For someone who longs for summer every winter-through-spring, I sure don't change things up when June finally rolls around. Sure the heat is turned off and the A/C gets switched on but my wardrobe is still basically jeans + jackets and sweaters and I'm ghostly pale all year round.
One routine that does change in the summer? I make the switch from hot coffee to iced coffee. Even with the A/C blasting, iced coffee sipped through a straw just feels right in the summertime.
So let's talk about iced coffee. There are like a million ways to get your iced coffee fix in the summer. You can pick it up from any coffee shop, grab a huge variety of brands pre-bottled, make it at home via cold brewing or chilling brewed coffee, the options are endless. Right now I want to talk about a few simple tips and fun ways to do things a little differently. Let's get started!
PS: Black coffee drinkers and coffee connoisseurs beware, this post could make you cry. You've been warned!
1. Find Your Perfect Non-Dairy Milk
First things first, you need to find your favourite non-dairy milk. It took me a long time to find my perfect coffee milk. I prefer something that's creamy, milk-y, and doesn't separate in hot coffee. For me, that's Silk Vanilla Soymilk. I love it because it's nice and creamy, it lightly sweetens coffee, and it can stand up to the acidity of hot or cold coffee with separating.
Still looking for your favourite non-dairy coffee milk? Don't be afraid to try lots of different varieties, brands, and flavours. I tried plenty of non-dairy milks (even plenty of vanilla soy milks!) before settling on Silk Vanilla Soymilk. You may also find you prefer non-dairy creamers in coffee. I really like Vanilla Silk Almond Creamer for super decadent, sweeter iced coffee drinks.
2. Use Coffee Ice Cubes
Coffee ice cubes are my favourite trick for easy iced coffee. Sometimes I make an extra strong pot of coffee and make 3-4 ice cube trays at once or I'll just freeze leftover brewed coffee to help prevent waste. Coffee ice cubes are great for chilling hot coffee without watering it down, or for making super quick creamy iced coffee (shown above) by shaking a glassful of cubes with non-dairy milk. You can play around with the strength by adjusting the brew strength of the cubes and the melt time before drinking.
3. Add a Spoonful of Coconut Oil
Adding a little bit of coconut oil to coffee is a great trick for hot or cold coffee. Blending a spoonful of coconut oil into hot coffee results in the creamiest, dreamiest, and most insanely luxurious tasting cup of coffee I have EVER had. Blending coconut oil with coffee ice cubes and your favourite chilled non-dairy milk is essentially a homemade Ice Capp (à la Tim Hortons.) I suppose it's similar to a Frappucino too, but the mouthfeel is very much like an Ice Capp. (But let's be real, you're gonna want to add some sweetener for that true "Ice Capp" taste.) The coconut oil in coffee "trick" is great for breakfast skippers who still drink coffee in the morning. It helps add some calories, balances out the coffee acidity (which can be a little much on an empty stomach) and helps to stave off your morning hunger for a little longer.
4. Discover Coffee Smoothies
Smoothies are already pretty energizing all by themselves but you can take them to the next level by adding chilled coffee or coffee ice cubes. My personal favourite is this PB & Banana Iced Mocha Smoothie: soymilk, frozen bananas, cocoa powder, peanut butter, and dates make for a satisfying treat that kinda doubles as a meal (if needed.) I'm a big fan of coffee smoothies when I don't have a big appetite early in the morning. If I have to get up earlier than I prefer, then I have a heck of a time trying to choke down coffee + breakfast so I find this is a nice way to kind of combine the two and I don't end up starving an hour later. You can add some extra heft and staying power by adding a scoop of hemp hearts or your favourite protein powder.
5. Pour Coffee Over Ice Cream
Iced coffee might say"summer" all by itself but ice cream screams summer. So strong brewed coffee (hot or cold!) poured over ice cream is essentially sweet caffeinated summer in a glass. Use your favourite non-dairy ice cream (I'm a big fan of cashew-based ice cream) for the velvetiest iced coffee you've ever had! For this picture I used some homemade vanilla cashew/soy ice cream I've been recipe testing.
And just cause I can't stop there, 2 bonus tips:
6. Use Natural Liquid Sweeteners
If you prefer sweet iced coffee, use a liquid sweetener like maple syrup or agave because they're so much easier to dissolve into cold summer drinks.
7. No-Equipment-Necessary Cold Brew
A french press or a large mason jar + a strainer is all you need for cold brewed coffee at home. Just combine 1 cup grounds and 4 cups of water in a french press or mason jar and brew/chill in the fridge for 12-18 hours before straining (or pressing if using a french press.) That's it! To be honest, I am rarely organized enough to cold brew coffee 12-18 hours in advance so that's why I like to have coffee ice cubes on hand.
Well there you have it, my favourite ways to cool down with iced coffee in the summer! Do you have your own iced coffee tips? I'd love to hear about them!
This post is sponsored by Silk. We love Silk for providing a delicious variety of non-dairy plant milks, from your typical soy and almond milks to cashew, coconut, and non-dairy milk blends! All opinions and text are my own.
Sign up for Silk's Newsletter. Looking for Silk in your area? Use this store locator!