One has to wonder whether those who started coffeehouses in 14th-century Turkey knew how big coffee culture would become in the 21st century? Did they have any idea that this elixir of the gods would be turned into the deliciousness that is now frappes, cappuccinos, pumpkin-spiced lattes, and all other manner of coffee drinks?
That isn’t to say that modern baristas haven’t added to the conversation about coffee culture. The minute one savvy barista added a little ice to coffee, along with a dollop of chocolate syrup and a hint of mint, coffee-drinking moved to a whole new level. It went from being the warming drink that people drank in the bitter winter months to something that would refresh even the hottest of summer days.
It is those spring and summer coffee incarnations that this post celebrates. Here are three of the best spring and summer coffee drinks to try when temperatures get hot.
1. Vietnamese Iced Coffee
Vietnamese iced coffee is like the rich cousin of an old favorite. Sure, it’s “just” coffee with a bit of condensed milk. But…It’s what you do with the two ingredients that go into it that makes it so delish and addicting and one of the tastiest coffee recipes you can make.
• 2 TBSP Café Du Monde Coffee with Chicory
• 2 TBSP sweetened condensed milk
Steep the coffee grounds in a heat-proof container. You want the grounds to “bloom,” which allows the rich flavor that people associate with Vietnamese iced coffee. Two-thirds cups of boiling water ought to do the trick.
Once this is done, pour the steeped coffee into a heat-proof glass. Add in the condensed milk. Then add ice. Stir the mixture together.
2. Milanese Hot Chocolate and Coffee Drink
Spring mornings are a bit tricky for coffee drinkers. Many early spring mornings still retain the chill of winter on them. But by midday, the chill is gone and the heat begins to set in. While this may be problematic from a clothing standpoint, it’s easier from a coffee-drinkers’ standpoint.
In other words, if you’re going to drink something hot, the cool, misty mornings of spring are the time to do it.
On these mornings, drinks that allow you to combine early morning drink standbys, like hot chocolate or cocoa and steamy coffee, provide an extra special treat.
• 1/4 c. cocoa powder
• 1/4 c. sugar
• 1 1/2 c. milk
• 2/3 c. espresso or very strong coffee
Get out a medium-sized bowl and stir in the sugar and the cocoa powder. Continue to stir until this dry mix is combined thoroughly. Next, heat the milk until it starts to steam. Add in the dry mix, using a whisk. Continue to whisk together the dry and wet ingredients until the coffee/ cocoa mixture turns to froth. Serve in a mug with a dollop of whipped cream, chocolate sprinkles, or a dash of cinnamon.
If the day has turned hot and you still want this drink, allow it to cool down in the fridge and then add ice cubes. Top with whipped cream and drink. Mmmmm….
3. The Greek Frappé
Greek coffee culture is entrenched in Greek society, according to the Perfect Daily Grind website. The Athens Coffee Festival and the country’s €990 million coffee industry just go to show that coffee-drinking is alive and well in Greece.
And thank goodness! One of the most popular summer coffee drinks here stateside – the frappé – is actually a Greek import. Interestingly enough, the frappé signifies Greece’s entry into the cold-coffee movement.
Frappés sound so impressive and taste so delicious that you’d be forgiven for thinking that this icy drink is complicated to make. It isn’t. The flavor of this summer-sidewalk-cafe-favorite arises from instant coffee that has been blended with chocolate syrup, crushed ice, and other flavors, like caramel or mint.
• 1 tsp. instant coffee of your choice
• 1/4 c. water (It should be boiling.)
• 1 c. fat-free milk
• 4 1/2 c. chocolate syrup
• Crushed ice
Dissolve the instant coffee in the hot water. Allow this to cool down. Once it is, pour the coffee into your ice cube tray and put it into the freezer until you have coffee ice cubes.
Later, combine the coffee ice cubes, the milk, and the chocolate syrup in your blender and blend until the mixture is smooth. Add in some additional crushed ice and then blend once more.
Serve in chilled glasses with more chocolate syrup and whipped cream.
You can add other flavors to this drink using flavored syrups, like caramel, vanilla, mint, or banana. Your only limit is your imagination.
Spring and summer coffee drinks allow you and yours to continue to drink coffee as the days grow longer and warmer. While many summer coffee drinks are chilled, some are not. To enjoy a full-bodied, coffee-filled summer, include both kinds to make every day right as rain and just as refreshing.