cold/lukewarm

meijin

Senior Member
Japanese
Hi, please see the following example I created, imagining it being spoken by your friend while talking about drinks in general.

Coffee doesn't taste good after it's cold/lukewarm.

Is "cold" here as cold as the coldest in room temperature while "lukewarm" is still warmer than the coldest state?
Or are "cold" and "lukewarm" mean the same thing in this context?
 
  • Barque

    Senior Member
    Tamil
    "Lukewarm" means that it's slightly warm while "cold" in this situation means "at room temperature".

    Coffee doesn't taste good after it's cold/lukewarm.
    Coffee doesn't taste good when it goes cold.
    Coffee doesn't taste good if/when it's lukewarm.
     

    sound shift

    Senior Member
    English - England
    "After" sounds odd here, meijin. I'd say "when."

    What my "friend" says will be an opinion, so there's no limit to what he/she could say here. For example, he/she may think that some people like cold coffee.

    "Cold" and "lukewarm" are not the same in this context.
     

    Copyright

    Senior Member
    American English
    Neither of these sounds quite right:

    Coffee doesn't take good when it's cold. (I guess we're not talking about iced coffee here, but hot coffee that has gone cold.)
    Don't bother ordering the coffee here – they always serve it lukewarm.

    In the first, cold and lukewarm would be the same temperature.
    In the second, lukewarm would be warmer than cold.

    Added: Slow post ... I was drinking tea.
     

    meijin

    Senior Member
    Japanese
    Coffee doesn't taste good when it goes cold.
    Coffee doesn't taste good if/when it's lukewarm.
    "After" sounds odd here, meijin. I'd say "when."
    I see. So, "after" should probably be used when talking about future, like "Stop looking at the phone and drink it while it's hot. It won't taste good after it's cold/lukewarm." (I can actually omit "after it's" and say "It won't taste good cold/lukewarm", I believe.)

    "Lukewarm" means that it's slightly warm while "cold" in this situation means "at room temperature".
    "Cold" and "lukewarm" are not the same in this context.
    In the first, cold and lukewarm would be the same temperature.
    It's interesting that Copyright's perception is different from those of Barque and Sound Shift.

    (I guess we're not talking about iced coffee here, but hot coffee that has gone cold.)
    Yes, I wondered if I should write "Hot coffee doesn't...", then I heard some poster saying in my head "When it's cold/lukewarm it's no longer hot coffee...", so I deleted "Hot"...
     

    e2efour

    Senior Member
    UK English
    Cold and lukeworm could refer to the same thing, e.g. in This coffee is cold.
    It's all relative. If something is hot and cools down, it can be described loosely as cold.

    One might say that the UK is fairly cold in the summer, compared with Greece.

    Saying that something is cold is not a precise form of words in many situations.
     

    Copyright

    Senior Member
    American English
    I see. So, "after" should probably be used when talking about future, like "Stop looking at the phone and drink it while it's hot. It won't taste good after it's cold/lukewarm." (I can actually omit "after it's" and say "It won't taste good cold/lukewarm", I believe.)
    I would still use "when" rather than "after" – or nothing, as you suggest.
    It's interesting that Copyright's perception is different from those of Barque and Sound Shift.
    It's all context.
    If I get hot coffee and then let it become cold or lukewarm, I would think those temperatures are close or identical.
    But I wouldn't expect a diner to serve me cold coffee, which is why I called it lukewarm – colder than hot coffee should be, but not room temperature.
    Yes, I wondered if I should write "Hot coffee doesn't...", then I heard some poster saying in my head "When it's cold/lukewarm it's no longer hot coffee...", so I deleted "Hot"...
    You don't need to write "hot coffee" because "hot" is the default, so I was just clarifying.
     

    Packard

    Senior Member
    USA, English
    For me, "lukewarm" presumes that the product should have been hotter. Whereas "cold" does not make that presumption.

    My steak is cold. We all know that a steak should be served hot.

    My drink is cold. This is good if it is beer; it is bad if it is hot coffee.

    My coffee is lukewarm. For me this means it is hot coffee gone cold. I suppose it could mean iced coffee gone warm, but I would expect that to be simply "warm" and not "lukewarm".
     
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