Cooling off

In case you missed it, here is my roundup of my favorite iced coffee drinks that appeared in Go! section of the Monterey Herald. I’ll be reposting my reviews and stories from my weekly column for the Herald here on my blog along with extra photos that didn’t appear in print.

It felt like we got an early start on spring break with the sunny weather last weekend. When the sun’s out, I ditch my usual morning latte for an iced concoction instead.

When the weather heats up, there's nothing like some iced coffee to cool down!

Cold-brewed coffee seems to be all the rage right now, and I’m wholly onboard with this trend. Slowly dripping cold water over coffee grounds lets the beans’ lighter flavors come through. It certainly makes for a better iced coffee than merely chilling a pitcher of hot coffee.

My trusty barista Miriam describes cold-brewed coffee as a “clean, smooth and low-acid way to get a ton of coffee flavor and a butt ton of caffeine.” She thinks it’s the most dangerous of all coffees — you don’t realize how strong it is until you’re bouncing off the walls after just two cups.

The cold-brewed iced coffee at Cafe Lumiere is made with Acme's beans.

Both Acme Coffee Roasting (Seaside) and Cafe Lumiere (Monterey) make cold-brewed iced coffees. I like mine black with just a little room for half-and-half. It’s so smooth, you don’t need any sugar.

If a black iced coffee is too strong for you and you’re looking for something a little sweeter, I recommend the Vietnamese iced coffee at Acme.

The Vietnamese iced coffee at Acme is a guilty pleasure of mine on a sunny day.

This sugary confection is a guilty pleasure of mine. Acme’s is made to order, so you can order it decaf too.

New Orleans-style iced coffee — roasted with chicories for a milder, nuttier flavor — is another favorite when the weather’s warming up.

Blue Bottle Coffee Company's famous iced coffee: Kyoto-style (front) and New Orleans-style with chicories (back).

The New Orleans-style iced coffee at San Francisco’s Blue Bottle Coffee Company has hipsters lining up in droves whenever temperatures start rising. Around here, Happy Girl Kitchen (Pacific Grove) uses Blue Bottle beans for their café and makes New Orleans-style iced coffee, per Blue Bottle’s recipe.

I find it never tastes quite as good as it does up at the real Blue Bottle shops in the city, but it’s still a great way to cool down when the sun’s shining strong.

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