers can at least take solace in knowing that there are actual explanations for why our beverage of choice keeps eating all our monies. Here are the reasons Grub Street outlines in its vid, along with a few others.
1. The Cost Of Containers
When you order hot coffee, your beverage comes in paper cups, right? Well, those containers cost a whole lot less than the plastic cups iced coffee is served in. This is because plastic is a petroleum product, and its cost therefore fluctuates, just like gas prices.
2. The Cold Brew Conundrum
You may not have realized the iced coffee you get from your favorite spot has changed recently, aside from the fact that it tastes hella good. However, most quality coffee shops have switched something, explains Grub Street — they have begun serving cold-brewed iced coffee. This method takes more time and space and requires different equipment, accounting for the larger price tag, but it boasts a more complex taste profile, too.
3.The Price Of Ice
If you're anything like me, you likely haven't given much thought to the cost of ice. I mean, it's frozen water. But you know what? Ice, like water, isn't actually free. And coffee shops go through a ton of it! For the ones with their own ice machines, this means a spike in electric bills to run it if they own and it, and an additional fee of up to twelve bucks a day if they rent it ... and most still have to buy additional ice to supplement what they make in-store.
4. In A Word, Coffee
Yes, I realize this affects the price of hot coffee as well. However, when you factor in all of the other small things that add to the expense of making iced coffee, the cost of coffee itself helps push the price of cooled coffee past the hot stuff. This is more relevant than ever, as coffee shops are putting extra time and effort into sourcing coffee locally (think farm-to-table in coffee form).