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Jul 8, 2002 07:41 PM

ice coffee - a boston/NE thing?

  • c

Was in ottawa and pittsburgh this past weekend, and in both places, asked for iced coffee and got a wierd look and a "well, we can put our regular coffee on ice for you". This was at the second cup and tim horton's (ottawa) and at some coffee place in the pittsburgh airport. As we all know, putting hot coffee on ice gives you..lukewarm coffee. Not very refreshing.

Of course, you can get iced coffee HERE everywhere..starbucks, DD, ABP, as well as all the independent places. Is it just a new england thing, this love of the ice coffee? If so, what's up with that? (personally, it replaces my regular cup for at least the three months of summer...)

just curious.

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  1. When I lived in the Midwest, I discovered that it WAS an NE thing...I would try to get it in KC, and it was like that scene in "Five Easy Pieces"(?)..

    "We don't have iced coffee".

    "Can you bring me a cup of coffee?"


    "Can you bring me a glass of ice?".


    "Okay, I'll take care of the rest".

    For three years....Of course, iced tea was on tap...

    8 Replies
    1. re: galleygirl

      Due to Dunkin Donuts now kown in NY area.

      Definitely a NE thing

      1. re: mae

        Dunkin Donuts, based in Randolf, MA..(g)

        1. re: mae

          ice coffee has nothing to do with dunkin donuts....

          my uncles were drinking ice coffee in NY 40 years ago....its been easy to find all over NY all my life....

          i believe ice coffee was once more popular in muc hof the country than it was in the 80's and 90's

          1. re: fusilli

            Iced coffee has a lot to do with Dunkin Donuts. They obviously did not invent it but they have unquestionably spread it around. Down here in Virginia the best iced coffee can be found at DD. A gigantic cup for about $1.32. Much better value than Starbucks' iced americano, which is not bad at all.

            When I first came to the Mid-Atlantic in the late 1970s iced coffee was basically impossible to find around here. It was easier to find sweet tea.

            1. re: Bob W.

              i was talking about NY...Chock Full O Nuts used to serve it at least 25 years ago...
              they arent resposible for it in NY...

        2. re: galleygirl

          Due to Dunkin Donuts now kown in NY area.

          Definitely a NE thing

          1. re: galleygirl

            I always understood the epicenter of iced coffee culture was Providence; perhaps there is a tie into NY via the Italian-American community. But it is definitely a New England thing (at least southern New England; I know better than to speak for our great neighbors in the North Country).

            1. re: galleygirl

              Well, it might be a New England thing primarily in the US (although I always drank iced coffee in MN when I lived there so there goes the hot weather theory) but it is also big internationally (well at least in some countries) My uncles from Israel drink iced coffee all the time (now THAT'S hot weather) and I drank it in Europe too. Anyhow, my 2 cents.

            2. I drank iced coffee when I lived in NYC in the '60's. It was available at any (mostly Greek owned) coffee shop. (Of course, by "coffee shop" I mean a full service restaurant with booths, not the current interpretation of a place where, if you are hungry, you can buy a two and a half dollar brownie to go along with your three and a half dollar coffee drink). No frappaccinos, mochaccinos or their ilk at that time, just coffee, ice, and cream/sugar. I can't say whether iced coffee migrated from NE to NYC, but I was always of the impression that it was European in origin (Paris ?, Vienna ?, Rome ?).

              1. From no less an authority than the owner/founder of Honey Dew Donuts (a local/regional franchise): I met him last year and asked him about iced coffee. He said it definitely is a "NE thing", especially the availability (and demand) in the fall and winter. He also mentioned that his wife tried to get him to open a HD franchise in Florida b/c the only place she could get iced coffee (or "ice coffee" as most people seem to call it, including me) was at a Dunkin Donuts!

                1. I did not start drinking coffee until my early twenties (a boston thing), thus, my interest in icing coffee did not start until the hot summer months. I grew up in both NE and NY. I initially did not like it because of the gritty sugar effect. If I had known about simple syrup then, I may have liked it. The only place I know that has simple sugar is Herrells in Allston. However, I have grown accustomed to vanilla syrup, which totally expands coffee's taste and makes all coffee taste better. I make my own coffee drinks at home, but an outside iced vanilla latte is the creme de la creme for me. All I need is one in the morning. Although Starbucks does make a good one, there are decent one's out there to avoid the "walmartization" of the coffee canteens( In my western suburbs): Caffe Appasionatta, Common Grounds, Iggys (Iced Coffee sans vanilla syrup). But for foodees, I carry around vanilla syrup or symple syrup to make iced coffee taste great. Hey, if portable, why not? Am I crazy for carrying around this syrup, along side maple syrup(for outside breakfasts)to make it better?
                  Although I have no answers about iced coffee and it's origins, isn't interesting how food travels???

                  2 Replies
                  1. re: beckoire

                    Have you had them melt the sugar in a tiny bit of hot coffee before putting in the ice and cold coffee to get rid of the gritty effect? The Red Barn was the first place I saw do that and now I ask for it if possible.

                    1. re: beckoire

                      I grew up drinking iced coffee in northern Maine... actually, more likely a rustic variant of the modern milky coffee drinks. My mother would always pour whatever coffee remained in the perc. into ice cube trays. On very hot days, she would make us all tall glasses of coffee milk by pouring milk (chocolate for my sister) over a glass of these coffee ice cubes. Within minutes, the cubes would melt into a slush and we'd all be happy.

                      I still freeze my left-over coffee this way, only now I skip the milk. Espresso is really nice this way as well.

                    2. I'm curious about the Canada connection. I frequent both Tim Horton and Second Cup while in Canada (3-5X a year). I have always seen Ice Coffee at Second Cup, as well as those vile syrupy Cappa-Frappa-Mocha blender drinks reputed to contain coffee. Don't even bother asking at Tim Horton.
                      For those who don't know, Second Cup is prettty much a Starbucks Clone, but with much better coffee. Tim Horton is like a Dunkin Donuts deluxe, with a full lunch menus, cake, and soups. Completely acceptable fare if one is looking for a basic, good lunch and would prefer to avoid Harveys (Burger King clone) or even worse, Nickels (Celine Dion's resturant chain) .

                      5 Replies
                      1. re: speki

                        Well, at second cup they have both "chillattes" and "delattos" (frapucino-esque beverages, of course, both revolting) but, a least in ottawa, no ice coffee (that was already on ice). Tim Horton's didn't have it either.

                        I spend a month or so in canada every year, in different parts of the country, but honestly this was the first time I've been there and its been hot enough for me to crave ice coffee, so I don't know, maybe it's available in montreal or the maritimes. I don't think I EVER remember seeing it out west as a regular offering.

                        On a side note, I think that tim horton's donuts are better that d&d, but i don't really like their coffee.

                        1. re: speki

                          Like most current coffee trends its a Seattle thing, which happened to migrate to other "trendy" parts of the world.

                          I used to be able to get iced coffee at the original Starbucks store in Seattle's Pike's Place Market in the early 80's.

                          1. re: humin

                            Gee, that's pretty late...Must have migrated from the NE.Grown-ups drank it here when I was a kid; that's as far back as I can remember...A little before the 80's...

                            1. re: humin

                              Iced coffee is not a "current coffee trend." People in Rhode Island and Mass. were drinking iced coffee a long, long time before Seattle saw its first "trendy" coffee bar.

                              There was nothing trendy about iced coffee when I was a kid. It was just there, like clamcakes and spinach pies.

                            2. re: speki

                              >>>>Second Cup is prettty much a Starbucks Clone, but with much better coffee

                              ???? Rrrrreallllly? I don't think so. Opinions differ I guess.

                              BTW, Tim Horton's is a Wendy's company.