Five Ways to Drink Coffee When It's Burning Hot Outside

Orange County gets the shit end of the stick when it comes to coffee culture. We have great roasters and beautiful coffee shops, but when it's time for a cuppa joe'? It's 105 degrees outside, and you could brew a pot by just setting it out in a parking lot. No wonder Seattle claims caffeinated bragging rights — despite their inferior coffee beans, it's prime coffee drinking weather nearly year round. (I would know. Every time I visited Orange County during my year up north, I would bring back a pound of Alta blend, and let me tell you, there's nothing more comforting during five months straight of dampness than Alta blend.)

Well, screw the Pacific Northwest. There are plenty of ways to enjoy a cup of coffee in our land of eternal sunshine—±you just have to get creative.

5. With Ice

Photo by Kanko

Okay guys, it's not hard. If you want to drink coffee when the weather's hot, it's perfectly okay to just put ice in it. Just makes sure you brew your coffee a little stronger to compensate for the ice melt. (Use more grounds, not more brew time. A longer brew time means bitter coffee.)

If you want to be extra fancy, you can attempt the 16-hour brew methods where you soak your cheese-cloth-wrapped coffee grounds in room temperature water for hours, but really, who has the foresight to start a pot of coffee a full day before drinking it?

4. Vietnamese Style

The coffee of my people
The coffee of my people
Photo by Yun Huang Yong

No one knows how to drink coffee in the heat (and humidity) better than the Vietnamese. Coffee—like baking—is just one of the things that the French brought to Vietnam only for the Vietnamese to improve. To do coffee Vietnamese style, you'll need a phin filter (available at your nearest Asian grocery store) and Robusta coffee beans, not the more common Arabica. Robusta beans have a higher caffeine content than Arabica and a stronger finish, meaning the resulting coffee is less likely to be overpowered by sweetness or diluted by ice melt. Sweeten the resulting coffee to taste with (and only with) with sweetened condensed milk and pour the coffee over ice.

If you can't get a hold of a phin filter or Robusta beans, strongly brewed French roast will work. Sort of.

3. Mint Mojito Iced Coffee

Caffeinated AND minty fresh!
Caffeinated AND minty fresh!
Photo by Brandon Shauer

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A staple of Philz Coffee in San Francisco, mint mojito iced coffee is better suited for relaxation than hardcore, work-finishing caffeination. But, if you really need to cool down, the mint in the coffee will trick your brain into thinking it's colder than it actually is. You won't actually cool down because mint slightly constricts blood vessels, but hey, what your brain cells don't know, you don't know.

Mint mojito iced coffee starts off like a regular mojito. Take a handful of mint leaves, drop them in a glass with some coarse sugar and muddle away. Top it off with some iced coffee, and you're golden.

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