There Is No Logical Reason Why The Humble Iced Latte Should Cost More Than Its Flashy Heated Counterparts And I Refuse To Be Convinced Otherwise
By Madeline Ward
The Iced Latte is the King of caffeinated beverages. As perfect in the cooler months as it is the middle of summer, the Iced Latte is the unpretentious coffee format of my dreams. Spare me your single origin-ristretto-macchiato bullshit and hit me with that simple, wholesome, Iced Latte goodness. The only conceivable downside to this drink of the gods is its cost, which is, quite frankly, ridiculous.
As someone who consumes large amounts of coffee not to wake myself up, but because my body is now so dependent on caffeine that it requires a minimum of 4 shots to be able to function, I consider myself to be a bit of an expert when it comes to coffee. I’m not by any means an expert when it comes to the fancier (read: wankier) elements of coffee culture: but if you need an opinion of efficiency, cost and consumption, I’m your girl.
The Iced Latte, and its dairy free counterpart the Iced Long Black, are near impossible to fuck up. It’s literally just coffee, ice and milk (or water). Its beauty is in its simplicity, and it is truly so simple that it can be made by anyone within reach of a coffee machine. Now, I don’t wish to downplay the considerable skill it takes to be a competent barista. I served a highly unsuccessful 5 years behind various coffee machines in my regional hometown and I Have Done My Time. That shit is hard! But the Iced Latte can succeed as a drink without the trappings of its more technically difficult brethren: even the taste of a burnt shot of coffee can be masked with honey or caramel syrup. Besides, many high volume venues, including all of the campus USU outlets, pre-batch the coffee used for Iced Lattes anyway.
The Iced Latte has exactly the same ingredients as a normal latte, but with ice. Is ice really so expensive that the price of an Iced Latte need be so steep? Given that ice is literally frozen water, and most cafes have a pre-existing ice machine, I think not. I could believe that the price increase comes from the slight amount of extra milk that it takes to fill a plastic smoothie cup, but does that really amount to $1- $2 extra? Unlikely. If anything, Iced Latte drinkers should be rewarded economically for the prudent choice to save the barista time and effort by simplifying our coffee orders.
Perhaps the biggest slap in the face for campus based Iced Latte consumers is the fact that Iced Lattes do not count toward USU access coffee rewards. Not only are we expected to pay higher prices for essentially the same product, but we are also punished by the grievous injustice of being excluded from the opportunity to earn a free coffee. Iced Latte consumers are left with no relief from the terrors of coffee consumption under late stage capitalism, and I simply won’t stand for it.