A World of Ice, Just in Time for the Dog Days – Or Whenever
Iced coffee, cold brew, iced Americano, even coffee blended with ice – cold coffee, it seems, has taken the US by storm, and its popularity has only grown over the last decade. If the selection of bottled, canned, and coffee brands that come in a carton in your grocery store’s beverage cooler can be taken as any indicator, cold coffee will soon be more popular than even hot coffee.
Cold brew, these days, seems to sit unchallenged at the pinnacle of cold coffee popularity. Sure, it may be less caffeinated than other options, even if it’s less diluted than hot coffee poured over ice, but it also has less acid than traditionally brewed coffee. And if cold brew is your jam, that’s understandable, it can be quite wonderful. But why park your cold coffee consumption in one space and never move?
There is a whole world of other cold coffee options that you might try on for size. Here’s a roundup of cold or iced coffees from around the world that we think are definitely worth trying out.
Southeast Asia’s Cold Coffee Beverages
In Southeast Asia, be it in Singapore, Thailand, VietNam or Hong Kong, coffee culture is a bit different than it is in the United States, reflecting the local environment, culture, and ingredient availability. In Thailand, iced coffee is first brewed hot with corn, sesame, soybeans, and sometimes cardamom, then served over ice with either evaporated milk and simple syrup, or canned sweetened condensed milk.
In Vietnam, iced coffee is served with sweetened condensed milk as well, but it is brewed with either chicory or a mixture of both Robusta and Arabica coffee beans. Robusta is a bit harsher than the coffee we use in the western world, but balanced against the sweetness of the condensed milk, it goes down pretty smooth. In Hong Kong, iced coffee is typically served blended with black tea, over ice, so it has extra caffeine.
European Cold and Ice Coffee Drinks
In most of Europe, iced coffee is more of a desert than it is a beverage enjoyed on a hot day. In Germany, Eiskaffee is served with ice cream, whipped cream, grated chocolate, and a cookie in most places. And in Italy, the closest thing you’ll typically find to iced coffee is either cold sparkling coffee soda, or affogato – a shot of espresso poured over a shot of vanilla ice cream.
In Greece, they drink a wonderful blended coffee beverage made of water, sugar, instant coffee, and ice that was accidentally invented by a Nescafe sales representative in the city of Thessaloniki in the 1950s. It is called a Frappe, and bears some resemblance to what you may have seen in your local chain coffee shop, in terms of frozen blended coffee drinks.
Latin America and Iced or Cold Coffee Style
Many of the cold coffee confection traditions of Europe are also represented throughout Central and South America, but in Brazil, they have an iced coffee tradition all their own called mocha cola. Mocha cola starts with double strength coffee, which is then combined with chocolate milk and canned cola for a sweet, delicious cold beverage poured over ice and served with a topping of whipped cream.
Iced Coffee From Around the World
Wherever you’re from and wherever you go, if you’re an iced coffee lover, you’re sure to find a cold coffee beverage that will suit your tastes and deliver exactly what you crave. For extra fun, try out one or more of these international cold coffee delights at home or wherever you brew your coffee.