Cold Coffee vs Hot Coffee

Cold Coffee vs Hot Coffee

Are you craving hot coffee when you wake up in the morning but also prefer iced coffee on hot summer days? If you are wondering if the temperature of your cup of joe makes a difference when it comes to benefits, you better be. There are recent studies that attest to benefits owing to coffee temperature. Read on and let us get to know more about the matter. 

Cold coffee vs hot coffee: What are the differences?

These are the differences between cold coffee vs hot coffee:

1. Cold or iced coffee is brewed hot or cold while hot coffee is only brewed hot. 

Most people brew their coffee hot but when preparing cold or iced coffee you can always brew it hot or cold. Cold  brewed coffee could take hours to steep and may result in a gentler and less bitter taste. If cold coffee is brewed cold there is a pleasant overall flavor. 

Hot coffee is only brewed hot which could result in a specific kind of flavor since the brewing process is quicker compared to cold coffee. The heat of the water opens up the ground coffee and extracts the caffeine in a matter of minutes.  If you are brewing an espresso shot, chill it and then add ice, the flavors will change and the taste tends to be acidic since more acids are extracted from the coffee beans due to the hot brewing method. 

2. Hot coffee has higher levels of antioxidants compared to cold coffee. 

According to a 2018 study by researchers of Thomas Jefferson University, there are chemical differences between hot and cold coffee.  Hot coffee has higher antioxidant levels compared to cold brew which makes it slightly healthy. According to Dr. Nikola Djordjevic, a practicing physician from Serbia and Disturbmenot website creator, coffee antioxidants may reduce the risk of cancer, heart disease, diabetes and premature death. 

3. Hot coffee tastes differently compared to cold or iced coffee. 

There is a considerable difference in the taste and flavor between hot and cold coffee and this could be due to the acidity level of hot coffee. Hot flavors also tend to be bigger or more amplified which is why acid and sour notes stand out more. Hot coffee tends to have a satisfying aroma, a rounded flavor, hints of lower bitter notes and crisp acidity.

Cold brewed coffee tends to have a subtler flavor and also less bitter. This could be because cold coffee takes longer to steep and the flavors may change since most coffee compounds are only soluble in high temperatures. The resulting flavor is a much less bitter and less acidic coffee and there are instances when it could even become non-bitter or non-acidic. 

In general, cold coffee has a rich sweetness, a smooth flavor and a hint of acidity but little or no bitterness at all. However, it lacks the rich aroma of hot brewed coffee. The reason for the rich aroma is because coffee oils are volatile and evaporate more quickly when they are at a hot temperature. 

4. Iced cold coffee takes a lot more time to brew compared to hot coffee. 

Cold brewing takes more or less eight to 18 hours and this will depend on how strong you want the flavor to be.  If you want to make cold coffee from hot coffee that has been chilled, it will still take longer since you have to allow more time to cool off. 

5. Cold coffee comes in larger servings as opposed to hot coffee. 

Iced coffee usually comes in larger servings, around eight to 16- ounce cups or about 236 to 473 ml and depending on how the coffee was brewed, it also tends to have more or less caffeine. Hot coffee such as an espresso shot is just around five ounces per serving or around 150 ml.  One reason for the larger servings could be because cold coffee is a summery drink and people tend to consume more during hot afternoons. If you are conscious of your caffeine intake then hot coffee may be more ideal for you. 

6. There was only a slight difference in caffeine levels between cold and hot coffee. 

According to a study made by researchers at the Thomas Jefferson University, it was found that there was very little difference in caffeine levels across roast and temperature types. Hot coffee had slightly higher caffeine levels than cold coffee while light roasts had higher caffeine levels compared to dark roast. It was also found that the higher differences were in terms of acidity and antioxidants. 

It is noteworthy to say that hot coffee in the morning can put you in a positive mindset and increase feelings of personal warmth.  The added jolt you get from the hot temperature of your cup of joe helps you to start the day right. A 2008 study published in the Journal of Agricultural and Food Chemistry found that the mere aroma of coffee can alter the activity of certain brain genes. 

As for cold coffee, it is believed to be beneficial to your health because it can protect you from heart attacks. According to Dr. Maheinthan Yogeswaran, a general practitioner with Medicspot, iced coffee is helpful as it contains caffeine, magnesium, triagonelline and phenolic compounds. This stabilizes the blood pressure by increasing the insulin sensitivity and lowering blood pressure.  


If you are torn between cold coffee vs hot coffee, you do not have to stress yourself. Both cold and hot coffee have their share of benefits and downsides as mentioned above.  If you tend to have a sensitive stomach, you may opt to drink cold coffee and if you live in a cool place a hot cup of joe would be ideal. The bottom line is to take coffee in moderation according to your personal preference regardless of temperature. 

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