The Curious Case of Iced Coffee in the Winter.

For those of us in the midwest or other frigid areas, post-Christmas winter gets old real fast. I've found one of my pick-me-ups in this gloomy weather has become my trusty grande Vanilla Sweet Cream Cold Brew from the neighborhood Starbucks. But...why? I can barely keep the window rolled down without freezing while ordering, so why on earth would I subject myself to a drink with "cold" in the title?

Well, it's delicious, for one. But it turns out I am nowhere near alone in my beverage choice. In a 2011 survey conducted by Dunkin' Donuts, 80 percent of coffee drinkers reported to drink more iced coffee than they had one year prior, and 56 percent proclaimed that they choose iced over hot coffee, including during the winter months. Their thinking included being able to use a straw, the energy it provides, and the fact that it is quicker to drink than its hot alternative. Other reasonings include force of habit, or a sweet iced drink's dessert-like quality.

The variety and offerings of cold coffee has drastically increased in recent years, and according to a research study by Mintel, sales of chilled coffee drinks annually rose by 10 percent from 2013-2017.

But is pouring iced liquid into your body in sub-zero weather healthy? According to nutritionist Karin Adoni Ben-David as reported by Well+Good, it's just fine.

“You can have your coffee hot or cold any day of the year,” she says. “Drinking iced coffee during cold days won’t make you sick and won’t contribute to a cold.

Alternatively, although Eastern medicine has long subscribed to the notion that warm and room-temperature liquids are better for digestion, it has not been found that a warm cup of coffee will significantly raise your body temperature on a wintery day.

Not only that, but research reported by Elite Daily found that specifically cold-brew coffee has some health benefits. Because the coffee beans in cold-brew are never heated, it is more alkaline - which is the state in which our bodies best function. Alkaline drinks are also better for your digestive system, and finally, burned coffee beans can also reduce coffee's health benefits - something you're not risking when making a cup of cold-brew.

In that case, let me raise my cup of cold brew and cheers to Spring weather arriving soon!