Monday, July 3

Cafe con Hielo

"Ice is civilization"

Just back from a scorching two weeks in the Big Apple, where apparently this summer's must-have accessory is....a gigantic cup of iced coffee. Woo-hoo! But how to choose?

-- The classic "sweet and white" from any Manhattan coffee vendor
-- The classy shakerato: shake 1 shot espresso with ice, and strain
-- The decadent affogato: espresso poured over vanilla ice cream
-- Thai (or Cambodian) iced coffees sweetened with condensed milk
-- The surprisingly good Greek frappe (right), made from instant coffee
-- Even an iced doppio from the evil one in a pinch

But hands down the best iced coffee I had was at Baruir's, in the shadow of the #7 train in Sunnyside, Queens, right across the street from where I was staying with my friends Lisa and Julian. Baruir's, run by an Armenian family by way of Romania, has been roasting its own coffee since 1966.

As Lisa pointed out, the secret to the Baruir's iced coffee is simple: Coffee ice cubes! This keeps your drink from getting quickly diluted in hot weather, and makes for an intensely good beverage.

(Don't ask me why London can't get its act together and embrace the beautiful marriage of coffee and ice! We're in the middle of a heat wave here, people.)

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