Hot vs Cold. How do you like coffee as the weather hots up?

We have officially entered British Summertime!

This month’s topic is Hot vs Cold: When the weather heats up do you switch from your hot cuppa to a cold one? Or must you have your usual hot coffee?  I am firmly in the “I need my hot cup of coffee to start the day” brigade, regardless of the weather. I may have fewer cups of coffee during hot weather, but I will have at least a few – well, they start off hot, by the time I finish them they are usually cold. I am frowned upon at home and work for drinking my cold mug of coffee.

On my travels I have tried colder versions of coffee, but they never really seem to satisfy my need for a coffee. I do not believe it to be about the caffeine content, I can drink a cup of coffee at 4am and still be snoring in 5 mins, perhaps it is just about the habit for me, engrained into my being, it has to be a hot cup of coffee.

So many people enjoy a cold version of coffee around the world. You may think that an iced coffee is a recent trend but in fact iced coffees originated around the early 19th century. We do not know the exact origins, but according to some sources it was invented in French Algeria and then spread throughout the world taking on many variations.

Let us have a look at some of the ways to enjoy your coffee, taking inspiration from around the globe. Researching this blog, I have found so many recipes, some mouthwatering and intriguing, some a little less so. There are so many concoctions, here are few that I have chosen to share.

Mazagran, believed to be the original iced coffee, the drink originated in Algeria and is named after an Algerian fortress which housed French Troops in the early 19th century. Back then the beverage was made simply of coffee syrup and cold water. The recipe travelled back to Europe and took many forms but nowadays it is more commonly thought of as a Portuguese beverage and is a refreshing mixture including lemon juice and rum! To make, add sugar to your espresso shot and dissolve, leave to cool then add a ¼ cup of water and lemon juice – and a shot of rum if using. Mix and then pour over a tall glass filled with ice. Garnish with a sprig of mint. Picture Below.. 

The Greek Frappe. One of the most popular drinks throughout Greece, consisting of just instant coffee, water, sugar, and ice. Though instant coffee is not our number one choice, it has been the recommended choice to use here as the freeze-dried coffee is said to create a thicker, more stable foam than fresh coffee due to the lack of oil. The Frappe was invented accidentally in 1957 at the International Trade Fair in Thessaloniki. A Nescafe representative couldn’t find any hot water to make his instant coffee, so he instead shook it up with cold water and ice. And the Frappe was born! To make: 2 tsp instant coffee powder, 2 tsp sugar, or to taste, 1 tbsp cold water, 1 cup cold water or cold milk and a cocktail shaker, or a jar with a tight-fitting lid. Place the sugar, coffee powder and 1 tbsp cold water into the cocktail shaker and shake vigorously until everything is dissolved, and you have a very foamy mixture. This should take about 30 seconds to a minute. Pour the foam into a chilled glass and top it off with the extra cup of cold water or, less traditionally, a cup of cold milk. Stir and enjoy.

The Dalgona coffee, like the Frappe, is a combination of instant coffee, sugar, hot water, and milk. Whipping the coffee, sugar, and hot water creates a luscious, foamy texture, which then sits on top of the hot or cold milk, like an upside-down cappuccino. It can be cold or hot, making it a great year-round beverage. It’s also easy to make at home and requires only four ingredients, 2 tbsp instant coffee, 2 tbsp sugar and tbsp of hot water. Whisk it all together in a bowl for 2-5 mins until the mixture is thick and fluffy, this can be done by hand, but it is much easier to use an electric whisk. Pour two glasses of cold milk and spoon the mixture on top of the milk! Serve and stir. Picture below.

Maybe we need to experiment and see if we can make these with real coffee not instant!?

The Granita Al Caffe. Granitas are enjoyed in Southern Italy. I remember as a child buying a cup of fresh lemon Granita when we spent some of our summer in Capri. In Sicily, a coffee granita it is often served for breakfast topped with whipped cream and accompanied by a brioche.

In fact, a restaurant near us in Soho uses the Formula Rossa to make their own coffee granita. They brought us some to try and, wow, it was intense and delicious!

Making a granita can be a labour of love to make at home, but well worth the effort. Access to an ice cream maker can really help.

A Sicilian breakfast below: 

The Indonesian Es Alpukat Kopi. Alpukat is the Indonesian word for avocado, and, yes, this coffee is made with avocado! A cup of strong coffee is blended with half a ripe avocado, sweetened condensed milk, cold milk, vanilla extract, and ice. Served in a tall glass of ice. This can be quite filling so is often served as a light meal or snack. Picture Below... 

Cuban Iced Café Con Leche. For a Cubano, demerara sugar is first placed into the cup with just a little coffee, and vigorously mixed with a spoon to form a creamy foam called espuma. The rest of the coffee is then added, along with steamed milk. The heat from the coffee reacts with the sucrose in the sugar creating a sweeter and thicker result as compared with adding the sugar at the end. For an iced version, cinnamon is frequently added and many advocate replacing the milk with coconut milk for a true taste of the tropics.

To Sweden and Kaffelemonad, translating to coffee lemonade, this is a great summer refresher. The addition of lemon to coffee is quite common. A Kaffelemonad is traditionally an espresso or coffee with freshly squeezed lemon juice, sugar syrup, and ice. Gaining popularity is adding tonic water to add fizz. 

Vietnamese Iced Coffee, Ca Phe Sua Da. A deliciously sweet, iced coffee made with a strong coffee brewed over sweetened condensed milk. Traditionally a Vietnamese coffee filter, Ca Phin, if you don’t have one, we do! Or you can try with espresso or cafetiere.  In a glass add 2tbsp sweetened condensed milk. Place your Vietnamese coffee filter on the glass and pour your hot water to filter and brew the coffee. Once the coffee is brewed, add ice to the glass, stir and enjoy.

A Brazilian Mocha Cola, this is like a milkshake or float. And while it may seem unusual at first, the pairings work well, and the drink is enjoyed all over Brazil. A cup of very strong coffee is mixed with chocolate milk and cola, served over ice, and sometimes topped with whipped cream or ice cream. 

There are so many recipes and versions of an iced coffee, more include adding coffee to tonic water, or coconut water. Any recipes I have mentioned here may come with variations to them so don’t tell me off if you know them differently.

And, if all these are a little too much for you and you prefer something a little simpler, simply let your freshly brewed coffee cool a little and pour over ice. 

Do you have any of your own recipes that you can share with us?

Have we intrigued you to try an iced coffee, or is this all sacrilege and you are sticking to your usual brew? Let me know!

  • Rowena Altheer says...

    When making iced coffee my husband uses iced coffee cubes made from the small amounts if coffee left in our cafetière or espresso maker. Thus the iced coffee is not weakened by water ice.

    On Jul 09, 2022

  • Jacqueline Heaton says...

    Hi all
    This is such an interesting blog with such delicious examples of drinks.
    I want to try a Granita👍🏻

    Love to all including Miss Phoebe. Any pictures? 😊

    On Jun 30, 2022

  • Faisal Jamal says...

    I think the stoning scene of the old man in Monty Python’s Life of Brian was due to the old man putting cream, milk, avocadoes etc in his Sulawesi or Bolivian! Just neat for me thanks.

    On Jun 30, 2022

  • Sally Stevenson says...

    During my travels in Greece I have found frappé is offered either made with Nescafe or with delicious Greek coffee

    On Jun 30, 2022

  • Stuart King says...

    I thoroughly enjoyed your coffee blog. Thank you. My wife is Finnish and the Finns, I believe, drink more coffee per capita than any other nation but it is largely boring old filter coffee. Perhaps I can entice her to drink a Ca Phe Sua Da. That is definitely one of my favourites.

    On Jun 30, 2022

  • Hugh Parry says...

    Interesting, as ever. But – this time – so ghastly, I shall have a large whisky to accompany the strong, hot black coffee (separately – NOT mixed in), just to help me recover from these horrors.

    On Jun 30, 2022

  • Stuart says...

    I should of added that Greeks only drink instant coffee this way. All my Greek friends would be horrified at the thought of using instant to make a cup of hot coffee. I had heard the story that it was the only way that Nescafé had been able to sell instant in Greece.

    On Jun 30, 2022

  • Stuart says...

    The Greek frappe often has evaporated milk added to the water. Surprisingly delicious.

    On Jun 30, 2022

  • Jo Currie says...

    Maybe not strictly speaking iced coffee but I love affogato

    On Jun 30, 2022

  • Helena Johnson says...

    I have to have a pot of strong hot coffee every morning and any coffee I’d have during the day has to be hot too. Perhaps it is a habit but coffee is meant to be drunk HOT.

    On Jun 30, 2022

  • Joe Jacob says...

    I’ll stay with a plain unsugared espresso.

    On Jun 28, 2022

Leave a comment

Back to News