Iced coffee had quite a summer in 2014. In fact, I'd venture to say that this is the year that the non-hot variety of every sane person's morning beverage earned its place at the coffee counter, right up there with the lattes and cappuccinos and half-caf double mocha-what-have-yous. In other words, iced coffee is finally being treated with the same sort of respect as espresso varieties and pour-overs. Which makes it all the more difficult to leave behind my iced coffee habit as the summer turns to fall.
If this were a sitcom episode, I'd cue up the montage of me with my favorite summer iced caffeinated beverages, from the sludgy Rook Cold Brew I'd occasionally treat myself to at Black Gold (a record store and café in Brooklyn) to my first sweet taste of the chickory-laced New Orleans Iced Coffee at Blue Bottle to the mind-bending carbonated iced coffee at Crema in Nashville. But this is not a montage, like when Ross has to give away Marcel on Friends and remembers all the good times he had with his monkey, or when Kramer and Newman showcase all their returnable bottle gathering talents on Seinfeld. No, the summer of 2014 is ending, and that's when iced coffee lovers are supposed to simply return to drinking hot coffee.
Another reason why drinking iced coffee felt so right in the summer of 2014 is that even if I was ordering my drink from a non-barista at, say, an old-school deli (not that many remain in NYC) where there was no milk and sugar station and you have to entrust your additions to a stranger, I could say that I only wanted a "splash" of milk and that's what I'd get. Every year before, I'd request the same thing and my coffee would be doused in milk, more an unhealthy beige than a robust dark chocolate hue. It felt like I was drinking panty hose. Until this year, when everybody in the world seemed to accept iced coffee for what it is: completely awesome.
So yeah, it was a great summer for iced coffee, and I for one am not letting it end just because the calendar says I have to or because I watched football games this weekend (J-E-T-S, JETS! JETS! JETS!) or even because I excavated my sweaters from the back of the closet. My pledge is this: As long as the temperature is at 50 degrees Fahrenheit or above (that's 10 degrees Celsius to our friends abroad), I'm going to keep ordering my iced coffee. I figure this will get me into late October, hopefully, maybe even into November. Whether it's cold brew or even just hot coffee poured over ice, I say, let the Summer of Iced Coffee continue! Are you with me?
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