With the return of spring, it's officially iced coffee season. And if you have already exhausted every café on campus, it might be time to start looking outside University City (and the United States) for drink inspiration. Each country has their own take on the warm weather favorite of iced coffee. Some of the drinks are easy enough to DIY, saving you money, and many of them are also available not too far from campus. Here are some worth trying:
What it is: Despite the name, the Greek frappé has little in common with the Frappuccino we know and love. The Greek frappé is surprisingly light and not blended with ice, unlike our Americanized version. To make, combine instant coffee (typically Nescafé) with cold water in a blender, and then add sugar to taste.
Where to find it: While sadly missing from Greek Lady’s extensive menu, you can find the beverage at Opa, a restaurant in Center City. The refreshing drink pairs well with one of their heavier desserts like fried donuts or baklava.
Aussie Iced Coffee
What it is: Unlike the lighter Greek frappé, this drink is thick. Aussie iced coffee is a (misleading) name for this blend of ice cream, espresso, and milk, all topped with whipped cream. Still, it will definitely cool you down in the Australian or Philly heat.
Where to find it: Ants Pants Cafe, with locations near Rittenhouse and Society Hill, is an Australian–inspired daytime restaurant that serves up Aussie iced coffee as well as Spiders, an ice cream and strawberry soda float. For even more Aussie coffee creations, you can check out the creative cold beverage list at Bluestone Lane.
Vietnamese Iced Coffee (cà phê đá)
What it is: The recipe is simple: instead of adding sugar or cream to your iced coffee, stir in a tablespoon or two of sweetened condensed milk.
Where to find it: Located close to campus in Spruce Hill, Vietnam Café offers the drink alongside an extensive alcohol list. If you're feeling boozy, add a shot of their many dessert liquors to the beverage. Might I recommend Kahlúa?
What it is: The classic coffee shop mocha is mixed with cinnamon and chili powder to add spice to the traditionally sweet drink. The drink can be served hot, iced, or blended.
Where to find it: Café y Chocolate is known for some of the best hot chocolate in South Philadelphia, so it's no surprise that they also serve up decadent coffee concoctions like their iced Mexican mocha. Slurp it up with an order of their huevos rancheros, and you have a breakfast of champions.
Espresso Milk Tea
What it is: The nontraditional take on the Taiwanese classic consists of a shot of espresso added to a cup of iced milk tea.
Where to find it: LULU Café, a bubble tea shop, is located just a few short blocks away at 45th and Walnut streets. The drink will give you a double dose of caffeine from the espresso and the tea, but it's still sweet enough to down easily. Customize the drink with add–ins like boba or sea salt cream on top.