There’s nothing like a delicious cup of iced coffee to start off your day during the summer. Or during the winter, there’s no judging here. This coffee drink is the perfect jump start to your day and can help keep you cool, but have you noticed that your iced coffee is more expensive than a traditional cup of hot coffee?
The price difference doesn’t make sense for most people because technically, you’re getting less coffee since there’s loads of ice in the cup. But the reasons why iced coffee is more expensive are surprisingly understandable.
Iced Coffee is Pricier Because it’s Brewed Differently
The main reason iced coffee is more expensive than hot coffee is that it’s brewed differently. The entire process of brewing iced coffee costs the coffee shop more money, and it’s much more time-consuming than brewing hot coffee.
The fact it’s more time-consuming, and it’s a different process is why they’ll charge you more.
When you’re brewing coffee for iced coffee, many people brew it cold so that it doesn’t melt in the ice.
This process requires twice as many coffee beans to brew as you need for hot coffee. Not only do you need double the coffee beans for iced coffee, but the process also takes between 12 and 24 hours for cold brew.
The different brewing process helps to ensure that the coffee for iced coffee comes out stronger. This way, when the ice is added, it doesn’t get diluted as quickly as traditionally brewed coffee.
If Iced Coffee Contains Ice, Aren’t I Getting Less Coffee?
A common misconception when it comes to iced coffee versus hot coffee is that you’re getting less coffee for more money. But there have been studies that show that one cup of cold brew coffee contains about 60 cents worth of ground coffee, whereas a hot cup contains about 35 cents.
Materials Needed to Prepare and Serve Iced Coffee Cost More
The following big reason your iced coffee costs more than a cup of hot coffee is that the materials needed to prepare and serve iced coffee cost more. Let’s start with the cost of double the coffee beans.
So hypothetically, if a local coffee shop brews five bags of ground hot coffee a day, they’ll need ten of those bags to create the same amount of iced coffee. If the coffee shop didn’t charge a little bit more for iced coffee, they’d be losing money solely on the coffee beans alone.
Have you ever noticed how your iced coffee comes in a different cup than your hot coffee? Traditionally, you’ll get your hot coffee in a paper cup, whereas iced coffee comes in plastic cups with plastic lids.
Plastic cups cost more to purchase than paper cups. Since the coffee shop has to spend extra money on different cups, they’d be losing money if they don’t charge a higher price for these fabulous summer coffee drinks.
One of the most expensive parts of serving the perfect iced coffee is the ice. You’re probably wondering how on Earth ice is expensive.
Well, it is. Making and storing ice costs more money because of the extra water used and electricity to store it in the freezer. And to keep up with the demand for iced coffee, some coffee shops will be making ice all day.
Making Iced Coffee at Home Is More Affordable
If you are craving the ice-cold taste of iced coffee but don’t want to spend all your money on one every morning, you can make it at home for a small price.
You’ll want to keep in mind that the iced coffee you make at home may not be the quality of a coffee shop unless you have cold brew equipment laying around.
But, the ways you can have iced coffee at home are still delicious and much more affordable. Here are a few ways to get your iced coffee fix at home.
Buy Premade Iced Coffee
One of the easiest ways to have delicious iced coffee at home is to head to the creamer section at your local grocery store and browse the selection of iced coffee. Several brands offer iced coffee in jugs in different roasts, with or without creamer, and even dairy-free iced coffee.
If you purchase a jug of iced coffee without any creamer or sweeteners, you can add your favorite creamer or sweetener or drink it black over some ice. It’s super easy and much cheaper than purchasing an iced coffee every morning.
Brew Coffee for Iced Coffee
Another relatively easy way to have iced coffee whenever you want is to brew coffee how you normally would but put it in the fridge overnight. This way, when you pour your coffee over ice, the coffee doesn’t melt, and voila!
A delicious cup of iced coffee. In the morning, all you have to do is pull the coffee out of the fridge and prepare your drink how you like. Making iced coffee this way only requires one extra step compared to buying pre-made iced coffee.
The best part of making iced coffee this way is that you can choose the specific coffee you want since you’re brewing it yourself.
Use A Keurig With Iced Coffee Capabilities
If you have a newer Keurig model, you may have the option to create iced coffee with it. Even if you don’t have one, Keurig’s are relatively expensive and make coffee making a breeze. When you put a K-cup in the machine, you can select iced coffee.
The appliance will then begin brewing a smaller and stronger cup of coffee so that when you add ice to it, it doesn’t taste as diluted as a cup of hot coffee. While this process is easy and stress-free, some Keurig models brew a cup of hot coffee on their iced coffee setting, which isn’t ideal.
A way to combat this is to brew the iced coffee with your Keurig a couple of hours beforehand, stick it in the fridge, and then prepare your iced coffee when it’s chilled.