Iced Coffee: an excursion

Coffee, with iceBucking the trend, this has fast become an iced-coffee summer in Heatherland (umm, a subset of Auckland, although the boundaries are a bit blurry). In London I got very used to the frappes at one of the coffee chains (London only does coffee in chains, except for the handful of cafes run by kiwis) but I get the impression that’s a Starbucks invention. I’ve heard a few people commenting that they hate Starbucks, but are addicted to the frappes (or whatever grandefrappilattewhackoccino name they have for ’em). WELL, turns out you don’t have to resort to Starbucks to indulge your frappe addiction, but you do have to choose the right cafe. The term is open to a lot of interpretation depending on one’s cafe of choice, and I have no idea if this is a relatively recent thing or I just never drank any iced coffee in NZ before.

Here’s the list so far, in chronological order, from the day I walked into a cafe & complained about the heat while I was trying to make up my mind about my drinks choice, and the staff member suggested I try an iced coffee:

Richoux, Ellerslie
Classic frappe. If you live/work in Ellerslie & are lamenting the lack of Starbucks outlets: a) are you on crack?? Don’t you KNOW how many cafes and lunch places there are in the area?? There are, like, 29 within a five-minute radius! I’ve counted! OK, so that includes pizza hutt, and the bottle store, but I’m not counting the superettes. b) order an iced coffee from Richoux. Better than their normal coffee, and BIG.

Il Forno, MacKelvie Street
Ponsonby’s best-kept secret. They make their own pastries, and about half the days of the week you can get a ring doughnut fresh like the old days when you’d dig into the white bread straight out of the brown paper grocery bag, but like deep-fried & covered in sugar. I ordered an iced coffee and the staff-girl asked me if I wanted sugar. I was a bit puzzled, but sure enough, iced coffee from Il Forno is coffee, with ice in it, and cold milk. Iced coffee for purists, for sure. Whipped cream optional, depending on who’s at the machine.

Altezano, top of Symonds Street
Don’t do iced coffee. WTF?? However, they do supply doughnuts from Il Forno, and James Duncan works there (swoon), so what they lack in iced coffee, they make up for in rock points.

Shaky Isles, Kingsland
…not so much. The coffee bit at the bottom was good, but there was a mammoth scoop of icecream in it, and whipped cream on top to boot. The result was way too sweet. Probably didn’t help that I was consuming it with the most divine bircher muesli ever, with a lot of fruit & sweetened with maple syrup, but more about that later.

One thing I’m pretty sure all these places have in common, although I’m not entirely convinced this is the case at Shaky, is that the iced coffees are made with shots of real coffee. One would think this goes without saying, but apparently there are still whole areas of the world where iced coffees are made with fake coffee essence. However badly you’re doing, just remember, somewhere in the world someone is drinking a chicory-syrup milkshake, or worse.

Next Action: work my way through every iced coffee on offer in Kingsland.


4 Responses

  1. Hooray for Il Forno! That’s the only way to have ice coffee, otherwise it’s just a milkshake (frappacino? pffft whatever, *walks away with nose in the air like a snob*).

    Check out the Wellingtonista quest for a good ice coffee and the update

  2. Check out the Wellingtonista quest

    OMG, it’s been done?? (hangs head)

  3. In London I got very used to the frappes at one of the coffee chains but I get the impression that’s a Starbucks invention.

    I just did some Wikipediaing, and discovered that the frappe originates from Greece in the 1950s, but with the unglamourous origin of being a Nestle invention!

    The Frappuccinos from Starbucks aren’t frappes — they have more DNA in common with a thickshake or a softserve ice cream.

    But as I’m not one of those starlet types with their big glasses, big handbag and big Frappuccino, I think I will have to pay a visit to Il Forno.

  4. Aha! So, apparently in Britain, frappe & frappuccino are interchangeable, and it’s the latter to which I’m referring. Richoux still good, but Il Forno FTW.

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