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03rd Jan 2024

In the depths of winter, many of us are prepared to risk frostbite for an iced latte

Fiona Frawley

iced coffee winter

Rain, hail, Storm Gerrit or shine, iced coffee remains the order of the day for many.

There are a number of things that separate millennials from our younger, cooler, more emotionally engaged Gen Z counterparts. Low rise jeans vs. circulation-threatening skinnies. Girl dinner vs two bowls of Special K instead of actual meals every day for a decade. But one separation of particular significance is the differences in our coffee ordering habits.

Those touching 30 and beyond will probably remember the coffee trends that reigned supreme throughout the 2010s. An 8oz (sometimes shorter, depending on the hipster levels at your café of choice), cooler in temperature than the milk-steamed-within-an-inch-of-its-life days of the early 2000s, silky flat white with painstakingly weighed and timed espresso, with notes of stone fruit and acidity singing through the creamy dairy.

Image via Instagram/Proper Order Coffee 

In the age of Tiktok, however, novelty-sized coffee tumblers prime for ASMR friendly ice-swizzling reign supreme. Oat milk has replaced water as the planet’s most desired liquid, and there’s less of a focus on perfect coffee-to-water ratios and more on sweet syrups and in some instances, frothy, cloud-like toppings à la the the viral dalgona trend of 2020. The pinnacle of caffeine chic is no longer a tiny 6oz keep cup or a hand-potted mug of carefully brewed filter – it’s an iced coffee vessel ideally larger than your own head.

@polishpatty It’s a cultural thing, you wouldn’t get if you’re str*ight #gay?️‍? #icedcoffee #winter #snow #lgbtq #starbucks #foryou #fyp ♬ original sound – Majix

The grá for iced coffee carrying well into the winter months isn’t new – there’s been discourse around this phenomenon in meme form for years. A chill in the air doesn’t necessarily have people craving a warming mug with seasonal spices, in fact many of us are more than happy to risk frostbite to continue gripping a giant cold brew, nitro brew, iced latte or whatever it is you’re having yourself.

A recent study shared by Bewley’s indicates that Ireland’s love of iced beverages is continuing to blossom and grow – in fact, more and more under-35s in the capital are turning to cold caffeine drinks flavoured with syrups and topped with foamed non-dairy milk, whatever the weather.

Commitment to the cause. Image via Twitter/@nycgov

Alluding to the ever-changing coffee trends, Head of Coffee Culture at Bewley’s, Julie Murray said:

 “For the younger customer, there is something extrinsic about the way they enjoy their coffee. It’s all about what they can add to the experience…

“And they sip their cold coffees, which can be flavoured with a syrup of their choice, and topped with cold frothed milk, no matter the weather.” 

In the words of a now deleted tweet on the subject, “-12 degrees and I’m still drinking iced coffee… Cold weather will not separate me from my brand.” Stay strong, all those committed to icers in all weather conditions. You truly are the backbone of society.

Lead images via TikTok/naturally.shannon and Twitter/@nycgov


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