While some of us do love waking up to the warm aroma of a hot cup of coffee in the morning, the warmer weather of the tropics sways many of us to lean more towards the trendier coffee-on-the-rocks as the day progresses.
Where tropical heat is present all year round, you can always count on a glass of iced coffee to keep you moving. To say that this drink can now be found everywhere is an understatement. Nowadays, no matter which cafe or restaurant you find yourself in, there is always a batch of iced coffee variations plastered on the menu. But what is the deal with it and why is it so popular now?
Contrary to popular belief, iced coffee has been around for a long time and can be dated back to the 1840s. The first iced coffee was recorded in Algeria, called mazagran, and was invented by the French army during the Battle of Mazagran. To fight off the scorching heat, they decided to drink their coffee cold by adding water when they ran out of milk. This was then adapted by other groups of soldiers near Mazagran, and iced coffee was born into existence.
Nowadays, we are offered a wide variety of iced coffees on menus. The drink made its way to the mainstream when Starbucks introduced its frappuccino blend in 1995, which consisted of blended ice and cappuccino. One probable reason why iced coffee goes so well with present demographics is that more health-conscious young people prefer this as an alternative to sugary drinks on the market.
The current popularity of iced coffee may also be caused by social media users presenting this as an aesthetic staple of everyday productivity. With its refreshing and thirst-quenching properties, iced coffee is truly one of the best ways to start your day especially when you are always on the go. Here are five hacks to make your iced coffee a little less than ordinary:
Make It Herbal
A touch of spice can go a long way, especially when you’re making iced coffee. If you are an avid coffee drinker and you’re looking for something “more”, then try adding the following herbs to spice your drink up and give it a little texture.
- Cinnamon is the first choice of many to add to coffee. We’re all familiar with the cinnamon powder that’s sprinkled on top of the cappuccino foam. It tastes even better when added to iced coffee!
- Cloves provide an aromatic and woody touch to your coffee but be careful not to add too much otherwise the cloves will overpower the flavor of the coffee.
- Turmeric gives you an earthy taste, but again watch out how much you use. Turmeric supposedly has many health-assisting properties, but the amount you could use in coffee is probably not going to make much difference.
- Cardamom is great if you want to have a more Middle Eastern flavor in your coffee. Like other additions, cardamom also has high percentages of antioxidants so might help make your coffee that little bit healthier.
Add Iced Coffee Popsicles
A hot day will always make you crave for something to chill you down and making your own iced coffee popsicles may be the sure way to satisfy that yearning. They are easy to make and fun to consume — the perfect way to lift your mood if you have a heavy workload through the day.
When friends come to visit, serve the popsicles in the iced coffee and you’ll be sure they will become a conversation piece. Just be sure to have some serviettes on hand because the process of devouring them might get a bit messy.
Add Ice Cubed Flowers
Aside from adding herbs and spices directly to your coffee, why not put some fun into your ice cubes, too by freezing the flowers of your herb plants into the cubes. This hack provides a refreshing twist with your favorite iced coffee formula, and it makes your drink aesthetically attractive as well.
The flowers of the butterfly pea vine which is found in most tropical gardens look lovely in ice cubes. However, if you prefer to have your coffee pure, coffee ice cubes will be your best bet. They keep your coffee strong and undiluted, compared to when you use normal ice cubes that water down the flavor of your drink.
Spike It With Booze
Booze and coffee have always been great companions, whether served hot or cold. Nowadays, some alcohol manufacturers are even leaning to market their products towards the demographics of caffeine enthusiasts. Iced coffee is best paired with vodka or rum-based liqueurs, which gives it a more sophisticated twist.
And a variation on the ice cube hack is to freeze coffee liqueur in your ice cube tray and add those to the iced coffee. As the alcoholic ice cubes melt, your coffee will start to develop quite a punch, so don’t add too many at once.
Make It a Float
We’ve all heard of affogato – that delectable Italian dessert comprising a scoop of vanilla ice cream in a bowl of espresso coffee. There’s probably not an Italian restaurant in the tropics that doesn’t have affogato on the menu.
A variation on the affogato dessert is to add a scoop of ice cream to your iced coffee in a similar manner to making a soda float. Vanilla or coffee ice cream won’t change the flavor of the coffee much, but you can experiment with different flavors like peppermint or rum and raisin for a new twist.
Living in the tropics can certainly take a toll on the levels of our productivity, especially when it comes to enduring the ongoing heat or humidity. That is why you can never go wrong with a glass of iced coffee at hand!