Which American City Drinks the Most Iced Coffee?

Hotter summers, shorter winters, and long walks mean lots of iced coffee for New York City

Florida, or maybe Southern California, seem like they should be filled with people guzzling their iced coffee year-round, right? Wrong. New Yorkers are the biggest iced coffee drinkers in the country, consuming more than 300,000 cups per day, reports the New York Post. Why have so many New Yorkers turn to iced coffee? "It’s hot and humid [in New York], people drink iced coffee all hours of the day…," says James Freeman, the CEO of Blue Bottle, an independent coffee shop from San Francisco. While the icy drink used to just be for the summer months, New Yorkers now choose to sip on iced coffee year-round, so much so that high-end New York City coffee chains now must provide the drink in winter as well as summer.

This phenomenon hasn’t been brewing for long. Only recently have coffee shops have seen the demand for iced coffee grow, with demand leaping up 17 percent between 2010 and 2011. And tastes for cold brews have changed, too: Instead of asking for a large iced coffee with milk and simple syrup, people are now ordering their cold brew black and with no sugar. For some people it might be because they're looking to cut down on sugar and for others it's just because they prefer the taste of a bright cold brew.

While drinking iced coffee may be tasty, it’s getting more and more expensive for the customer and the café. Cold brewing demands twice the beans compared to regular coffee, driving up the prices. The plastic cups, straws, ice, and napkins also increase the cost.  All of this combines to make summer the most dreaded season for coffee shop owners.  New Yorkers seem content to pay these prices for now, which hover around $3, but who knows what the future will bring?  With summers growing ever hotter, maybe iced coffee will become the new black coffee all around the country.