A big chill is sweeping the coffee industry as iced coffee beverages gain popularity.
According to the National Coffee Association, the percentage of Americans who drink iced coffee beverages increased from 20 percent in 2003 to 29 percent in 2004. Following the popularity of cappuccinos and mocha lattes, consumers are discovering that coffee is just as tasty - and even more refreshing - when served cold.
Iced coffee can be as easy to prepare as iced tea. A variety of options, such as flavoring syrups, cold milk, chocolate and spices, allow you to create personalized coffee concoctions that are just as delicious as those served in your favorite cafe.
Beverages such as iced vanilla mocha, iced rum coffee and iced latte are easy to make at home. Here are some tips for refreshing iced coffee drinks.
* Pour the flavoring syrup into the cup first. To complete the drink, pour in espresso or coffee, then the ice, and top it off with cold milk.
* Don't let your beverage become watered down. Cool your favorite coffee beverage with ice cubes made from fresh-brewed coffee instead of water.
* Use a machine that produces a high quality coffee or espresso. The Capresso CoffeeTeam Luxe, for example, grinds coffee beans right before brewing and allows you to control the strength of your coffee.
* Be creative. Add a personalized touch to your iced coffee beverages with whipped cream, chocolate shavings, nutmeg or cinnamon.