At the moment the whole of the United Kingdom is experiencing temperatures higher than the Mediterranean and we are being treated to the experience of the Brit in hot weather. Tattooed hairy bellies, exposed feet whose owners are guilty of crimes against podology, braless breasts and more bright red skin than is normally seen outside Lobsterfest in Maine.
In our race to cool down we drink more alcohol than our usual hideously high levels and fall asleep, often in the sun, only to wake up with our shells even redder and begin the cycle again.
Starbucks, that great emporium of taste and standards, realised that it needed to keep its customers spending money on their pseudo coffee products and has fulfilled its public duty to load us up with cream and sugar rather than evil alcohol by creating the wonder that is a Frapuccino. I am not actually sure what is in said drink as that aesthetic belongs to the bygone era of the Knickerbocker Glory which, by law, is only to be enjoyed by anyone over the age of 35 annually in a 50s style Italian cafe like the Ritz in Millport. I’ve already had my quota this year.
Fortunately other cold caffeine drinks are available as more and more coffee shops offer iced lattes, some of them, like Taylor St Baristas in London using really good quality coffee.
For the lovers of black coffee though there is an alternative to setting your parched throat on fire with a dash of espresso as it is very simple to order a cafe amb gel The first rule is do not order an iced coffee or even an iced espresso in the UK unless you wish to entertain yourself for the next 10 minutes trying to explain what you want. Order an espresso and a glass of ice. When you are given a glass of iced water return it with a smile and remake your request.
A. Glass. Of. Ice. Please.
When you finally receive your glass of ice take half the ice out and if it’s really hot put a piece down your cleavage when no one is looking. If you take sugar stir it into the coffee while it is still hot and then simply pour it all from the espresso cup into the glass of ice and stir. The coffee will go cold in less than a minute and with the melting ice make the perfectly refreshing drink.
If you are luckily enough to be in Catalonia then simply order a cafe amb gel and wait to enjoy. In Barcelona this may not work so well as bar staff tend not to be Catalans but Latin American or Maghrebi immigrants who only really understand Spanish (Castilian before you all complain in the comments section). In this case order a cafe con hielo (pronounced the same as yellow). I have been told that in Valencia you have to ask for a cafe del temps and that it may come with a slice of lemon.
It is a very good drink, albeit not always easy to order.