As summer approaches, we're all going to need something cool to sip on to beat the heat. But, for specialty coffee lovers, it seems cold brew and sugary blended drinks are the only applicable solutions. Yet, cold brew leaves you wired, and most blended coffee drinks quickly become an unnecessary sugar bomb.
Still, in the specialty coffee industry, there seems to be no room for sugary substitutes or frilly beverages, as super specialty coffee consumers prefer less sugary drinks that focus on the flavor of the coffee itself.
That's why a Southern California coffee shop is working to redesign the Frappuccino — by creating a frozen coffee beverage in a slushy machine.
The result: the Frozen Sweet Latte, created by Hopper & Burr, a specialty coffee shop located in Downtown Santa Ana, Califorina. It's a frozen coffee beverage that keeps an icy consistency and carries the robust flavor of quality coffee until the very last sip.
Truman Severson, coffee maker and owner of Hopper & Burr, who has worked in the specialty coffee industry for more than a decade, explained the inspiration for H&B's new frozen beverage came from frozen alcoholic tiki drinks, which are traditionally served out of a slushy machine.
By adding the ingredients of Hopper & Burr's Sweet Iced Latte (whole organic milk, raw sugar, and espresso) to a slushy machine, the drink's primary characteristics — the sweetness of coffee and cream — remained intact, while adding a smooth, icy texture without diluting the drink.
"The slushy machine does a couple of things," Severson explained. "It freezes the water in the milk which means the drink doesn't get diluted at all. It also freezes it in constant motion, so the ice crystals that do form, are very very small which makes the texture really soft and not chunky."
The idea, in Severson's mind, was that the Frozen Sweet Latte might help shrink the divide between the lovers of blended coffee beverages and those who enjoy specialty coffee.
“The high majority of blended coffee drinks are Fraps and they are loaded with non-food ingredients and they’re sickly sweet and way too big," Severson added. "There’s nothing wrong with this preparation method, it just had a bad period in time, and I feel like that’s exactly the same thing with blended coffee drinks."
Look out Starbucks, there's a new summer coffee drink in town.