The Iced Californiano

Nope, it’s not a big coffee chain doing a rebranding of a caffeinated drink. It’s just something that works out nice:

Freeze ice cubes to fill a 12 oz coffee mug. Grind the ingredients together to a fine granules. Place sugar on top of ice. Drip two to three shots of Espresso directly onto sugar and ice. Rotate the cup as the espresso pulls so as to evenly dissolve and melt the sugar and ice.

Consume first sip as early as possible, perhaps immediately at the machine, or maybe between first two shot and the third. One can insert a long stirrer straw through the ice to gain this satisfaction even as the hot espresso drips. Note, since it is iced, the initial gratification can be had much earlier time and in greater volume than a hot espresso.

The usual caveats apply: use purified water, high pressure espresso machine, organic coffee beans with varying degrees of roast from light to dark, organic teas with varying degrees of fermentation from green to black, organic sugar from crystal clear to red, brown or black. The ice cubes should not be so cold as to freeze all of the espresso on contact. On a clear northern Californian autumn day, one can feel the ideally frozen ice cubes supping moisture from air at a foot’s length away. The mixing of the drink may be controlled by melting salt into water before freezing ice cubes.

If we can indulge in a moment of wistful fancy, perhaps a challenge is hereby issued for the reader is to brew an Iced Californiana recipe. Let the imagination take flight as the caffiend imperate.

The convection of liquid due to temperature differences as it accumulate in the mug seem to preserve the order that earliest drips are at the bottom and last drops are at the top. Ice cooling and diluting the espresso instantly (<100ms) upon brewing seem to have an effect to preserve the smell and taste much more than the entire beverage cooling naturally to room temperature. The crème of the espresso actually stays bubbly and floats at the top when splashed onto ice. The entire drink gives sensation of full aroma and taste of smoky rich espresso but at a much lower temperature. The beverage slowly gains water content as the consumption progresses over time. The sugar is dissolved evenly but will tend to be more concentrated at the bottom. The drink seem to get better towards the end. This entices the drinker to finish the drink thereby hydrating themselves to counter balance the diuretic and other effects of coffee ingurgitation.

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