With summer around the corner, this is the perfect time to chill out with the help of a great frozen coffee. Here are what six local coffee chains have to offer...
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The loveat chain claims it brought the organic coffee message to Israel with its 100 percent Arabica variety and Fair Trade certification. loveat employees say they prepare their frozen coffee on the premises twice a day, from real coffee. The bottom line is that the drink is sweet but strong, with the bitter coffee flavors balanced by just the right amount of sweetness. It has a good, consistent texture to the very last drop: Properly ground, not too thick or too thin, and the feel is almost foamy. A tasty drink, and the perfect way to pamper yourself on a hot day.
Price: 20 shekels ($5.15).
Upgrade: Frozen loveat, with bitter Belgian chocolate added to the standard frozen coffee (25 shekels).
The Café Diem chain has two branches in Tel Aviv (in Tel Aviv Port and Sarona Market), but its coffee is so excellent it deserves a mention here – as does its frozen coffee. Except for the Italian coffee blends, which are roasted here in Israel, the experience is meant to resemble that of the espresso-downing, Italian café culture. The frozen coffee is a pleasure, with the chain’s unique coffee flavors making all the difference. The price is just a bonus.
Price: 12 shekels.
Upgrade: Try the affogato – a scoop of soft vanilla ice cream with a shot of hot espresso poured over it (15 shekels).
Café Louise offers all sorts of coffees, with the emphasis on healthy drinks. The frozen coffee is another element of this health-conscious agenda. First, it’s prepared using pure organic coffee, not the powdered form. Second, it’s not presweetened. The small print on the menu tells you that you can sweeten it with agave nectar, honey or date honey. Third, the standard milk can substituted with soy milk or almond milk at no extra cost.
And what about the taste? In a word, great. This is the frozen coffee that comes closest to matching the coffee’s original taste, and arrives with a cheeky little addition: a small pile of roasted beans on top. The result is a delight for caffeine lovers who still want to pamper themselves with a frozen coffee.
Price: 18 shekels
Upgrade: What else do you need in addition to organic frozen coffee with almond milk and date honey? How about a shot of wheatgrass or a sparkling water on the side?
To be honest, we never expected to find such tasty frozen coffee as we did at Café Joe – and certainly not at a branch that looked as if no one had visited it for a few decades (we also sampled the Menta gas station chain where Café Joe is also served).
The frozen coffee is called, aptly enough, Frozen Joe (a pun on the chain’s name in Hebrew). It comes in two sizes – large and small – and two versions, regular and diet. The diet version has half the calories of its regular frozen coffee. However, you should be aware that the diet version isn’t sugar free; rather, it’s made with half the amount of both sugar and milk, with more water added instead. We tried both versions and were surprised: we actually preferred the diet version. The diet Frozen Joe is refined and balanced. As well as being less sweet, you can also feel the bitterness of the coffee more, with a flowery vanilla finish loitering in the background.
Price: 16 shekels for a small Frozen Joe, 19 shekels for the larger version.
Upgrade: Some branches give you the option of adding pecan or chocolate flakes (23 shekels).
Another surprise addition to the outstanding offerings was Ilan’s diet carppuccino (a play on the Hebrew words for cold and cappuccino). In a rather daring move, the only frozen coffee the chain offers is this diet version. And it’s made with only natural ingredients: milk, sugar and espresso – and nothing else. No powders or other additives. In addition, the waiter who served us so charmingly in the Seven Stars Mall in Herzliya was able to inform us that for every five liters of milk, they add some 900 milliliters of espresso – quite a high ratio of coffee – and 120 grams of sugar, which is not much at all. This was their explanation for the more expensive prices. And what about the taste? It is a perfect frozen coffee: sweet, but not too sweet; thick, but not too thick.
Price: 17 shekels for a regular-sized diet carppuccino; 21 shekels for a large.
Upgrade: They also offer a carpulina – which is the same drink but with the addition of a scoop of vanilla ice cream (26 shekels).
Cofix offers a frighteningly sweet frozen coffee, but you know what? For 5 shekels, it may actually be the best deal in town. The difference, in price as well as taste, is not so great that it justifies opting for the other chains’ drinks. It may be a bit middling as far as flavor and texture are concerned, but for this price, it’s possible to buy at least two Cofix drinks and add a breakfast pastry compared to the other chains.
Price: 5 shekels.
Upgrade: For the same price, a cheese-filled pastry.