If you’re like me, your first experience with coffee was a “Frappuccino” at your friendly neighborhood coffee chain. Though not genuinely reminiscent of any classic Italian espresso beverage, nor any drink within the archetypal “chino” family, the frozen coffee beverage has taken on a life of its own and rightly earns its place in the modern coffee pantheon.
The blended iced coffee beverage may not resemble any classic Italian coffee drink, but it is somewhat similar to the affogato. Broadly speaking, affogato is ice cream, or gelato with a shot of espresso poured on top. While much more ice cream than coffee, the blend of sweet and bitter that emerges from this sublime flavor marriage (as well as the cold temperature at which it’s enjoyed) is precisely what we’re looking for in a quality blended iced coffee beverage.
So let’s take a crack at it. To make this blended iced coffee recipe, you’ll first need a blender. Just about any blender will do. You could even make do with an immersion blender, in a pinch, though a conventional blender with carafe and lid will be best.
For an added challenge, consider smoking your own coffee beans.
The elements of this blended iced coffee recipe are simple: coffee, sugar/sweetener, milk/milk substitute, and ice. Let’s take a quick stab at a basic recipe, and then talk about ways you can tweak it to fit your desired flavor profile.
- 1-1/2 cups ice, cubes or crushed.
- 2 shots espresso, or 3/4 cups strong coffee. Use stronger coffee for more coffee flavor or more caffeine. Decaf coffee is an option.
- 3/4 cups of milk or milk substitute. Soy or Oat milk are probably your best bets.
- 3 tbsp of sugar, or alternative sweetener to taste.
Combine all of these ingredients in your blender and blend. Pour into a cup, add whipped cream if you like, and start sipping.
This is a simple blended iced coffee recipe, but there are plenty of ways to adjust it and make it your own. This writer prefers this stripped-down version of the classic frappe. It gives you the sweet creamy taste of a milkshake, with no extra flavors to mask the characteristic notes of the espresso or coffee. However, some people will find it plain, or would prefer their coffee to take a backseat when it comes to taste.
From here, the possibilities are endless. For added flavor, consider adding syrups made for the job. There are dozens of options, including natural extractions of vanilla, green tea, chocolate, pumpkin spice, strawberries and cream, orange cream, caramel, chai, and many more. You can even make your own flavor additives, using freeze-dried fruit powder, protein powders, nutritional supplements, or blended chocolate candies.
For those looking to up the creaminess factor, try adding half-and-half instead of milk. You could also choose to replace the milk with ice cream or gelato, for a coffee milkshake experience to die for. For those looking to cut calories, use skim milk or a milk alternative, then replace the sugar with Stevia, Sucralose, Xylitol, or any other alternative sweetener you prefer.
If you want a cool way to enjoy your coffee, you could always choose to blend espresso or strong iced coffee with ice. This will give you a no-calorie pick-me-up, perfect for a hot day. Left to sit, your blended coffee will turn into…coffee, which can be refrigerated and reheated at a later point in the day.
As you can see, blended iced coffee drinks are easy to make, and there are plenty of ways to create the perfect flavor profile for your taste. We hope you’ll enjoy blended coffee year round, saving you hundreds of dollars buying the stuff at the coffee shop.