Israel’s Best: A Guide to Iced Coffee

College students are pretty much wired to have caffeine addictions. From early morning lectures to late nights at the library, and the occasional craving to cure that hangover, we desperately need those daily k-cups or drives through the Starbucks window.

Now I will also be the first to admit that even though I basically need my coffee each morning in order to function for the day, I am NOT an expert on all those crazy requests like a venti nonfat latte with an extra shot, soy milk and caramel drizzle – like some of my friends need. Although my Starbucks mobile order is preset to my favorite grande vanilla iced coffee with cream, and I ALWAYS prefer iced to hot no matter the season.

Before leaving for Israel I knew a couple of things – I was about to embark on 14 hours of plane rides, we would probably average 6 hours of sleep each night and the temperatures were going to be over 100 degrees everyday – so basically I was already craving caffeine and I wasn’t even tired yet. I did some research and found out that Starbucks doesn’t have locations in Israel (sad), but they have their own popular chains such as Aroma and Cofix. It wasn’t until my 4th day in Jerusalem when my friends and I stumbled upon the beautiful red awnings of Aroma. Desperate for anything cold and caffeinated we all ordered an iced coffee, but were caught off guard when we all received a drink in the texture of a frothy milkshake instead.

In Israel, an iced coffee is literally an iced coffee. We realized that this drink comes out of the lever from one of those pre-made slushy-like machines, and even though it was great to cool down with it much more resembled an American frappuccino and not a liquid coffee. As the days went by and we encountered other Aromas at rest stops and malls, we continued to order the frothy iced coffee because it fulfilled our need for caffeine. Although with each drink the excess sugar-intake was taking a toll on me and I secretly was craving a ‘normal’ coffee.

It wasn’t until one of our Israeli participants, Hadar, told me that this texture was possible and I just had to ask for a ‘cold coffee’. In Israel, a cold coffee is literally a ‘coffee over ice’. Like a coffee on the rocks. Coffee that is cold. And when I started to think about it it actually made sense that they could make it the American way because cold coffee is literally coffee that is cold.

I’m glad I learned this trick because I found a drink that could cure my caffeine headache and save my sugar headache, but now that I am back in the U.S. I will slightly admit to missing the opportunity to have a dessert-y coffee once in a while! I guess a Starbucks double chocolate chip frappuccino will have to do and maybe if I close my eyes and take a sip it’ll feel like I actually am in the 100 degree Israel heat *sigh*.


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