Iced Coffee- the SAFE Coffee of the “Hot Coffee” Season

The day after HBO’s presentation of “Hot Coffee”, the chatter is turning to the opposite drink temperature-wise - Iced Coffee. It does happen to be coinciding with the start of the summer season in the northern hemisphere, but just the same, drinking iced coffee is not likely to burn you and lead to a lawsuit. BTW, just what is the recommended temperature for an iced coffee drink? Whether it’s to remain burn-free, or because it’s refreshing on a hot afternoon, the popularity of iced coffee drinks rose from 400 million served in 2006 to 500 million served last year. For this statistic, iced coffee is defined as any iced, frozen or slushie coffee drink. This coffee venue has only been around for the last ten years, so 500 million servings a year is a respectable number. At any rate, it was enough to capture the interest of the Associated Press, which just posted a story on the subject. The report points out that iced coffee is more than just coffee which has been sitting around - becoming cold and inspiring someone to plop in a couple of ice cubes. No, actually, as ROASTe regular readers might remember, iced coffee now has its own brewers. It can be brewed several ways, but many coffee shops still serve iced coffee by pouring their normal brewed coffee over ice cubes. When brewed cold, there’s a huge difference, as the acidic quality almost disappears and flavors such as caramel and chocolate pop out. The AP article includes a few “fun facts”: “Nearly 60 percent of iced coffee is consumed at breakfast, 20 percent is treated as a snack, 13 percent of sales are for lunch and 4 percent for dinner. Consumption is heaviest in the Northeast and the frosty java is more popular with women than men.” However, the article didn’t differentiate whether these were the slushie or the brewed variety. AP also brings up the issue of calories. Of course, it’s no different than hot coffee, as the calories are only from the additions of sweetener and dairy items. Iced coffee now comes in many different combinations of smoothies and fancy whipped cream concoctions with chocolate and other garnishment. When the coffee becomes a minor ingredient, the calorie count is probably as high as the mound of whipped cream on top. Iced coffee has come a long way in ten years. At first, and still most often, its availability was/is in the form of the sugary slushie; then came normal coffee poured over ice cubes. Now iced coffee has hit its own third wave, as it is brewed in a brewer designed to bring out its qualities, and it’s valued for the particular characteristics brought out by this unique treatment. If you haven’t tried this summer treat, now is a good time to break tradition and brew cool. Related articles: For more, put “iced coffee” in ROASTe’s search box.

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