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We’re in the middle of a particularly brutal heatwave right now, and that means people are doing everything in their power to keep their core temperature down. This is the time of the year where we see buffoons walking around with those little mini battery powered fans that do nothing other than blow room temperature water and hot air from the outdoors into your face.
It’s a time where people become desperate. Normal, upstanding citizens are sneaking into pools unauthorized, swimming in disgusting ponds, and in my case, buying a kiddie pool from Amazon and putting it down on my back porch, sitting in ankle deep water and pretending like it’s a comfortable alternative to a real live in-ground pool. All of that stuff I can understand. Cooling off with any body of water is essential in this heat. But never in a million years did I think that people would be willing to sacrifice the delicious flavor of coffee just because the weather has become slightly more uncomfortable than normal.
Coffee is the lifeblood of this country, and while we did not invent it and it certainly can’t hold a flame to an authentic espresso made fresh in Rome or Tuscany, it’s still pretty damn good here in America. Folgers, Maxwell House, hell Starbucks? You ever heard of ‘em? They’re coffee giants in America and that isn’t changing anytime soon.
But save for me, (and a few dads I’ve noticed in the last couple of weeks whilst walking the streets of Chicago) no one holding a coffee cup this summer has one without ice in it. Iced coffee has been a staple in America for quite some time now. But with the rise of cold brew I’m willing to bet that now, in 2018, iced coffee has never been more popular. I’ll drink an iced coffee if it’s my only option, but let’s just say I’m not going out of my way to get one. The first sip one takes from an iced coffee is perfectly fine, but after a few minutes it becomes damn near undrinkable. There’s so much water in an iced coffee from the melting going on that by the time you get to the tail end of the drink, you’re essentially just drinking a small glass of chilled tap water.
Not only does ice dilute the flavor of the coffee, if you want to get technical here we’re talking about an entirely different drink. Refrigerated coffee just changes the shit on a molecular level. I won’t go into further detail because I’m probably wrong and I don’t feel like Googling it, but in my mind it does change it.
Coffee gets thicker when you refrigerate it. The flavor notes are all out of whack, and then you throw in half of a cup of ice and what do you have? Many folks will say you have a delicious drink in your hand. I maintain that more than anything, all you have, in the words of Micah Weiner, is one (1) incredibly weak and diluted cup of shit coffee. It doesn’t taste the same as a hot cup and it doesn’t get you get jacked in the same way.
For the cold brew fanatics screaming from the cheap seats that their drink is the answer to normal iced coffee I will emphatically say no. Cold brew is for monsters. It’s a drink that should have never been invented. I had a cold brew phase for a few months about a year ago and I damn near went into cardiac arrest everytime I drank that stuff.
It’s an irresponsible drink, and for the purposes of my argument it does not belong here. To put this in terms that everyone will understand, iced and hot coffee are like teams in the NFL, and then cold brew is the XFL. It’s Vince McMahon screaming from a stadium with 1,000 people in it about how they should be included in the conversation about quality football teams. Simply put, I don’t respect cold brew and neither do my fellow coffee purists.
When I head out with the purposes of getting a coffee that’s exactly what I want. Either an espresso or just a regular ass drip coffee with no room for milk or sugar. I’m already sweating through every single pore of my body because of the heatwave. I’m ruining shirts on the daily with armpit stains that even the most seasoned dry cleaner will not be able to get out. My swamp ass is downright disgusting.
If I want to drink a coffee, I’ll have it hot because what the hell is the difference at this point? An iced coffee isn’t going to do much for me in the way of cooling down, and it’s certainly not going to give me the same amount of caffeine as its piping hot counterpart. So if drinking a hot coffee on a 80 degree day makes me a psychopath, lock me up and throw away the key because I’m not changing. I hope one day we’ll all wise up and see the light but I don’t have a lot of faith in humanity anymore..
Image via Unsplash