Temperature is one of the most significant factors in our lives. At a very base level, the temperature conditions of Earth have allowed humankind to exist and prosper. Our internal body temperature is so fragile, a few too many degrees in either direction would require medical intervention. A home or office that’s too hot or too cold can severely impact our emotions and productivity. A precise combination of hot and cold air can lead to catastrophic natural disasters, or a perfect day.
And then there’s our food. Much of the food we eat must be heated to a particular temperature before consumption lest we contract a disease. After cooking, improper storage can also lead to disease growth. But temperature gets even more important and personal than that; we each have preferences for hot or cold foods, like condiments, pizza, and even drinks. Specifically, there seems to be a distinct delineation between those who prefer hot coffee drinks year-round and those who prefer cold (as somewhat humorously described here). I, myself, am a hot coffee person – I have no problem sipping my 150 degree latte in 95 degree weather, even with a high humidity index. Cold coffee just never tastes right to me, and although I don’t like a lot of foam in my drinks I do miss it with cold coffees. My distaste of cold coffee is twofold: 1) I’m never satisfied with the strength of the coffee flavor, as I feel it gets overwhelmed by the abundance of milk, and 2) the ice melts after a while and watery milky coffee is the absolute worst thing I could imagine. I have actually gagged after a sip of this watery muck. But to each his or her own, I have nothing against my cold coffee comrades.
All this to say, I was sorely disappointed to find I could not get a hot coffee at the Newport Jazz Festival last month. It wasn’t even a particularly hot day, in fact it was very gorgeous and the sea beside the festival was chock full of boaters enjoying the fair weather. But sadly, The Coffee Guy, the sole coffee vendor at the festival, only serves cold coffee. Their specialty is cold brew coffee, which I understand is a very hip thing at the moment. I was desperate for caffeine, so I went ahead and ordered an iced latte, but I expected the worst. I was pleasantly surprised.
The flavor was actually quite intense. Still very milk-heavy, but I was taken aback by the strong, solid espresso they’d brewed. I was reminded of Starbuck’s Anniversary Blend, which is one of the chain’s better blends in my opinion. I enjoyed my drink as I listened to the wonderful jazz music floating throughout the ancient military fort. I don’t know exactly how to compare it to the hot lattes featured so far, but of all the iced lattes I’ve ever had it’s definitely been the best – I give it a 7 out of 10.
Temperature is featured quite heavily in jazz music as well. Many songs are all about heat and cool, hot, steamy love and cold, lonely nights. Don’t let my preference for the warmer drinks and tunes give you any ideas – I’m an ice cold lady at heart.