Iced coffee stars in these tricked-out dessert drinks
By Michelle Locke
For the Associated Press
Posted: 07/05/2011 12:01:00 PM PDT
“Iced coffee has completely evolved in the past decade,” says Buffy Maguire, who with her husband runs two Java Beach Cafes in San Francisco and is opening a third.
Last year, the restaurant industry served up 500 million orders of iced, frozen or what are categorized as “slushie” coffee drinks, says Bonnie Riggs, restaurant industry analyst for NPD Group, a market research firm.
That compares with 400 million in 2006, an impressive performance considering there’s been a recession, which typically nips at discretionary items like specialty coffee drinks.
Iced coffee drinks on today’s menus involve more than just pouring regular coffee over rocks. The beans used are premium, just as with hot coffee, and there are special preparations taken to bring out the best of the flavor.
At Java Beach, coffee is steeped overnight or sometimes longer using a coarse grain and cold water, no heat. “What that process does is there’s virtually no acidic quality to the coffee. It just brings out this really caramel-y, chocolate element of the coffee that’s really divine,” she says.
Who’s selling iced coffee?
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.
Dunkin’ Donuts uses a double brewing process that keeps the flavor consistent. “It’s never bitter, it’s not watered down,” says Hudler.
Iced coffee is a caloric chameleon. It can be as spartan as black coffee on the rocks or as hedonistic as a syrup-flavored, whipped cream-infused dessert-in-a-cup. And in case you were wondering, a cold cup of joe still packs a jolt of caffeine.
At Java Beach, “I do give people a warning,” Maguire says. “It’s so smooth that you can drink quite a lot of it.”