No, I Asked For A NICE Coffee, Lou

No sooner had I twittermoaned of the dearth of decent ice coffee recipes on Perth dairy shelves than Pauline suggests ‘Brownes Dome Supa Shake’. Ainslie dutifully finds one (somehow) and brings one home for me.

Not bad. Not bad at all. I’d put it in my top 7 or so.

For the benefits of other Australian ice coffee aficionados (or ‘iced coffee‘ as Wikipedia puts it) herewith find enclosed a useful reference guide.

I rate Ice Coffees on the ‘three Cs’, and out of 5 Moos.

  • Coffeeness – does it use a flavour that actually tastes like coffee? And a coffee flavour that actually tastes good when it is cold?
  • Cowness – the ‘fresh milk’ factor. Was a real cow involved in the production, or has the UHT demon turned it lactic-flaccid?
  • Creaminess – this is the X factor – the thing that separates a good ice coffee from a normal coffee that has just been left in the fridge.

Brownes Dome Cappucino Supa Shake

On first glance, this is a scary one. I have had bad experiences in the past with ‘shake first’ mixtures that try to rescue a poor mix by injecting it with Perkins Paste. This one, however, is pretty good. I don’t find the ‘shake’ consistency particularly refreshing, but this is the most promising of the Perth mixes I have found so far. Lose the ‘shakiness’, and we might be on a keeper here. 4 moos.

Oak

For mine, this is the gold standard. It’s got just the right mix of creaminess, coffeeness and plain old ‘fresh milk’ flavour to keep it top of my list. Only trouble is, you can’t get it in Perth. And there was that one time that I got a spoiled batch out of one of the plastic ‘bottle’ containers that I could have filled wall cavities with. Cartons all the way, baby. 5 Moos out of 5.

I must declare a conflict of interest here in that my father used to work for Dairy Farmers. His work has had no influence on my palate. Nonetheless, I’m proud of my dad :-)

Farmers’ Union

This is as the top of many people’s lists, but is difficult to find (where I live) and is probably a little watery for my tastes. Because it has a lighter ‘refreshing’ taste, this is great for hot weather. Interestingly, a google image search for ‘ice coffee’ throws up a suggestion for ‘Also try farmers union ice coffee’. The Internet’s never led me wrong before. Better give it 4 Moos or the fanbase will come after me.

Masters

This one screams ‘synthetic coffee flavour’ which is portioned out very sparingly. Like trying to make an ice coffee out of one of those sachets you get in the hotel. We know that won’t work. Someone tell the Masters. 2 Moos.

Brownes

Nice effort, but still so similar to the masters effort – weak, fake coffee flavouring. No creaminess. Slightly refreshing but with a bit of an aftertaste. 2 moos.

(I haven’t been able to find the Coffee Chill that has the percolated coffee flavour. That was pretty good, if I recall correctly.)

UPDATE: 26 Feb 08 – Found it! It is as I recall, a much better ‘coffee’ flavour than the original, and a very refreshing dose of ‘fresh milk’iness. However, this is a classic example of a great coffee flavour not translating to a great iced coffee flavour. The creamy X factor isn’t there. However, I reckon this would taste great after a minute in the microwave. Must try that one day. 3 and a half moos.

Golden Circle

Yeah – that’s what I thought, too. This better not have any pineapple in it. But, surprisingly, it’s quite good. It seems to have the creaminess that others lack, but the flavouring still doesn’t quite cut it. It might just be that I’m having a hard time getting past my hatred of pineapple, and anything associated with it. They have some re-branding to do with me, I’m afraid. 3 moos.

Nippys

Technically, these are still a carton, but I wish that there were Nippys in proper 600mls and not on the ‘popper packs’. These are almost universally available, but the fact you have to sip this through a catheter dulls the impact somewhat. Nippy’s also produce an absolutely killer Honeycomb flavour that I usually go for in preference to the ice coffee, but it is in good company. 3 and a half moos.

Nescafe Coffee In A Can

Tried this in Hong Kong. It didn’t suck as much as I expected. I expected it to suck pretty hard. Hence the rating. 1 moo.

Dare

This one is just too much on the coffeeness. They decided to do that thing you do with Milo and just ‘forget’ to add the milk until the last quarter of the glass, only with coffee. The coffee flavour isn’t too bad, either. But without the Cowness or the Creaminess, it’s just cold coffee. 2 and a half moos.

Starbucks Frappucino

I’ve only seen this in the US, but it scores extra points for the glass bottle, and for being one of the few drinkable ice coffee mixes available in the US. Nonetheless, it’s still tainted with that awful American Starbucks blend, which makes it too bitter to be any fun. 2 moos.

Bushells Coffee and Chicory Essence

This is the authentic stuff that’s been around for years, and probably is the base for a lot of the pre-mixed drinks you see above. If you buy this, and mix it yourself at home, you’ll score at least 3 moos every time.


I know I have missed many great ice coffees here – which ones?

P.S. Come winter, it will be important to rate Egg Nog as well. Your suggested recipes for the Nogged Egg are also welcome.

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