a coffee that's hot

meijin

Senior Member
Japanese
If I walk into a fashionable cafe in New York, London, etc. and say "I want a coffee that's hot" to the staff there, will they think that I just want to drink coffee hot and what type of hot coffee doesn't really matter? What words should I add if I wanted to drink a coffee that's currently popular?

1. I want a coffee that's currently hot.
2. I want a coffee that's hot now.
3. I want a coffee that's hot these days.


Would all of these work without making me misunderstood?
 
  • MattiasNYC

    Senior Member
    Swedish
    If you show up in NY this time of year then if you ask for a hot coffee, or a coffee that is hot, they will think that you want warm coffee. It's so warm in NY in the summer that a lot of people drink cold coffee, or "iced coffee". So "hot" is possibly confusing in some cases.

    I would probably ask a question instead: "I'd like a coffee. What's popular?"
     

    GreenWhiteBlue

    Senior Member
    USA - English
    I agree with Mattias; all of them would be misunderstood. If you mean "popular", then say "popular", and don't use an informal or slang term whose literal meaning applies when speaking of something made out of boiling hot water.
     

    meijin

    Senior Member
    Japanese
    If you show up in NY this time of year then if you ask for a hot coffee, or a coffee that is hot, they will think that you want warm coffee. It's so warm in NY in the summer that a lot of people drink cold coffee, or "iced coffee".
    Do you mean that cafes in New York don't serve hot (temperature) coffee and instead serve warm coffee in summer? According to Weather-Guide.com (which I just visited for the first time to compare temperatures), Tokyo is hotter than New York (I thought so), but I think no cafes here serve warm coffee (they serve coffee either iced or hot). Interesting.

    If you mean "popular", then say "popular", and don't use an informal or slang term whose literal meaning applies when speaking of something made out of boiling hot water.
    Got it. Just wanted to see if the three versions in the original post would still be misleading.
     

    GreenWhiteBlue

    Senior Member
    USA - English
    Do you mean that cafes in New York don't serve hot (temperature) coffee and instead serve warm coffee in summer?

    Heavens, no!!!! Mattias meant that your request would sound so odd (because all coffee is hot), the only sense most people would make of it would be that you were explicitly (and rather unnecessarily) saying that although other people were ordering iced coffee, you nevertheless wanted an ordinary coffee that was hot.
     

    meijin

    Senior Member
    Japanese
    Heavens, no!!!! Mattias meant that your request would sound so odd (because all coffee is hot), the only sense most people would make of it would be that you were explicitly (and rather unnecessarily) saying that although other people were ordering iced coffee, you nevertheless wanted an ordinary coffee that was hot.
    Oh...:D...OK. So, he used "warm" and wrote it in Italics to mean "hot temperature" (not "popular"). I didn't know that "warm" can be used interchangeably with "hot". I thought "hot" was always hotter than "warm".
     

    MattiasNYC

    Senior Member
    Swedish
    You are misunderstanding us a bit. I agree that most of the time "hot" is a higher temperature than "warm". That wasn't the point though. The point was that you were using the word "hot" to mean "popular", and I was just saying that especially in the summer people might think you are using the term "hot" to refer to the temperature. So I wasn't trying to say that "hot" and "warm" have the same meaning (degrees) as far as temperature goes, just that they both can refer to temperature instead of "popularity".
     

    meijin

    Senior Member
    Japanese
    You are misunderstanding us a bit.
    I think I understood your first post correctly after reading GWB's last post. Maybe my last post didn't explain it well. I think you used the word "warm" to mean "high temperature". In other words, you could have written "If you show up in NY this time of year then if you ask for a hot coffee, or a coffee that is hot, they will think that you want a hot (as opposed to cold) coffee." Correct?
     

    JulianStuart

    Senior Member
    English (UK then US)
    If I walk into a fashionable cafe in New York, London, etc. and say "I want a coffee that's hot" to the staff there, will they think that I just want to drink coffee hot and what type of hot coffee doesn't really matter? What words should I add if I wanted to drink a coffee that's currently popular?

    1. I want a coffee that's currently hot.
    2. I want a coffee that's hot now.
    3. I want a coffee that's hot these days.


    Would all of these work without making me misunderstood?
    The use of hot in this context is going to be interpreted as referring literally to temperature. That's the problem. You can use the figurative use for many things (e.g., "what's hot in music today?") but not for things that can literally be hot (in a restaurant "What's hot on today's menu?" :eek: ) you'll have to use "popular" or a different synonym.
     

    MattiasNYC

    Senior Member
    Swedish
    I think I understood your first post correctly after reading GWB's last post. Maybe my last post didn't explain it well. I think you used the word "warm" to mean "high temperature". In other words, you could have written "If you show up in NY this time of year then if you ask for a hot coffee, or a coffee that is hot, they will think that you want a hot (as opposed to cold) coffee." Correct?
    Correct.
     

    Packard

    Senior Member
    USA, English
    When I walk into a coffee shop in the summer and ask for a "black coffee" they will often reply with, "Hot or Iced?"

    Sometimes at Starbucks they pour coffee that is tepid, and since "tepid" is not in the barista glossary of terms I say, "The coffee is not hot" Coffee is brewed at 190 degrees F. (ideally) and served at 185 to 165 degrees (ideally). Coffee below 140 degrees will seem like hot tap water--not hot enough for coffee.
     
    < Previous | Next >
    Top