Science Says You Should Never Order an Iced Coffee


Original Illustration by Stephanie DeAngelis

I write this as I finish yet another large iced coffee that has failed to deliver on its inherent promise of a caffeine buzz. While it played a pivotal role in cooling down my morning commute, it lacks the same life-saving jolt of energy packed into its scalding-hot counterpart.

As it turns out, I'm not alone in my observation. Not only have others complained about the failure that is iced coffee, but a team of researchers deemed the cause worthy enough to investigate on a scientific level. Unsurprisingly, iced coffee (and cold brew) is scientifically proven to be weaker than the hot stuff.

According to The Science of Us, as reported by Tech Insider, "the water temperature that will extract the most caffeine from coffee beans falls somewhere between 195 and 205 degrees fahrenheit, meaning regular hot-brewed coffee has the advantage." When you consider the ice factor, an iced coffee is basically a cup of empty calories. The best way to get the most caffeinated bang for your buck is to order a double espresso made from Robusta beans (as opposed to Arabica beans, which make up 70 percent of the world's coffee).

Have you noticed your iced coffee to be weaker? Share your thoughts below, and shop our go-to essentials for making the perfect cup of coffee at home.