How do you start your day? A builder’s tea? (standard) A milky coffee? (safe) A black coffee? (bit extreme) A double espresso? (I think you need help).
Chances are that you, like myself, start your day with a caffeinated beverage to get you going. I was always a tea girl, through and through until I discovered iced coffee, and I’ve been in a coffee fuelled love affair with it ever since. Whilst I could wax lyrical about how amazing it tastes and why you too should love it, its history and influence in modern day society makes for a much more compelling case.
It should come as no surprise to anyone that coffee is one of the most popular drinks in the UK. According to The British Coffee Association, it is estimated that around 2 billion cups of coffee are being consumed every day. Since their inception, coffee shops have changed the UK eating out landscape and become an integral part of British culture, and I’m not just talking your big brands but local independents too. Few concepts achieve the same level of longevity because most of us now fuel our lives with some sort of caffeine fix on a daily basis. Coffee shops have become the perfect spot for just about anything; a quick lunch or brunch, a work meeting, a chinwag with the girls, or simply a quiet place to retreat from the norm. Cold coffee on a rare hot summer’s day is quite simply, miraculous. A cool blend of iced coffee goodness with a refreshing punch of caffeine that hits the spot. In fact, I’d argue it’s SO good that it’s worthy of all-year consumption.
So, where did cold coffee come from? Interestingly, the first version of a cold coffee made its appearance in Algeria in around 1840 during the battle of Mazagran. The battle went on to last (a very long) 17 years and when the French soldiers ran out of milk, they started adding water to their coffee as an alternative. They would leave it to cool during the hot summers before drinking it and thus the ‘cold coffee’ was born. This new creation was named ‘Mazagran’. The new beverage on the block, it stuck around and when the soldiers returned home, they continued to make their cold coffees. Their local cafés caught on to the idea and over time it grew in popularity, spreading to different countries all over the world, taking on new methods and techniques which brings us to the modern day cold coffee – with a recipe for just about anyone. You have your two basics: iced coffee and cold brew, two entirely different drinks, but equally as enjoyable. A cold brew is coffee beans/ground coffee soaked in cold water to extract the caffeine (for up to 12 hours), whereas iced coffee is made with hot water, to extract the flavour and then poured over ice. Both can then be frothed with milk or glazed up with syrup for sweetness.
Today, all forms of cold coffee are (unsurprisingly) one of the most commonly consumed beverages around the world and have quickly become a fashionable trend. Love it or hate it, our social media feeds are littered with pictures of iced lattes in all their mason jar glory. It’s a trend that’s both aesthetically pleasing and delicious. Bloggers, vloggers, Instagram and Pinterest users unite, contributing to the ever growing online coffee community. The latest craze to take over the social media sphere (thanks to Covid-19 keeping us indoors) is the ‘TikTok Whipped Coffee’ – a creamy two-tone coffee, using instant coffee, sugar, hot water, milk and ice (google it and give it a go, it’s not half bad!)
Regardless if you’re whipping it into a trendy whipped coffee, living your best life with a frothy topped, iced caramel frape, retro iced Camp coffee, or sticking with a no gimmicks, OG cold brew, there’s no denying it – the cold coffee trend is well and truly here. All hail the cold coffee!