In English, "warm" and "hot" are usually interchangeable when ordering a hot drink. In my experience, "hot" is more frequently used.

I was corrected with 温かいコーヒー when asking for an 熱いコーヒー so I assume that my statement was incorrect.

Thus, I am curious as to why 温かい is the preferred adjective for ordering a "hot" beverage?


「熱い飲み物」 is used when we want to emphasize a drink's hotness.

「温かい飲み物」 is used for drinks that are properly hot.

My friend often says 「熱いお茶をください」 when she wants to emphasize its hotness.


One of the definitions for 温かい is "(pleasantly) hot".

Thus, requesting a beverage that is 熱い is akin to asking for an "(unpleasantly) hot" drink.


According to the dictionary:

熱い: When the temperature is excessively hot.
暖かい: neither hot nor cold, a comfortable temperature.



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