Refreshing Summer Drinks: Coconut Iced Tea & Coffee

by Jenn on July 21, 2010

in Beverages,Gluten Free,No Cook,Photography

Iced Coffee Iced Coffee

I don’t have much experience with Swiss Summers, but this Summer has been hot!  The past few weeks have regularly reached 30C (86F) and higher, and this particular spoiled American has been used to the luxury of central air for too many years.  That, along with being one who thrives in cold climates, makes these past few days a bit more challenging for me than they should be.  But I’m getting better, and acclimating slowly but surely.  I remember melting when the temp reached 25C earlier this Spring, and now at 25C I can envision a nice cool mountain breeze caressing my face as the trees gently rustle in the wind, a completely refreshing experience.  As with all things, it’s all relative and about perspective.  As I adjust to non-A/C life, I notice these differences less and less.  I suspect next Summer won’t be an issue at all :)

However, the hot weather is a PERFECT excuse to escape away to the mountains for some hiking!  I am going to have to make sure to do some trips up to the higher elevations this summer – does anyone have any suggestions for some beautiful hikes up in the Swiss Alps that are a must-do during the Summer months? The mountains in my view aren’t snowcapped anymore, but I would love to see some snowy mountains again, like these off in the distance from an earlier trip to Gruyères a few months ago:

Chateau de Gruyères, HDR

But in the meantime, until I can get a chance to escape to the beautiful mountains, we’ve found that a great way to stay cool is through some tasty iced drinks.  It took us a few cycles of freezing to make enough ice for this (note to self, need to pick up some larger ice trays this weekend!), but it was SO worth it, especially on one of those brutal 34C sunny afternoons.

I wanted to use only coconut cream to make this drink dairy free too, but I found that the coconut will curdle if it is not mixed with some cream first.  Maybe that is a function of the tea/espresso we used, so I’m not sure if that’s an issue with all iced tea/coffee drinks or just the ones we made.  If you experiment I’d really be curious how it works for you!  But the coconut flavor was so nice, blending beautifully with both the tea or the coffee.  I was a bit surprised about the coffee working so well with coconut actually, but it was quite pleasant, and perfect for a hot summery day!

While you enjoy some iced drinks and whisk yourself away to a cool island beach in your mind, I wanted to share a fun little exercise I saw Darren Rowse (whose blog I follow religiously) challenge of his readers this past weekend, which was to share some links from this little blog’s archives that you may or may not have had a chance to come across yet:

1. My first post – well this is only useful to see how not to write a blog post, haha.  Let’s just say I’ve come a long way since I wrote about this “best salad ever” (though it is a yummy salad!).
2. Post I enjoyed writing the most – Definitely it was writing about these gluten free bagels, and my other bagel experiences in life.  I woke up bright eyed at 4 am with the entire post in my head.  My husband definitely thinks I am odd sometimes.
3.  Post that had a great discussion – Not necessarily long discussions, but I really appreciated reading everyone’s relationships to food when I wrote about why I cook.  I think a little soul searching in the kitchen is good for everyone :)
4. Post on someone else’s blog I wish I wrote – I love all of Darya’s guides to farmer’s markets that she writes on Summer Tomato.  I think a lot of people fail to see just how useful and inspiring farmer’s markets can be, and she always has some great tips on navigating them to get the best experience possible.
5. A title I’m really proud of – S is for Summer. And Strawberries. Ha, I’m so dorky, I was so proud of myself for coming up with that one.  Mmmm, I heart strawberries!
6. One I wish more people readGluten Free Tarte Shell.  For some reason, this tarte shell adopted from my Ladurée cookbook was never really popular, and I’m not sure why.  It came out fantastically and made for the most delicious tarte au citron with pistachio cream!
7. Most popular post – by far it is Pumpkin Chestnut Tortellini, Gluten Free.  I get a few hits each day on it, even months later.  Thank you, StumbleUpon users!

Also submitted to – Slightly Indulgent Tuesdays and Friday Foodie Fix

"Thai Tea" "Thai Tea"


Your favorite very sweetened iced tea or espresso
Ice cubes
50/50 mixture of heavy cream/coconut cream

1. Pour iced tea or espresso in a glass over ice.  To float on top, hold a spoon upside down over the glass, and gently pour the cream over the spoon.  This way the cream will float and not sink.
2.  Enjoy and relax in the shade, escaping the summer sun :)



Rosa July 21, 2010 at 9:56 pm

That is a gorgeous way of flavoring iced coffee or ice tea! Mmmhhh, delicious.

I love that awesome picture of Gruyères!



Jenn July 21, 2010 at 10:19 pm

Thanks Rosa!! I will definitely be picking your brain about recs for places to go this Summer!!

Jane @ Sweet Basil Kitchen July 21, 2010 at 10:20 pm

Oh my…this photo almost leaves me breathless! I enjoyed your post today. It is HOT in Iowa too…90 degrees and HUMID.

Jenn July 21, 2010 at 10:55 pm

Oh that def qualifies for some iced coffee and tea then! Good luck staying cool!!

Jessica July 21, 2010 at 10:44 pm

This looks fabulous! Did you take that photo Jenn? If so, WOW! Absolutely stunning! I would love to have that photo on my wall!

Jenn July 21, 2010 at 10:54 pm

Thanks!! Yeah I took it when we took my in-laws there during their visit with us… The chateau was beautiful even though it was raining :)

Courtney July 21, 2010 at 11:15 pm

Jenn, those photos are beautiful! It’s 99 degrees here today, and I was just thinking about making iced espresso. I usually just use milk, but I love the idea of using coconut cream. I can’t wait to try that!

Jenn July 22, 2010 at 6:36 am

99F! Oh that is hot! Enjoy cooling off!!

Amy I. July 21, 2010 at 11:57 pm

Jenn, I’m constantly stunned at your amazing photos. You have some serious talent, my friend!

Jenn July 22, 2010 at 6:36 am

Oh thank you Amy!!

Cindy July 22, 2010 at 1:09 am

Jenn, love your web site, and especially love the picture of Gruyeres!! I was there around this time three years ago and loved it then, but the winter picture is phenomenal! Thank you for your wonderful recipes and photographs!

Jenn July 22, 2010 at 6:38 am

Thank you! Mmm did you try some of that Gruyère double cream when you were there? When we took my in-laws here we stopped at the Gruyère cheese place to eat fondue (I know, how touristy of us, hehe), and when I had my café after the meal it came with their famous double cream. Oh wow is that stuff rich!!

gfe--gluten free easily July 22, 2010 at 2:38 am

That scene is absolutely stunning, Jenn! Yum on your cooler drinks. :-) Yep, it’s hot, hot, hot here. I made a root beer float last night using coconut milk. It was fabulous. 😉


Jenn July 22, 2010 at 6:39 am

Thank you Shirley! Oh with a root beer float coconut milk sounds fantastic!!!

Deanna July 22, 2010 at 3:48 am

What Amy said.

But, also I went out to my favorite Thai place last week and asked for a Thai iced tea without cream and the waitress (who is also a friend and knows I’m dairy free) said, “Would you like to try it with coconut milk?” Um, yah! She brought me a separate glass and a little dish of coconut milk and it was the thickest, sweetest coconut milk I’ve ever seen and the mixture didn’t curdle. So, it might just be that if you get the super duper high fat coconut milk that it’ll work without the cream.

Jenn July 22, 2010 at 6:42 am

Thank you!

Hmm, I may have to be on the lookout for that type of coconut milk! Not that we have to be dairy free but I like to find options because I know so many other people are – that sounds like some rich stuff and delicious!

LIsa July 22, 2010 at 4:20 am

That picture of Gruyeres is absolutely stunning!!

Jenn July 22, 2010 at 6:42 am

Thank you!!

penny aka jeroxie July 22, 2010 at 4:35 am

I am so using coconut milk next time!

Jenn July 22, 2010 at 6:43 am

Oh great, I hope you enjoy it!

Magic of Spice July 22, 2010 at 7:10 am

These are fantastic!

Jenn July 22, 2010 at 11:10 pm


Katharine @ agirlinmadrid July 22, 2010 at 7:51 am

That’s a stunning photo! And thank you for the coconut recipe idea- the weather here in Madrid hovers around 35’C, so anything cooling is just up my alley.

Jenn July 22, 2010 at 11:10 pm

Remind me to hold off on going to Madrid until the Fall/Winter when it cools down a bit…35 every day? Now that’s warm! Hope you enjoy!

jillyann July 22, 2010 at 1:57 pm

that looks incredible. I LOVE coconut milk/cream and use it all the time. I never thought of putting it in my coffee. I bet this would make an awesome frozen blended coffee frapp too.

Jenn July 22, 2010 at 11:11 pm

Oh thanks! What an awesome idea with a blended frapp!!

mallory elise July 22, 2010 at 11:02 pm

Beautiful photographs :) this is the first time i have been to your blog and i love it! i am gluten free and my husband is not so it’s been a challenge for him to adapt to me. I’m American but he’s brazilian and i recently moved to brazil (so im an expat too) and im finding that baking gluten free is extremely hard here. anyways, this drink looks nice, plenty of coconut here!

Jenn July 22, 2010 at 11:13 pm

Oh thank you! How long have you been in Brazil? It has been a bit of a hunt at first to find what ingredients are called/where to find them, but we have adjusted rather well to gluten free life here in Switzerland :)

Ariane July 22, 2010 at 11:03 pm

I agree with Deanna and the first thing I thought of was “wow would this work with the Thai tea I have in the pantry.” I normally use sweetened condensed milk, but getting the right amount of milk to sugar is hard!

Beautiful photo too. I remember hiking up to a glacier near St. Moritz and then skinny dipping in the runoff when I was about 12. Talk about a memory that sticks with you :-)

Also, crappy A/C in a building not designed for natural ventilation is not fun. I have 40sf of windows that get hot but don’t open!

Jenn July 22, 2010 at 11:15 pm

Funny you mention the Thai tea…originally that is what I wanted to make, but I couldn’t find Thai tea anywhere! So if I wasn’t going to use Thai tea, I decided not to use the sweetened condensed milk either and just do something on my own that sounded tasty :)

Shea M. July 23, 2010 at 10:12 am

I’ve been using coconut milk in my coffee since I made up my peanut sauce a couple of weeks ago (I needed to use it somehow, and cold coffee seemed like the way to go!). And AMEN on the spoiled-American-sans-central-air. I realized I haven’t had a summer without A/C in over a decade! Silly central Europe and its unseasonably hot weather – it was sent as a message, I swear!

Oh, and if you want to make Thai tea, you basically just need cardamom – thats what gives such a distinct flavor :)

Jenn July 23, 2010 at 10:17 am

Oh that is good to know about the Thai tea! I’ve got lots of cardamom lying around…

Aubree Cherie July 26, 2010 at 1:55 am

Oh wow, as usual the photos are just fab! I love how the coconut milk looks in the different drinks.

~Aubree Cherie

Jenn July 26, 2010 at 7:07 am

Thanks Aubree! I did too, especially as it was swirling around in the espresso….

Shree July 29, 2010 at 9:10 pm

OMG! that is a breathtaking photograph. did you take it yourself?

Jenn July 29, 2010 at 9:12 pm

Thanks! Yep I do all my own photographs :)

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