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Espresso, Black Or Iced Coffee – Is Your Coffee Helping With Productivity?

woman sits drinking coffee

Coffee, consumed by millions around the world, plays a vital role in our society. From friendly social catchups, business meetings, to a caffeinated boost during the day, many of us cannot live without it. But with all its variations, which type of coffee is scientifically the best?

Experts at Brew Smartly conducted a study investigating which popular coffee drinks boost productivity the most. The study surveyed and grouped 4,250 volunteers and asked participants to complete short tasks before consumption of a specific coffee type (15 in total) and after.

Coffee typeAverage number of tasks completed before coffeeAverage number of tasks completed after coffeeProductivity increase (%)
Iced coffee3567%
Espresso macchiato4650%
Flat white3433%
Café au lait4525%

Coffee that increases productivity the MOST

In first place is the heart and soul of every coffee variation, the brewtiful espresso – this coffee resulted in a whopping 80% increase in productivity as participants completed an average of five of ten tasks before the shot was drunk and nine of ten tasks once consumed! Espresso originates from Italy and consists of finely ground coffee that’s brewed under pressure and captures the essence of the coffee bean.

In second place is the mugnificent black coffee in a regular-sized cup with volunteers recording a productivity increase of 75%! – they completed four tasks before drinking the beverage and seven afterwards. 

Iced coffee ranks in third place as participants demonstrated a 67% increase in productivity. Three tasks were completed before drinking the coffee and five once consumed. This coffee variation has been popularised further by social media and can be constructed simply by pouring coffee over ice cubes. 

Coffee that increases productivity the LEAST

On the other hand, drinking a frappuccino results in the least increase in productivity – 14%. Participants scored an average of seven out of ten tasks before and eight out of ten tasks after. Interested in delving further, reported volunteers stated the drink was too heavy to concentrate on tasks and “felt like napping afterwards”.

BrewSmartly can reveal that Irish coffees place in second position with a steamy 17% increase in productivity (six tasks before and seven tasks after). Probably best consumed after dinner as a sweet treat, this drink consists of Irish whisky topped with whipped cream and nutmeg sprinkles.

Also reporting a mere 17% increase is the roasty cappuccino. This milk-based coffee is made of a double espresso shot, in addition to hot milk, and is served with a foamy topping. 

In third place, is the café au lait with a 25% increase in productivity. Not to be confused with a flat white, café au lait is assembled with dark coffee and hot milk. Whereas a flat white, which fared better results in productivity with an increase of 33%, is an espresso with hot milk.