While trying to find the cheapest thing on the menu at a restaurant the other day, I came across hot coffee. Trying to figure out what I actually wanted (which was cold coffee), I saw that cold coffee was double the cost of its hot version. So obviously, like the chindi Indian I settled for hot coffee. #savings
This led me to wonder about a very important question that most of us don’t think about enough or at all. A question that can change the world, our lives. (Disclaimer: Non-sense ahead.)
Why is cold coffee served in restaurant’s and coffee shops more expensive than hot coffee?
Yesterday this question piqued me enough, motivating me to find the nearest library. So I sat there all day and researched about coffee, the history of how the brewing process started and how it has changed over time. (Kidding, don’t trust this post.)
First I thought the question is ridiculous and I won’t really get valid reasons for it. We see ridiculous pricing so much these days, like how ‘sugar-free’ sweeteners are more expensive than actual sugar. It’s only believable that we can be charged highly for no apparent reason. I was wrong though, since there is not a lot but enough content clearing the mystery out.
Because there is a significant price difference between the two versions, I often find myself ordering hot coffee. The only solution to this gross injustice is to either be rich, a thief or drink home-made cold coffee from a Starbucks glass. If you happen to live in Bangalore, a Cafe Coffee Day cup would do too. CCD was born here and if there’s one in every corner in most metro cities, there are two of them here.
Anyway, coming to the point. Read on if you want to know why it is so.
1.Apparently, cold coffee uses more coffee beans. AKA, commercialisation’s excuse to empty our wallets? Not really. Cold-coffee doesn’t use more coffee beans but it certainly gets a less concentrated liquid out of the same amount of beans. This happens when coffee shops use a process called the ‘cold brew method’. Colder the water used to extract liquid from the beans, longer is the time involved and lesser the amount of concentrate.There is more to the process of brewing coffee than I am able to understand, so let’s go and get some powdered coffee and not brew it at all
2.Paper versus plastic: Plastic cups are more expensive than paper cups. Additionally, we use straws to sip cold coffee, more plastic. Hot coffee, on the other hand is either served in paper cups or the fancy ceramic ones. Ceramic cups and mugs will accrue a fixed cost, therefore, no recurring expense. (Unless they hire clumsy employees and serve angry customers who keep breaking them.)
3.Since most cold coffees have ice in them, ice machines are necessary. Don’t you wonder why they can’t use the utterly hygienic ice that is put in our cold drinks at Indian weddings. The kind if ice slabs that are sometimes wrapped in plastic sheets and other times, not wrapped at all. I don’t know, we should notify them about this hack.
This question and post wouldn’t exist if coffee shops would simply refrigerate hot coffee and serve it as cold. But the reason why they use the more expensive process at all is because it leads to lower acidity and caffeine content. In other words, this is made up and a way to convince you that what you’re paying for is actually worth it.
Let’s buy some Nescafe coffee powder, ‘packet waala doodh’, head home and find the old noisy mixer.