Recently a co-worker treated us to a McDonald’s Frappé with caramel and whipped topping. My, it was delicious. Where have I been? Well, not at McDonald’s. Or Starbucks. I rarely stop at these restaurants in the morning for a variety of reasons. But I love a cup of coffee for a caffeine infusion to get the day going. I got the idea of making my own concoction when my husband mentioned how much he enjoyed mixing almond milk with coffee for a chilled coffee drink in the morning. I brought out the smoothie blender and began to experiment.
I started drinking coffee in graduate school to stay awake during late night study sessions. Although I always loved the aroma of coffee, I never enjoyed the taste. But that changed and I learned to like the beverage — and its caffeine kick. When I moved to Louisiana, I was pleasantly surprised to find a quality brand of coffee, Community Coffee, which was most prevalent and helped me like coffee even more. According to their web site: ” As of 2005, it was the largest family-owned coffee brand in the United States, controlling 52% of the market in South Louisiana and 72% in Baton Rouge.” And I used to work for the company in their mail order catalog division and became impressed with the quality of their coffee beans and processing techniques.
I drank coffee either black or with a little cream — never sugar (to save on calories). So when heavily sweetened ice coffee beverages hit the market along with those sold in coffee shops, I rarely purchased them. But I enjoyed the McDonald’s Caramel Frappé and decided to try to make my own, doing a little research along the way.
McDonald’s restaurant chain seems to have several versions of an iced coffee drink or frappé — with or without much coffee. One version has caramel flavoring and whipped topping with a “hint” of coffee added to pulverized ice for a frappé version. Well, that sounds promising but the beverage I plan to make needs to have more than a “hint” of coffee.
History of coffee frappés
I love history and did a little research on the background of this beverage. I learned that the coffee frappé was originally made with Nescafé spray-dried instant coffee mixed with cold water and ice cubes and then shaken to produce a frothy drink. Milk and/or sugar were optionally added. The drink was “invented” in Greece in 1957 by Dimitris Vakondios at an International Trade Show. The Nescafé representative was looking for a way to enjoy his morning cup of coffee but couldn’t find hot water. A co-worker was demonstrating an children’s instant beverage which consisted of shaking chocolate with milk. Dimitris took the idea and made his cup of iced coffee. Thanks partially to an advertising campaign in subsequent years by Nescafé, the drink has become extremely popular in Greece. Eventually coffee frappés have have made it around the world. Now, the drink has become popularized in America by coffee shops and fast food restaurants.
Frappé means “shaken” in French and so the drink means coffee shaken with ice. Since instant coffee does not contain oils, the drink becomes very frothy. However, there is really no right or wrong way to make the beverage. Some versions contain milk, some have sugar or other flavorings such as chocolate or caramel. Some include whipped topping and even ice cream. Others don’t include coffee at all!
Iced Coffee Frappé Recipe
Here are the ingredients for my Coffee Frappé. I’m using almond milk, double strength coffee, ice cubes, caramel topping and whipped topping. That’s it. Very simple. Here are a couple of pointers.
For the coffee, I brewed double strength, medium roast coffee in my coffee maker. To make this coffee, just use 1/2 as much water as you normally would use in brewing the coffee. I let this batch of coffee chill overnight in the refrigerator and it made enough to last for several days or at least several cups of the iced frappé. Since I’m diluting the coffee with ice cubes, it needs to be really, really strong coffee.
I recommend brewing a quality brand coffee and am biased towards Community Coffee. Louisiana folks have been drinking coffee for many years, long before Starbucks and similar brands arrived on the scene. Community Coffee, owned by four generations of the Saurage family, has us spoiled.
I am used to drinking cream in coffee, so I think my frappé needs a little milk. We are using almond milk in our home to avoid lactose and this was perfect for my iced beverage. There are several types of almond milk on the market. Almond Breeze brand has original (60 calories per cup), unsweetened vanilla (30 calories per cup) and sweetened vanilla (80 calories per cup). We tried them all. My husband likes the unsweetened vanilla and I like the sweetened vanilla milk. It’s your choice.
To make the frappé I brought out a “Ninja” smoothie blender which my daughter left with us when she went off to college. The blender has been taking a break on a shelf and is just the right appliance for making frappés. It easily pulverizes ice and is the right size for mixing up one drink at a time.
Here’s my recipe version of a coffee frappé. I am used to drinking a strong cup of coffee in the morning so this recipe includes one cup of double-strength coffee. You could, however, reduce the coffee in the recipe to 1/2 cup.
This was an interesting experiment and I have found an iced coffee frappé which I really like for a summer beverage. It’s just a little sweet with alot of coffee which is just right for a morning drink to help me get going. Enjoy!
Iced Coffee Frappé
- 1 cup (8 oz) double strength medium roast brewed coffee, chilled
- 1/2 cup (4 oz) sweetened vanilla almond milk (or unsweetened vanilla almond milk)
- 1 cup (8 oz) very loosely packed ice cubes
- 2 Tbsp caramel sundae syrup
- 2-4 “shots” of Reddi Whip Cream or similar aerosol whipped topping
Method and Steps:
- Place chilled, double strength coffee, almond milk and ice cubes in blender container of smoothie maker or other blender suitable for pulverizing ice cubes.
- Pulse several times to blend ice and mix ingredients.
- Pour into large beverage glass.
- Swirl on caramel sundae topping.
- Shake Reddi Whip Cream four times and add several squirts to top of glass. Add a straw and serve Immediately.