Coffee is a part of my daily ritual, and probably will be for the rest of my life. So when my sister and I arrived in Santo Domingo, it was clear we needed to get our java situation figured out, even before we unpacked or explored our new surroundings.
Because we were unsure about the availability of a coffeemaker in the space, we resorted to drinking instant coffee for the first week. But what do you do when you have a hankering for iced coffee? Under the Dominican sun, ice melts entirely too fast to cool down hot, freshly brewed coffee.
Turns out, all you need is an ice tray and a little imagination.
My sister and I were discussing the iced coffee dilemma one evening and thought of a great idea: What if we made coffee, froze it in ice trays, and simply poured soymilk over it the next morning? Wouldn’t that turn into a deliciously creamy treat as it melted in our humid surroundings?
We started our experiment by heating up some water (purchased at the corner store—don’t even think about drinking water out of the faucet). We then added a few teaspoons of instant coffee, and voila! Coffee we had.
Next, we carefully poured the coffee in ice trays and let them freeze overnight. The next morning, we continued our experiment on the sunny porch, filling two glasses with the coffee cubes and adding a little soymilk.
Almost instantly, we started to see brown streaks in the soymilk. As a few minutes passed, the soymilk surrounding the brown coffee cubes began the process of turning into a caramel color. Shaking the cup a bit helped make the mixture more consistent.
We took our first sips. Iced coffee? Definitely. But the concoction is heavy on soy creaminess until you get closer to the bottom, when the coffee has had more time to melt and mix better with the soymilk, leaving you with a more authentic iced coffee taste.
To be honest, designing and executing the experiment was a lot of fun, but the outcome was not as mind-blowing as intended, and more research is needed. Further studies may uncover ways to achieve a stronger coffee flavor in the beginning stages of consumption.
We would like to thank our Airbnb hosts for allowing us the use of their ice trays and cups. And porch. And house. We couldn’t have done it without you.