Summer is officially here because I am regularly sweating through my shirts. With that said, that brings with it cold coffee season. I won't sit here and argue the tried and true differences between cold coffee, iced coffee, or cold brew - do whatever you want with your chilled bean juice. But what I will do is give you five clever, fun, and creative recipe ideas to shake up that standard iced vanilla latte vibe you might be getting into.
Add a Dash of Lavender
This is becoming more and more popular and I'll be honest. The first time I saw this on the menu I was skeptical. To me, lavender is a candle scent. It's made for lotion, body wash, or for spraying around your bathroom after the not-so-pretty business. I thought adding lavender to coffee was a serious sin. I bucked up and tried it after the barista assured me it was better than I was thinking and she was totally right. After that, I knew I had to make it myself with decaf coffee at home.
I found a few different syrups to add that I really like. I prefer to stay away from sugary syrups unless they're all-natural - the fewer ingredients the better and if you can read and understand the ingredients, all the better. You can find this syrup nearly anywhere but they make some really nice ones at local natural grocers I find are so tasty. Keep in mind, you will use *very little* at a time so don't let a price tag sway you. It should last a long time unless you fall in love with it and obsess over it like I did for a few weeks.
It's simple, make your cold coffee/cold brew/iced latte how you normally would. When you're ready to add milk and/or flavor, put a teaspoon or two of the lavender syrup in at the same time, swirl, stir, and enjoy. I think the best, and most unexpected part, about adding this to your coffee is how refreshing it is. It's a perfect combination of something comforting - the coffee you know and love - and something fresh like lavender. It's also a nice aromatic experience as well. In my opinion, the best partner for lavender from our lineup is Island Time if you want a flavored pairing (the Rum + natural sweetness play well), or our Stargazer. It's a medium roast and has complimentary floral notes that work well with the lavender without overpowering it.
Freshen Up with Mint
As with lavender, mint has a lot of the same properties and experiences with added to coffee. It's very refreshing and almost crips in comparison to coffee's fuller body and heady taste profile. When adding mint, I do go a bit rogue. Sometimes it's spearmint I'm craving and I can add some fresh mint leaves with it (feeling oh, so fancy!) and sometimes I lean toward a peppermint style. Peppermint often makes me reminiscent of the holidays but it's just exceptional in the summer with iced coffee. Almost dessert-quality good. Not only that, but I get wild and pair the mint syrup teaspoon with an additional teaspoon of mocha or chocolate syrup as well. I love me some chocolate mint action and adding it to a coffee beverage in the summer is basically an ice cream treat sans creepy ice cream truck vibes.
Minty goodness goes well with Afternoon Delight, a single-origin, low-acid bean from Brazil that has natural chocolate undertones that are crisp and clean. Otherwise, our Yin Yang blend would partner well with your mint cravings too. The bight vanilla bean and the warmth of dark chocolate in that blend take a little mint a long way.
You know the classic rootbeer float ya? Well, try it with coffee. It will not disappoint. Again, go cold coffee or cold brew, but make it a float! Whether you add true ice cream or you can simply froth your whole milk into thick, fluffy oblivion, just make it cold and slap that dairy (or non-dairy if you want) goodness into a tall glass of cold coffee and enjoy. Sure, add some flavor if you want - a dash of classic vanilla would be great - or go with flavored ice cream for added fun. It makes your regular cold coffee experience really feel more like a treat. Plus, it's so much fun to make and share.
Use Cereal Milk
I've been seeing this everywhere and haven't been able to make it as often as I want. We aren't big cereal people here and so we don't readily have some tasty sweet breakfast kibbles on hand. But this, this creative drink will make you NEVER want to toss that cereal milk ever again.
Now, I'll preface this by saying you don't HAVE to eat the cereal if you don't want to. But you can if you want. No rules here. Either way, you know what we're talking about right? When you pour a bowl of cereal - think cocoa pebbles or cinnamon toast crunch, the milk starts taking on something of that amazing flavor. That's what we want. You can soak some cereal in milk for a few minutes while you prep, but that's how you start. Get some cereal milk in the making right now.
Then, make your coffee as you want - brew, drip, iced, whatever - get it ready. Then, once the milk has taken on some of the essence of the cereal, remove the cereal (by eating it or another technique) until you just have the milk leftover. You can pour the milk directly into your coffee or froth it a bit for some fun milky thickness, either way, that's all you have to do. Now you have fresh, iced coffee to keep you cool and some added sweetness from your favorite cereal to enjoy.
Sweet Orange Sophisticated Coffee
Finally, and this one feels the most fancy, adding orange zest to your sweetened milk. Think about like orange danishes or sweet orange cakes or desserts. That's what we're going for. Start with coffee in a cup with ice. In another cup or bowl, add your milk, a little bit of sugar or simple syrup (just for a little more sweetness) and then squeeze some orange juice (about 2-3 tsp) and then add a touch of orange zest to the milk as well.
You can froth this or just put a lid on the cup and shake it to mix, but that's it. Add it to the coffee for a really refreshing drink. Get fancy and add it to a martini cup with a curly orange peel so you can feel super duper fancy. This is really, truly, one of my favorites despite being a bit high-end.
My favorite coffee to add with this is actually our Lakehouse Roast. It has some light, natural sweetness and some spices that make it really rich with the orange. Plus, a classic dark roast tends to be my bias when it comes to cold drinks for whatever reason.
Go forth! Try something new this summer with your classic iced or cold coffee drink. Always choose naturally processed decaf so you can have as many cups as you want! Heck, with decaf, you can try all of these recipes in one day and still be just fine heading to bed.
Until next time, friends.
May your days be mindful, your moments be quiet, and your coffee be decaf.