Iced and Frozen Drinks
When you think about owning and running a coffee shop, the initial focus is often on piping hot americanos, cortados, latte art, and the fanciest loose-leaf tea. I think it is also worth considering adding iced and frozen drinks to your menu.
Here’s why: these items are not only delicious, but they will likely make up 20%-30% of your sales. It can seem overwhelming to add several new recipes at first. This is why we created an easy training system that focuses on repeating concepts rather than memorizing 100+ individual recipes.
Iced drinks are quick and easy to create, though many coffee shops make the mistake of performing the steps in the wrong order. For example, if an iced latte is not made in the proper order, it will be watered down, and the ice will melt too quickly. For this article, I will specifically explain our iced latte process (there are many other drinks that can be iced as well).
To begin, add your desired syrup into a shot glass. Next, pull the espresso shot into the shot glass with the syrup. While the espresso is filling the shot glass, fill your iced cup halfway with ice. Next, pour the desired milk into the cup, leaving about an inch of room at the top.
It is important to pour the milk first rather than the espresso shot. This is because the hot espresso shot will immediately start to melt the ice (which waters down the drink) and melt the cup (which releases toxins into the latte). After the shot is finished, whisk the syrup and espresso together thoroughly. Then pour into the cup of ice and milk. The reason we mix the syrup and espresso together rather than pumping syrup into the bottom of the cup is to ensure the flavors are mixed and distributed evenly.
Lastly, put on the lid and swirl until the drink is one solid color. The ombre effect of the espresso on top of the milk definitely looks nice. However, if a customer were to stick their straw in the cup and immediately take a drink, they would primarily taste plain milk. We value flavor most, and thus swirl everything together. You can repeat this concept with tea lattes, matcha, and chocolate milk!
Frozen drinks often seem intimidating due to their finicky consistency. We decided to develop a reliable process that eliminates much of the guesswork. Our staff does a great job following this! Again, I will explain our basic process using a frozen latte as an example.
It is important to note that the number of espresso shots in your drink affects the amount of milk needed. In total, you should have the equivalent of a glass full of ice and liquid (espresso + milk) in your blender by the end of the process. For our 12oz and 16oz lattes, we add 2 shots (2oz) of espresso along with half a glass of milk. This is the equivalent of a glass full of liquid. However, our 20oz lattes have 3 shots (3oz) of espresso, so we add 1/3 glass of milk into the blender to compensate for more espresso. In both cases, there will be a glass full of ice and liquid.
When making a frozen latte, first pull your espresso shots so that they can run while you prepare your next step. Next, fill your cup completely full with ice. It is best that the ice sticks out above the top of the cup. Then, fill the cup half full with your milk of choice. Next, pour your milk and ice combo into the blender, and then pour your espresso shots in.
At this point you can add any syrup or sauce into the blender, rather than melting it in with the espresso like we did with the iced latte. The blender will mix it thoroughly. The most important step is to add your emulsifier. The emulsifier is key in achieving a smooth, thick consistency. We recommend Ghirardelli as the added sweetness boosts flavors. Lastly, blend together using a high-powered commercial blender (we recommend the Blendtec Stealth), pour, and serve with whip on top if desired!
Is your frozen latte is too thin? Simply add a few ice cubes and blend again to thicken it. If it is too thick, you can add a tablespoon or two of milk to thin it out. However, it is best not to add too much at the end as it dilutes the drink.
We recommend having a few hot, iced, and frozen staples on your menus that your customers can rely on. In addition, we love changing our seasonal drinks a few times a year to maintain excitement and to add freshness to our menu! For seasonal iced and frozen drink ideas, visit HOPE Coffee Sunnyvale’s Menu.