So I’m not sure about your neck of the woods (who knows… maybe you live below the equator?) but it’s incredibly hot right now. And, since I have the joy of living in Houston, not only is it hot but it is also humid. Another great side effect of living in Houston is that it’s a complete crap shoot what the temperature is going to be inside any particular building throughout the day. It could be quite warm if the A/C didn’t turn on until a few minutes before you got there, relatively comfortable, or colder than a polar bear’s beebos because they over-compensated and set the A/C to 55.
Never fear though, here are 5 of my favorite drinks (mostly coffee based) which taste great either hot or cold (to help you thermoregulate) so order one the next time you head out (or make it if you are so inclined).
- Dirty Chai – so the first on the list is actually a combination of coffee and tea. This magical concoction is made by a combination of a chai tea latte spiked with a shot (or two…) of espresso. This is a drink that is delicious, not to mention energizing, both hot or cold.
- Chai Latte – similar to the first drink, yet this one is only tea. This one is easy enough to make at home with a bag of chai (I prefer the Tazo blend personally, but I have also seen a legitimate Chai mix recipe from Manjula’s Kitchen that I really want to try). Speaking of chai – did you know that it actually means tea? I learned this from a few of my Indian friends at school (they have been introducing me to the wonders of Indian food this past year and one of them is convinced I was Indian in a previous life because I like it so much ha ha), which made me realize that every time I have ordered a Chai Tea Latte I sounded like an idiot.
- Coffee! – now a word of caution here. Sure you could take hot coffee and pour it into a glass with a bunch of ice, and yes technically it will be an iced coffee … but don’t. You will regret it. IF you make iced coffee at home there are a couple of different methods, but pretty much universally it is going to involve a higher coffee ground to water ratio because the drink has to be more concentrated to stand up to the ice melt. My personal preference for iced coffee is the slow-to-brew cold brew or Toddy method. The Pioneer Woman has a recipe that makes enough to last for several weeks. My first experience with cold-brewed iced coffee was like a religious experience because of the creamy, slightly sweet (from the brew not from sugar), almost chocolate flavors. I had never had anything quite like it. Don’t be fooled – this is not your average Starbucks Iced Coffee.
- Mayan Mocha Latte – I’m not sure if this is a common recipe or not, but I had it at Boomtown Coffee this weekend. They didn’t give me the specifics but what I gathered is that it is a typical Mocha Latte with Cayenne mixed it. Any variation of a mexican mocha latte (which generally has some kind of pepper for spice) comes out great regardless of your temperature preference. The spice just puts a tickle on the back of your throat, much like one of my favorite wines – Cabanero!
- Aveda Comforting Tea/thé – I learned about this wonder tea from my hair salon actually (Josephine’s Day Spa) which is an Aveda concept salon and provides this to all clients. This tea actually does not contain any actual tea leaves and is caffeine free. It contains sweet fennel, licorice, peppermint and basil and as a result the brewed beverage is actually sweet without the addition of any sweetener! It gives a mouth-feel similar to a sinus soother tea, which I actually like, and provides an especially interesting feeling when made into a cold beverage. The jar of tea is the best deal at $27.50 and has lasted me forever. If you choose to make it iced, brew at double strength and then pour over ice.
So there you have it! Five drinks that rock at either end of the temperature spectrum and gives you options to help stay comfortable throughout the year (or day here in Houston..). Did I miss anything that you can’t live without? Share it here – I’m always willing to try new things. Can’t wait for your suggestions!