Iced coffee is a cold variant of the normally hot beverage coffee.
In more recent times it has become common for coffee shops to offer 'iced' versions of their most popular coffee drinks. The iced latte and iced mocha are the two most common examples of this. A quick way of preparing such drinks is to make a small quantity of strong, hot espresso, dissolving the required sweetener/flavorings in the hot liquid and then pouring this directly into a cup of ice cold milk. This method is particularly common in busier coffee shops where rapid customer turnover is required.
In Australia, iced coffee is a cold flavoured milk drink as opposed to simply coffee that has been chilled or cold-brewed. Home made iced coffee is often served with ice cream and whipped cream. The result is something like an un-blended milk shake.
There are many restaurants and cafes which also serve iced coffee made from chilled coffee and water (with or without ice) with ice cream, syrup, cream and cocoa powder or coffee beans on top.
Some commercial varieties of iced coffee are made from real coffee while others contain only coffee flavouring. Most commercial varieties of Australian iced coffee have 2-3 times the caffeine of cola.
Iced coffee has been sold commercially in Australia since the late 19th century in the form of a syrup, an example of which is Bushells Coffe and Chickory Essence, and more recently as a prepackaged, ready to consume drink.
One popular brand is Farmer's Union Iced Coffee, which outsells Coca Cola in South Australia and has become an official icon and legend in that state This particular brand is now widely available in Queensland (as far north as Mackay), Northern Territory, Victoria, New South Wales and Tasmania. The product is not yet available in Western Australia.
Pauls Iced Coffee is the second most popular drink in the Northern Territory, after beer. It is not available outside of the Northern Territory, save for rare instances when it is sold in Dili, East Timor.
Other varieties include Big M, Ice Break, Brownes Iced Coffee Chill, Brownes Coffee Chill, Brownes Dome Cappucino Supershake, Brownes Mocha Chill, Dare, Masters Espresso, Masters Iced Coffee and Max Iced Coffee.
The formulation of the original Max Iced Coffee was changed in September 2001 from full cream milk to low fat. Despite a number of appeals by consumers to the Max Iced Coffee owners (Dairy Farmers) to switch back to the full cream formulation, the low fat variety has remained as the only available Max Iced Coffee in South Australia. However, in other parts of Australia, full cream Max Iced Coffee is still available (known as Oak Iced Coffee).
Other popular cold coffee beverages in Greece are espresso and capuccino freddo.
Long popular among coffee enthusiasts, in the U.S., iced coffee is quickly gaining popularity among the general consumer audience as evidenced by the fact that it is available in mass food franchises such as Burger King and McDonald's. Iced coffee is prepared many different ways, though traditionalists maintain that true iced coffee is cold-dripped using one of a number of ways. Cold dripped coffee contains up to 70% fewer bitter acids than heat brewed coffee making for a smoother, richer tasting coffee drink. For years in an iced coffee concentrate was made by soaking ground coffee and chicory with water in a mayonnaise jar. The next day, the user would remove the grounds. The result was a very strong coffee concentrate that was mixed with milk and sweetened. Another means of making iced coffee is by using a Toddy Maker. Toddy Makers make coffee using a process similar to a mayonnaise jar. In a plastic basket, users soak their favorite coffee blend in water overnight. The following morning, the basket is stacked atop a glass jar. Users pull a plug from the bottom and the liquid coffee drips into the jar. The coffee is placed in the fridge and is good for up to one week. If you are unable to use all of your coffee within a reasonable period of time, it works well to freeze it in ice cube trays to use at any time.
Many coffee retailers ignore the taste benefits of cold-dripped coffee and simply pour hot coffee over ice and serve. Most iced coffee enthusiasts would deem this an unacceptable way of producing iced coffee. In the 'to go' iced coffee world, there are countless grab-n-go products such as Frappuccinos which are premade, presweetened and typically shelf stable. These are typically made using heat-brewed coffee.
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