Review of Iced Coffee Drinks
Typically, cold coffee becomes popular in the summer, but with each passing year, the seasonal dependency is becoming less noticeable. Experiments with composition and cooling methods allow for a wide variety of flavors, resulting in an increasing number of cold beverage enthusiasts.
Coffee shops serve cold coffee in different ways, with recipes influenced by the facilities' equipment and space. We have previously discussed the types of cold coffee drinks, their production methods, and the main differences between nitro coffee, cold brew, and coffee concentrate. In this article, we will introduce recipes where ice is an essential ingredient.
Iced Coffee: 10 Recipes from Around the World
It is difficult to say where iced coffee was first prepared. One of the early mentions of a similar beverage dates back to 1840. In Algeria, a drink called "mazagran" appeared, consisting of strong coffee with sugar, water, and ice. French soldiers defending the fort of Mazagran came up with this recipe. They enjoyed the new drink, and over time its popularity spread to Portugal. There, it was enhanced with mint, lemon, and rum.
It is the mazagran that many consider to be the original iced coffee. However, it cannot be definitively established, as coffee drinks with a similar composition exist in many countries.
Thai iced coffee "Oliang". In Thailand, a special blend is prepared, which includes not only ground coffee beans but also corn, soy, and sesame seeds. "Tung Tom Ka Fe," a cloth filter with a wire loop, is used for brewing. It can be replaced with a cone-shaped paper filter. The brewed mixture is combined with a generous amount of condensed milk and ice. During the cooling process, the rich coffee flavor blends with the sweet creamy taste, and as the ice melts, it dilutes the intensity.
Greek frappé and American frappuccino. Traditional Greek frappé differs significantly from what is served at Starbucks. The authentic recipe includes only instant coffee, water, sugar, and ice. Espresso cannot be used for Greek frappé. Due to the spray drying process, the dehydrated coffee lacks oils, which results in a more stable suspension and a characteristic thick layer of foam on the surface when whipped.
The frappé was accidentally invented in 1957, and to this day, it remains the most popular coffee drink among Greeks. © Jcomp at Freepik.com
Do not confuse this traditional beverage with the frappuccino served at Starbucks. The latter is prepared with coffee and crushed ice, to which chocolate or caramel syrup is added, and it is garnished with cookies, sprinkles, or whipped cream.
German iced coffee Eiskaffee consists of espresso, ice, and vanilla. If it is topped with ice cream, condensed milk, whipped cream, chocolate syrup or shavings, and wafer cookies, it transforms into a full-fledged dessert. This recipe is similar to the Italian affogato, which consists of only two ingredients: espresso and gelato.
Spanish coffee canario. This beverage can be served both hot and iced. Its alternate name is "coffee bombón." It includes espresso, condensed milk, a hint of vanilla extract, and cocoa powder.
Coffee Delhi-style. This drink is incredibly refreshing and thirst-quenching in the heat. It requires frothed milk, instant coffee, and ice. Occasionally, it is complemented with vanilla or chocolate ice cream and garnished with chocolate shavings.
Coffee Delhi-style is more akin to a cocktail and is a traditional part of India's coffee culture.
Cold coffee with Baileys. The classic recipe includes Irish liqueur Baileys, dark Guinness beer, as well as vanilla ice cream with a small amount of espresso and ice. Whipped cream is used for garnishing. It is more of a dessert, and you will need a spoon to savor it.
Indonesian coffee with avocado. This beverage is more reminiscent of a smoothie. It incorporates crushed avocado, vanilla, coffee, and condensed milk. Ice is added for a cooling effect. The drink is satisfying and can easily replace breakfast or a snack.
Vietnamese yogurt coffee. In this country, predominantly robusta coffee is grown, known for its high bitterness and density. To balance the taste, condensed milk or yogurt is added to the coffee. The use of fermented dairy products not only makes the beverage nutritious but also beneficial for digestion. In Vietnam, it is called "ca phe sua chua" and is characterized by a sweet and sour flavor. It is served over ice as a nutritious breakfast option.
Coffee lemonade. The combination of coffee and lemon is quite common. It is believed that the citrus fruit enhances the sweetness of the coffee beans. In Sweden, they took advantage of this fact and created a refreshing beverage using espresso, lemon, sugar, water, and ice.
Almond milk can be added to the coffee lemonade, or it can be made effervescent by using tonic water.
Almost every country has its own traditional recipe for iced coffee. You can surely try it at local coffee shops. The key is not to confuse cold coffee with iced coffee when placing your order. They are completely different beverages with their own taste qualities and merits. In the following section, we will compare them and discuss the advantages of iced coffee.
Which to choose: iced coffee or cold brew
For the base of iced coffee, freshly brewed espresso is typically used, which is then mixed with other ingredients and ice.
However, if you order cold coffee at a coffee shop, you will likely be served cold brew—a beverage prepared using the cold extraction method. The recipe is simple: freshly ground coffee is steeped in cold water for 8 to 24 hours, filtered, and refrigerated. In cold water, certain oils and acids do not dissolve. As a result, the drink has a smoother and less pronounced taste compared to hot extraction.
As for the stimulating effect, it directly depends on the caffeine concentration. For example, if the ice is finely crushed, it melts quickly and further dilutes the drink. However, if large ice cubes are used, they retain their shape longer, keeping the drink more concentrated. The guest will likely finish the drink before the cubes turn into water.
The caffeine content in a cold beverage can be easily regulated by the size of the ice cubes.
Another advantage of iced coffee is its speed of preparation. It is sufficient to brew espresso and combine it with ice and chosen additions, and the drink is ready.
There are numerous recipes for iced coffee beverages. They are commonly based on espresso or black coffee, complemented with frothed milk, whipped cream, and sugar. This combination results in a delicate, smooth taste and a pleasant texture.
Iced coffee beverages are quickly prepared, provide refreshing and invigorating sensations, making them popular during hot weather. However, for classic Iced Latte and Iced Cappuccino, we continue to use freshly brewed espresso as tradition dictates instead of instant coffee.