We serve a cold-brewed iced coffee, that sells well, but I have a few customers that are asking for an Iced Latte. . .I have gingerly talked them out of icing a latte instead selling them an iced coffee. Is there anyway to make an iced latte that won't result in a watery mess?? I just can't imagine pouring hot espresso followed by steamed milk over ice and getting anything but watery gunk. It seems like the customers are used to Macdonalds type iced lattes and Starbucks frappacinos that are totally frozen concoctions. Help me please!!

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My drive thru customers ask me to stir it first, so I now default to that - they just want a good cuppa fast! I take the time to make the prettier drinks for my sit down folks - they like this because they have the time to watch and then enjoy...

Matthew David said:
We pour cold milk onto a cup of ice, then fresh espresso shots on top of that. If they desire any flavoring, I'll pull the shots into a double cup with the syrup/sauce already in it and give hat a little stir before I add it on top. It seems to work quite well, but then again that's the only way I've ever done it.
Does anyone else not stir their shots in before giving it to the customer or am I the only one?
I think it looks more visually appealing to see it slowly mixing in without a stir, and it is more interactive for the customer to swirl it or stir it in themselves. It just looks prettier.
I do cold milk, then espresso, then ice, then a bit of more cold milk.
We do 3/4 cup ice and add syrup upon request, then pour in cold milk and espresso at the same time. It makes a great drink and you never end up with to much or to little milk. It is quick and easy to make and has a higher sales point.
Matthew David said:
Does anyone else not stir their shots in before giving it to the customer or am I the only one? I think it looks more visually appealing to see it slowly mixing in without a stir, and it is more interactive for the customer to swirl it or stir it in themselves. It just looks prettier.

Agreed that this is pretty, but how does that first sip taste? A quick swirl won't give you the even mixing you need to get a balanced flavor. You need a more thorough stir, a trip through the shaker, or a dump back and forth to get everything nicely mixed. I'm all for attractive drink presentation, but not at the cost of taste. I mix.
On a slightly related note, we have a simple test to pick recipes or justify extra process steps. Blind taste. There are quite a few ways to do these drinks. As nice as it is to discuss the reasons that one should taste better than another, there is no substitute for experimentation and impartial evaluation.
Matthew David said:

Does anyone else not stir their shots in before giving it to the customer or am I the only one?
I think it looks more visually appealing to see it slowly mixing in without a stir, and it is more interactive for the customer to swirl it or stir it in themselves. It just looks prettier.

We do it that way too. Visual appeal is just as important in an iced latte as hot free poured IMO. If straight iced latte cold milk first, shots into milk, top with ice. If flavored syrup first, then milk, then shots, then ice. If mocha or white mocha or caramel (use sauce) or African (muscavado sugar) it goes in a cap' cup shots pulled into it and whisked then poured into the milk. We DO NOT do "iced caps:, period. FWIW possibly related note we do not top any beverage with whipped cream unless requested (and then it's an upcharged same as additional flavor).
I've noticed that a lot of folks are making iced latte macchiatos and selling them as iced lattes. What gives?

Espresso, then cold milk, then ice. Done. (syrups first, if necessary)

All of this tumbling stuff is unnecessary. Physics is on your side. Ice floats. Cold liquids sink while warm liquids rise. It's self-cooling.

I understand the logic of pouring the milk first, but it's not an iced latte if done so, and as many have noted, it does not mix well without additional steps.

If the plastic is not tolerant of the espresso contact, add a little milk to temper it, then pour the shot, then add the rest of the milk. If you're pouring the shot in last, I'm under the assumption that you are pulling the shot into a separate receptacle first as it is.

You have two hands. Milk in one hand, and shot(s) in the other. Pour simultaneously, if you must. It would be better.

The milk will quickly cool the espresso, and the ice will further cool the rest of the drink. I don't know many people who drink iced lattes in a hurry. They may themselves be in a hurry, but iced lattes usually last awhile before being finished.

No shock from the espresso in contact with the ice (since it is tempered by the milk). Less water since the ice is cooling down a cooler initial liquid mass.

It's faster and just works better. Of course, YMMV.
Jason Haeger said:
I've noticed that a lot of folks are making iced latte macchiatos and selling them as iced lattes. What gives?
.

Funny! I'll have to change the menu...
Jason Haeger said:
I've noticed that a lot of folks are making iced latte macchiatos and selling them as iced lattes. What gives?
Espresso, then cold milk, then ice. Done. (syrups first, if necessary) All of this tumbling stuff is unnecessary. Physics is on your side. Ice floats. Cold liquids sink while warm liquids rise. It's self-cooling.

I understand the logic of pouring the milk first, but it's not an iced latte if done so, and as many have noted, it does not mix well without additional steps.

If the plastic is not tolerant of the espresso contact, add a little milk to temper it, then pour the shot, then add the rest of the milk. If you're pouring the shot in last, I'm under the assumption that you are pulling the shot into a separate receptacle first as it is.

You have two hands. Milk in one hand, and shot(s) in the other. Pour simultaneously, if you must. It would be better.

The milk will quickly cool the espresso, and the ice will further cool the rest of the drink. I don't know many people who drink iced lattes in a hurry. They may themselves be in a hurry, but iced lattes usually last awhile before being finished.

No shock from the espresso in contact with the ice (since it is tempered by the milk). Less water since the ice is cooling down a cooler initial liquid mass.

It's faster and just works better. Of course, YMMV.

[CAUTION... EXCESSIVELY GEEKY CONTENT FOLLOWS!]

I understand the logic of what you are saying, Jason, but don't think it makes sense in this case. The hot latte macchiato and latte are clearly two different drinks... they look and taste different. Sequence determines the finished drink. In the case of an iced drink, the end result is the same... sequence doesn't impact the finished drink. There is no white foam layer or dark mark. Its just coffee colored milk.

I'm going to respectfully disagree with your physics as well... mostly because I've never observed an iced latte "self cool" or "self mix" very well. Make one and leave it on the counter for a few minutes... you get a layer of water at the top and a latte at the bottom. Why? Because while convection currents may occur in a fully-mixed liquid, what you have in the case of iced latte is an espresso+milk mixture below an ice layer. The latte part of the drink has a specific gravity greater than 1 (something like 1.03ish). At the top of the drink, the ice melts to cold water, which has a specific gravity of, well, 1. So no mixing will occur.

[END GEEKY CONTENT]

That aside, the reason that we dump them back and forth is so that we can serve a "cold" drink instead of a "cool" drink. Yeah, it takes an extra 5 seconds. I think the drink tastes better. Plus, syrup likes to stay in the bottom of the cup, waiting for that straw to suck it up, and the dump guarantees a really good mix.

We pay very close attention to first sips - if the customer doesn't like the first sip, there will be no second sip.

Good discussion.
Well said Brady.
It works very well in this order.....espresso in first, flavor next if requested, then cold milk (not steamed) to 2/3's full in the cup, then top off the remaining 1/3 of the cup with ice and stir. It won't be watery at all if you put the ice in last after the cold milk.
Kylee said:
I fill the cup 2/3 with ice, pour cold milk over that leaving just enough room to float the espresso on top. Then give the cup a gentle swirl (lid on, of course!) and serve! It is very attractive...the espresso swirling through the milk....
That seems to be an attractive way to make iced lattes, we do this at One World Café all the time. no watery mess, no melted ice!

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