The Quest for the Perfect Iced Coffee in South Florida

Believe it or not, in 1946, Americans consumed double the amount of coffee that we do now: 48 gallons annually per person. That's amazing, considering they did it without Starbucks, Dunkin' Donuts, and fancy coffees like French Press, espresso, and Frappucinos. They accepted prepackaged, preroasted, overheated, watered-down, one-flavor-fits-all coffee.

And for the most part, they did without iced coffee.

Exactly when and where iced coffee was invented is up for debate. Some speculate it can be traced back to 17th-century Vienna, after the Turkish army unsuccessfully besieged the city. With a surplus of the magical bean left behind, the Viennese began to experiment with new ways to prepare the drink, eventually coming up with a cold version, mixing it with ice/snow from the Alps.

It's more likely, though, that iced coffee wasn't invented until the beginning of the 20th Century, when ice could be produced and stored. The Japanese started drinking iced coffee in the 1920s, and the Greeks developed the idea of the coffee frappe in the 1950s.

On a smoldering South Florida summer day, nothing sends shivers of pleasure into your fingertips and an instant chilly wake-up call to your brain like iced coffee. I went on a quest for the perfect cup.

KEEP NEW TIMES BROWARD-PALM BEACH FREE... Since we started New Times Broward-Palm Beach, it has been defined as the free, independent voice of South Florida, and we'd like to keep it that way. With local media under siege, it's more important than ever for us to rally support behind funding our local journalism. You can help by participating in our "I Support" program, allowing us to keep offering readers access to our incisive coverage of local news, food and culture with no paywalls.
Falyn Freyman is a freelance multimedia journalist based in Miami. She previously produced videos for Univision and edited music content for New Times Broward-Palm Beach. Her work has been featured in Vice, Bustle, Broadly, Time Out, and other publications. She has a master's degree from the Columbia School of Journalism.
Contact: Falyn Freyman