You say “mud.” She says “Joe.” I say “coffee.” What you call it is different around the world, and coffee undergoes trendy new makeovers all the time. (Hi, Dalgona!) Whether you’re sipping frothy Viennese coffee in an ornate European coffeehouse or having café con leche in Mexico or Latin America, there are new-to-you coffee drinks out there with your names on them. We promise. Here are a few of our favorites.
Is it a drink? Is it dessert? Who cares! Affogato is a delight. A shot of espresso poured over vanilla ice cream is arguably one of the best ways to enjoy both treats. (And works just as well for an afternoon pick-me-up as a treat after a long night out.) Are you team “eat immediately” or team “wait until it becomes an espresso milkshake”? Both are awesome choices.
Three words: Sweetened. Condensed. Milk. That’s the base of almost every Thai Iced Coffee rendition you’ll tuck into stateside, and it never goes out of style. Of course we like our own riff, featuring green cardamom pods ground right up alongside your coffee beans, best. Cardamom is wonderfully pungent. Brewed hot, allowed to cool to room temperature, and then refrigerated, this is a project worthy of hot July days— but arguably just as tasty in December.
It’s worth reading this lovely piece about Cuban Coffee to understand how central coffee is to Cuban culture. Miami-based blogger Jamie Silva of a Sassy Spoon provides the basics of this simple coffee preparation. Made with strong and slightly bitter espresso traditionally brewed in a stovetop coffee maker and served in tacitas (little cups), a sugar foam-topped cafecito is a Cuban ritual.
In New England, a frappe (rhymes with “thwap!”) is simply a milkshake made with milk, ice cream and your flavoring of choice. Big-bucks coffee chains popularized a different frappe: espresso, milk, sugar and ice. We don’t want to have to choose between the two, but we’ll admit we’re big fans of our own simple frappe recipe.
Amaro is an Italian herbal liqueur with a distinctive bitter-sweet flavor. In this simple preparation, the syrupy liqueur partners with spiced honey syrup and freshly brewed coffee for a festive cocktail from award-winning bartender Lauren Paylor. A layer of frothed milk with freshly grated nutmeg is the ideal finish.
Some would argue that the best coffee drinks are boozy coffee drinks. Enter: Irish Coffee. As calming and elegant as a moonlit night, it comprises coffee, sugar, Irish whiskey and cream. So simple, yet so satisfying. For the proper technique, go here. To cut straight to a classic recipe, right this way. Because who couldn’t use the luck of the Irish these days?