There are people in this world who drink hot coffee when it’s 100 degrees out.
I am not one of those people.
Long before there was the Frappuccino, my grandma was freezing mugs of leftover coffee and sugar for me to make summer afternoon coffee slushies when I was a kid. Today we have a whole world of cold brew and iced coffee options at coffee shops around Louisville and Southern Indiana. So I asked 10 local coffee shops what their to-go iced coffee drink is for the summer. Join me on a tour of Louisville offerings!
1138 Goss Ave.,beangtown.com/
We can thank manager Hayley Fisher’s summer vacation to Portugal for The Hayley’s Comet. Inspired by a corner café on the beaches of Porto, Hayley brought the drink back to share with Germantown. It’s cold brew concentrate, orange juice and Topo Chico mineral water served on ice with an optional lemon slice.
718 W. Main St., facebook.com/blackbeardespresso/
While the Coconut Mocha is available hot, “we think it’s superior and maybe even absolutely perfect as an iced beverage,” said co-founder Stephen Young.
Blackbeard espresso gets dark chocolate, coconut creme, ice and cold milk, topped with fresh whipped cream, a little chocolate drizzle and in-house-toasted coconut.
“One sip and you’ll swear you’re on vacation enjoying the sunrise on a beautiful serene beach,” Young says. “Pro tip: get it with coconut milk for the full experience.”
Bourbon buyer’s remorse: I bought a really expensive bourbon and regret it
1420 Bardstown Road, dayscoffee.com/
In addition to a lineup of frozen coffee drinks called Big Trains, Day’s offers an Espresso Spritz. It’s simply espresso and seltzer water with an optional lemon. A regular customer was initially turned away from the Spritz because of the description, says assistant manager Samantha Ashby; “however, they gave it a shot and now this is the only drink they order. Whenever I mention this drink to customers they are intrigued.”
2501 Grinstead Drive, fantescoffee.com/
The Iced Lily Latte offers a choice of milk or plant-based milk and a double shot of chilled espresso with lavender honey and a dash of vanilla garnished with a lemon and a shortbread cookie. The Iced Luke Latte also starts with a choice of milk or plant-based milk and a double shot of chilled espresso, then gets salted caramel and chocolate sauce topped with whipped cream and garnished with a shortbread cookie.
These drinks are “named after our grandchildren and the ingredients reflect their personality traits,” said Leo Fante.
Multiple locations; heinebroscoffee.com/
Somebody was bound to bring bourbon into the picture, and Heine Bros. has done just that with Bourbon Barrel Foods’ Bourbon Smoked Sugar in its Bourbon Blackberry Latte, which also stars local raw honey and blackberry syrup. Created by one of their baristas this summer, the drink is a hit with customers for its unique and “not too sweet” flavor, said Chuck Slaughter, director of marketing and technology. It’s available hot or iced.
1140 Bardstown Road, facebook.com/highlandcoffeecompany/
Coffee and … watermelon? Yep.
“Our most unique summer coffee beverage would be our watermelon cold brew,” said co-owner Natalie Hofer. “We start with our cold-brewed Mexico Organic cold coffee,” she said. What is cold brew — ground coffee steeped in cold water for several hours instead of brewing quickly in hot water. The slow steeping process in cold water extracts different flavor profiles, as well as a much lower acidity than the faster hot brewing method, which makes an especially delicious cold coffee drink.
“We then add a splash of our natural watermelon fruit purée, a splash of macadamia milk and ice,” she said.
“It’s an unexpected combination that people have to take a few seconds to think about, she says, “but our staff and customers both have been loving it. The flavor is subtle, not overly sweet or overpowering, very summery and refreshing.”
1512 Portland Ave., mcquixote.com/
In addition to its classic cold brew, the Portland shop offers a coffee soda featuring house blend coffee, Southern Exposition from Good Folks Coffee. The Guatemalan and Kenyan blend “brings out notes of chocolate and almond flavors with our cold brew method,” said owner Mickey Ball. “We start off with one of our syrups — our house-made blackberry syrup is a customer favorite — add our cold brew, and top off with sparkling water and ice. Crisp and refreshing, it’s a go-to summer drink.”
1228 S. Seventh St., northlime.net/
“One of our popular summer drinks has been the ‘Cool Mom,'” said owner Joe Ross. “It is an ice-cold latte infused with white chocolate, rose and blueberry.”
Multiple locations, quillscoffee.com/
Quills debuted its Mystic Coffee Soda at Kentuckiana Pride last year, “as a cold coffee alternative that had a bit more liveliness than standard cold brew, that didn’t sit as heavy as an iced latte or something with dairy or dairy alternative, but still was a refreshing and drinkable iced-coffee drink,” says Brian Beyke, sales and marketing for Quills.
“It was met with great success and a little bit of curiosity about what exactly was a coffee soda. At its core, coffee soda still gives you some coffee flavor, but drinks like a soda.”
They play with flavors seasonally, and for summer, offer a Blueberry Lavender Coffee Soda — “a little bit sweet, a little bit tart, and a lotta bit refreshing,” Beyke said. “This one currently uses an in-house made dried lavender and blueberry rooibos syrup and mixes with our cold brew and additional bubbly.”
1399 Lexington Road and 1007 E. Main St., redhotroasters.com/
“Back to school doesn’t mean summer’s over,” said co-owner Sondra Powell. “Red Hot Roasters brings the heat with the Iced Peanut Butter & Jelly Jolt. We’ve infused that classic flavor of everyone’s favorite lunchbox sandwich with our fresh roasted espresso, sweet strawberry jelly and creamy peanut butter flavors to create a truly unique sipping experience.”
And don’t leave the kiddos out! “It’s also available in decaf or coffee free versions for an after-school treat,” she said.
1001 Logan St. and 1701 Bardstown Road, safaicoffee.com/
It’s a double whammy with The Rocket, a concoction of cold brew iced coffee and a shot of espresso.
“Our cold brew is rich yet smooth,” said manager Allison Tipton. “We brew our cold brew with our Tanzanian roast, which has a chocolatey, earthy flavor. The shot of espresso adds a boost of caffeine to help you blast off, hence the name. This is definitely our most popular iced drink. It tastes great with a splash of cream.”
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