Whether you’re in Germany, Greece, Australia or America, iced coffee has become commonplace in almost every coffee shop where hot coffee once reigned king. Traditional drinks that were once served hot are now poured over ice, blended or shaken-up to make sweet, thirst-quenching drinks we’ve all grown to love.
But in some parts of the United States, as we learned last summer, the long-standing method of brewing iced coffee hasn’t changed. Cold brewed iced coffee is a tried and true method, according to Louisiana natives. “It’s part of our culture,” according to Brandon Hebert who went on to explain that iced coffee has been an integral part of his life for decades.
Cold brewing, Hebert said, takes more than 12 hours from start to finish. First you start with a big mixing bowl, add a pound of coarsely ground dark roast coffee to a fine-mesh sieve. Wet the grounds with 2 cups of cold water, and then add 8 more cups of cold water after initial infusion. Cover the bowl and let the grounds steep in the water for at least 12 hours.
This method holds true in Germany, as well, where coffee lovers prepare iced coffee- or Eiskaffe- using either the cold brewing method or by using a French press, allowing the coffee to cool to room temperature before adding ice. Once brewed, ice cream is spooned into the glass and thick, whipped cream is added to the top. Eiskaffe is served in a very tall glass with a long-handled spoon. Because ice cream floats naturally to the top, you’ll have a layered effect in your glass according to café employees.
In Greece, however, the frappé remains the national drink, gaining most of its notoriety during the 2004 Summer Olympics. This icy, cold, foam-covered coffee drink can be prepared with brewed coffee, espresso or instant coffee. Traditionally, most frappés are made with instant coffee, sugar, cold water and ice - then are shaken and served in a tall, frosty glass. It depends on what region you’re from though, because frappés are made with a variety of different ingredients – some with fruit, some with ice cream or cola, Kahlua or even Baileys Irish Cream.
Sweet additions like Kahlua or Cordials are popular with Aussies, as well – where iced coffee is more than a refreshing drink, it’s a dessert. You see, Australians have turned iced coffee into a flavoring of sorts by concentrating and packaging it as syrup. Australians aren’t so picky about the coffee or the way it’s brewed because they usually use this instant or concentrated syrup and then mix it with milk or water. In fact, some concentrated syrups made in Australia have chicory essence and can be poured directly over ice cream!
If that sounds good, don’t be afraid to hop on a flight down-under mate! Or try the cold brewing method that our friends below the Mason-Dixon line suggest. Either way, you’ll quench your thirst and stay cool this summer.
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