It feels like only a few days ago that we were relying on our steaming, aromatic cups of hot coffee as a caffeinated comfort blanket to start the day. But as soon as we get a stretch of sunshine in Ireland we start to lose the run of ourselves. If it’s over 16 degrees for three days in a row we declare it a heatwave, hunt out our one pair of shorts and join the mile-long tailback to the beach. During these times of endearing national delusion, coffee lovers face a dilemma — do we still keep our routine of a freshly boiled brew and sweat it out, or do we call on our plan B?
Plan B of course is iced coffee or cold brew — there’s more than one type of cold drink that gives you wings. If you need the morning kick without starting the day with sweaty brow, it’s the only option. You want a hassle-free cold caffeine bomb that hits the spot and won’t cost you an actual bomb like an over-priced chain.
A short history of iced and cold coffee
You might think a sugar-hit syrupy iced latte is a relatively recent development, but cold coffee has been around since 1840, when French Foreign Legion soldiers created a drink they called Mazagran, made by mixing a sweetened coffee concentrate with cold water when they ran out of milk during the seizure of the Mazagran Fortress in Algeria.
Thankfully, versions around the world have less bloody origins, with a variety of delicious approaches. In Vietnam, traditional French press is poured over ice, with added sweet and thick condensed milk; in Japan, iced coffee (aisu kōhī) is served with gum syrup and milk; Italian coffee bars opt for Caffe Freddo — strong espresso served straight from the freezer as slush, while of course the US leads the way in confectionary flamboyance, with the Starbucks Frappuccino opening up a whole new world of over-the-top milkshake-like concoctions in thousands of coffee shops nationwide.
How to make your own — the Coffee Perfection way
We’re not going overboard with a foot-long glass topped with ice cream and garnished with extras you’d find in a tiki cocktail bar, but we’re still going down the sweet route with our creation. You’ve surely noticed the rise of cold brew coffee in recent years, with a great selection of cans available in nearly every supermarket. While most iced coffees at home are made using espresso, milk and ice, we take things a bit slower at Coffee Perfection with our cold brew method — simply add five bags of our revolutionary coffee bags to one litre of cold water and put it in the fridge for 18 – 24 hours. No squeezing or stirring — just let it naturally extract. If you fancy an iced latte, just add milk and ice in equal portions. And to really up your game, why not add a shot of rich syrup from Monin — we have a selection here, for some truly decadent possibilities at a fraction of the price!
Until next time, enjoy the sun (while it lasts). We’ll maybe see you next time for tips on how to keep warm…
The Coffee Perfection team.