Here’s why iced coffee is more expensive
Daylight savings has hit, the sun is setting later, the warmer weather is approaching and we’re taking our feet to the streets for those late-night strolls. Naturally, this is the time of year coffee drinkers make the switch to a colder refreshment. Unless, of course, you take your coffee on the rocks all year round. Snaps for those who realize just because summer comes to an end, doesn’t mean your cold brew kick has to. Not everything gets hotter when the sun goes down. Coffee, hot or cold, is arguably the closest thing to hard evidence that God does, indeed, exist. But where’s the hard evidence to back up our beloved cold brew in costing us a hefty penny more than a hot dip coffee of the same size?
There are, in fact, reasons behind why iced coffee makes a bigger dent in our wallets. Here’s why iced coffee is often more expensive:
1. The cost of materials.
With all the, you know, ice, iced coffee should cost less because it takes less coffee to fill, right? Wrong. Ice may just be water, but it’s not free by any means. Iced drinks also require plastic cups (as opposed to paper), not to mention straws. Iced drinks go hand in hand with condensation, and we all love us a handful of napkins for just one cup. These materials all come together to make the beverage everyone’s craving this time of year, but they do add up. And the price you pay reflects that—justifiably reflects that.
We all know when there’s something good, we look for something better. You have your good iced coffee, and then you have your better “cold brew.” The cold brew process starts by grinding the beans coarsely, having them sit in fresh, filtered water under 40 degrees for 24 hours, followed by filtering the grinds out to produce cold brew concentrate. Coffee shops then dilute the extract with water to make iced coffee. The amount of cold brew iced coffee you get from one bag of beans is significantly less than you would get if using it for regular drip hot coffee. The increase in labor costs due to planning and time is where the price increase comes in. Again, justifiably so.
Additional factors that lead to an increase in price include sweeteners and flavor enhancers. Typically, more of these go into iced coffee than regular coffee, as iced coffee usually needs a flavor boost from being diluted with ice. Fortunately for the shop, consumers, in general, will pay more for what they see as a specialty drink, regardless of how it’s made.
With warm weather right around the corner, iced coffee is the refreshing treat we’re all longing for. It’s nice to have a little background on where your bucks are going, and as long as we’re willing to spend upwards of $6 per cup, the trend is likely to continue.
Related: Best Iced Coffee Recipe—Literally