Is Hot Plain Coffee the Go-To Drink of Summer?

Is hot plain coffee the drink of summer? RM weighs in on the caffeine controversy.

Picture this: It’s one of *those* mornings and you’re in desperate need of a cup of joe to boost morale. (We’ve all been there.) But by the time you’ve ordered your iced latte with an alternate milk and added in a tip, odds are you’ve shelled out ~$8 to fuel your fix. Clearly—staying caffeinated costs. 

Enter the alleged hot plain coffee trend. Per a recent Bon Appétit article, this simple sippable gem is the “drink of summer,” as it is affordable and readily available at any shop—from your local haunts to the neighborhood Starbucks—making it a potential must-have for caffeine-addicted individuals who can’t keep ballin’ out on the boujee bevs. … But is its convenience and affordability enough to dub it as the “drink of summer?” We tapped the RM team to pour over their thoughts on the hot matter at hand—and to share their fave coffee spot around town. Cool beans, indeed.

“Disagree. My go-to is Fiction Coffee—dark coffee with a splash of cream.”
—Gina Stephens, Publisher, @ginasdawgs

“Depends on my mood. Sometimes, I’m feeling a little extra and need an iced latte. But if I go to Iris Coffee Lab, my favorite coffee shop, I’m getting one of their seasonal drinks. Still dreaming about their cherry mascarpone latte.”
—Liz Comella, Creative Director,

“Plain? That’s a no for me. Pumpkin coffee season started this week (don’t @ me)—and you won’t find me without some kind of iced pumpkin-ated brew unless you can’t find me. Sir Walter Coffee’s pumpkin really gets your gourd.”
—Melissa Howsam, Editor-in-Chief, @mahowsam

“I personally don’t really drink coffee anymore—let alone plain black coffee—but the thought of drinking any hot bev in the peak of a humid NC summer makes me sweat. I’m a chai latte girly (iced in the summer, obv, and with oak milk!), and my fave around town is at Jubala.”
 —Lauren Kruchten, Associate Editor, @laurenn_nicol

“Hot coffee is my arch nemesis. There could be a blizzard happening and I’d still order an iced drink. My go-to local spots are 321 Coffee or Cup A Joe—and I’m typically drinking an iced lavender latte with oat milk or an iced dirty chai!”
—Anna Beth Adcock, Editorial Assistant, @_annabethadcock

“Nothing beats hot plain coffee from Cup A Joe, except maybe a cortada or latte if you’re feeling fancy.”
—Heidi Reid, Editorial Intern, @heidi.laurel

“I don’t drink coffee! I will order an iced chai latte during the summer—my fave spot would be Jubala in North Hills!”
—Debby Serena, Account Executive

“Hard disagree, if it tastes like coffee, I won’t drink it. I love The Morning Times Downtown, and my go-to is an iced vanilla latte. “
—Cameron Rhinehardt, Account Executive, @camrht

“Yes, I agree that hot plain coffee is the drink of summer! To me, it goes hand-in-hand with the quiet luxury trend—simple and timeless. I have always loved Jubala Coffee; the espresso and vibes are *chefs kiss.* My go-to order is a flat white, which pairs perfectly with one of the sweet biscuits!”
—Kelsie Barton, Contributing Writer, @kelsie_barton

“Hell no, coffee is disgusting and such a joyless choice! The painkiller at Standard Beer & Food is the real drink of summer.”
—Eric Ginsburg, Contributing Writer, @eric_ginsburg

“Hot coffee for the win! It’s the only way I like to drink it all yearlong. My go-to order is a tall soy flat white from Starbucks.”
—Emily O’Brien, Contributing Writer

“Plain hot coffee is my go-to order! Unless it’s over 90 degrees, then plain iced all the way. And my go-to shop is Jubala in North Hills!”
—Sean Junqueira, Contributing Photographer, @seanjunqueira

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About the Author

Angela Brown
Angela Brown is the author of our Business & Economy section.