I had an early morning meeting at the other end of town this week, so I breakfasted at Vivo Cafe. After scanning the menu, I discovered that they sold an iced latte that looked awfully like what I always want - just coffee, milk and ice. However, there was a wrinkle, as the menu explained:
Cold Brew Coffee
All our cold coffee drinks start with this base. This method of cold extraction gives a sweet, full bodied flavour without any bitterness. It takes over 8 hours to extract 3 litres of coffee!
This I was not so sure of. I always ask the barrista to pull me a fresh shot of coffee straight from the machine, and to add extra ice if necessary to cool down the drink. If the coffee and barrista are any good, this pretty much guarantees a good iced coffee. However, I decided I'd give this "cold brew" method a crack.
And the results?
For $5.80, it was almost the most expensive, disgusting iced coffee I've ever sampled. It wasn't the most expensive, or the most disgusting - but it was up there (or down there) with the worst. The coffee was insipid and sickly sweet - almost undrinkable. It's what you get when your palate has been fouled by the commercial "iced coffees" that pollute the supermarkets across the eastern seaboard - products that have 10 times too much sugar in them and nowhere near enough coffee. It's what you get when you believe the market is crying out for yet another sweet, sugary concoction. As if we don't have enough of those already!
The breakfast itself wasn't bad. Can't complain about the service. Price was what you'd expect in the middle of the CBD (ie, expensive). But the iced latte was the pits.
I never order Iced Coffee in a cafe without explicit preparation instructions (along the lines of - shot of fresh coffee, milk, ice. no cream, no ice-cream, no chocolate shake and don't even think of adding cinnamon or its coming back). If they aren't willing to make it that way I happily order something else - no point being a git as well as fussy. A random "iced coffee" from the menu is always shlt.
Bad iced coffee is not limited to the East Coast. While my old home of SA has got Farmers Union Iced Coffee (which is pretty good, as not too sweet), one other brand there had an iced coffee and (40 years ago) listed the ingedients as "ice cream mix, instant coffee powder". I promise.
I'm the same about my iced coffee.
I understand completely, BoaB and DMS!
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