Vanilla Ice, Ice Coffee
Where did Iced Coffee come from?
If you're anything like me you love a great cup of coffee…
…but what to do during the muggy, swampy days of high summer?
Ice, Ice, Coffee…
But how exactly did iced coffee come to be, anyway? And who was the genius that thought it up? The real origins are steeped in mystery, but here are a few possibilities.
Brewed in battle
Can you imagine French soldiers standing on a battlefield, sipping iced caramel macchiatos? I can't either, but it happened. Kind of.
One popular story is that iced coffee was invented by French soldiers on a battlefield in the 1830s. Needing a coffee fix during the seventeen year battle to conquer Algeria, they had run out of milk for their coffee. They used water instead and decided to try it cold since it was so hot out! This became so popular with the soldiers that when they returned home they insisted their cafes serve it. It was dubbed “ Cafe Mazagran” after the battlefield it was invented on.
Another popular tale happened several decades later in the late 1950's. A representative from Nestle was in Greece to promote a new product – coffee with chocolate in it, marketed to children. As fate would have it, he had no hot water to make the product and used cold water instead – not surprisingly, it went over amazingly well. Nestle began marketing what was essentially the first cafe frappe immediately. Although it didn't necessarily come to more than regional success at the time, it definitely paved the way for the future of iced coffee.
Centuries of Coffee
There are other stories, of course, going as far back as Japan in the 1600's – some records indicate that the Japanese were using cold brew methods to more easily transport coffee. They passed their technique onto Dutch traders – or maybe it's the other way around. Since records are scarce, it's not clear. But what is clear is that people have been messing with new ways to drink coffee for centuries.
And surely technology played a role in the rise of this beloved beverage too – with the advent of ice-makers and freezers in every home, it made it easier to experiment. Eventually, coffee shops caught on to the idea and it became more common to have iced coffee on the menu – every place from small mom and pops to big chains like Starbucks have it.
So who do we have to thank? French soldiers? The Greeks? The Japanese? I don't even know, but I'm very happy to have coffee shops near me on a hot summer day. Here's to chilling out with iced coffee!
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