In Which There Are Cold, Milky, Delicious Coffees…

Cheap. delicious, refreshing...

Cheap. delicious, refreshing…

Considering that we’re now experiencing chilly weather here in Manila, iced coffee – especially a large tumbler of milky coffee poured over ice – definitely hits the spot when needed the most.  In this part of the world, it’s pretty easy to get a milky iced coffee.  Even fast-food joints have turned them into an all-day indulgence as opposed to an AM-only alternative to a steaming cuppa Joe.

Jollibee, in particular, has made iced coffee something of a real treat.  Its Coffee Float is something of a cross between a coffee milkshake and a coffee float in the sense that they first drizzle chocolate syrup on the inside of the plastic tumbler before pouring in the chilled, milked-up coffee.  Rather than a splodge of whipped cream, a generous helping of vanilla soft-serve is swirled on top and drizzled with more chocolate syrup.

It’s not as smooth or as richly flavorful as a drink from an upmarket coffee bar – indeed, it errs on the sweet side – it’s a good way to chill out on a lazy weekend afternoon.

It's baaaack!

It’s baaaack!

At the other end of the spectrum is something that I’ve been hankering for three years straight.  Yes, for this year’s barrage of sticker-collecting for a 2014 planner, Starbucks has brought back – finally! – its gingerbread latte.  (About bloody time, sod it!  Please remember that not all Filipinos have a sweet tooth; some of us prefer darker, spicier flavors!)

This year’s gingerbread latte is an improved version, I think: there is a correct balance between the sweetness and the natural bitterness of the coffee.  The spices are more pronounced this time around: you can actually discern notes of ginger, nutmeg, clove, and a touch of cinnamon in the mix.  While this is ideally served hot, an iced version is actually more than a little appealing.  The sharpness of the spice mix is muted somewhat, but blends more easily with the other flavors in the drink.  Happy drink, happy me, and a happy day all around.

If you’re craving for a chilled coffee, I daresay you can actually get a fix at home with this nifty little recipe:

Brown Coffee Refresher

  • 1 single-serve sachet brown coffee (for choice, I’d recommend Kopiko if you like it more bitter than sweet; Owl White Coffee sweetened with gula melaka [palm sugar] if you’re into something more exotic)
  • 1 cup milk
  • 1 scoop vanilla or coffee ice cream
  • a few ice cubes
  • a pinch of cinnamon, to serve

Place all the ingredients except for the cinnamon in a blender.  Process at the highest speed for about 45 seconds; reduce speed and blend for 30 seconds more.

Pour into a glass and sprinkle over the cinnamon.  If desired, you could also swirl on some whipped cream.

Serves 1.

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