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.