If you’ve ever found yourself in the great state of Louisiana’s Crescent City, you know one thing is certain: the city’s vibes are smooth and relaxed. The sounds of smooth jazz echo through the streets of New Orleans, and as you move from one place to another — slowly and smoothly, of course, taking the time to say “hello” or “good morning” to everyone you pass — you just might catch the smell of coffee wafting from one of the local coffee shops, including the iconic Café Du Monde. And the brew is — yep, you guessed it — smooth.
You can probably list some of the things New Orleans is known for off the top of your head: Mardi Gras, Louis Armstrong, the Saints football team…But what you might not have known is that the city boasts a very distinct and delicious approach to java, too.
WHAT IS NEW ORLEANS-STYLE COFFEE?
We’re glad you asked! This drink is typically brewed from dark roast coffee grounds and a secret ingredient: roasted chicory. The addition of chicory makes coffee sweeter than usual without taking anything away from the dark roast’s rich depth.
Because the city is so hot and humid, it’s not uncommon to find NOLA natives sipping their cups cold, opting to add the chicory to cold brew coffee instead. That’s why our recipe for New Orleans-style coffee is iced, but if you live somewhere with cooler temperatures or want to try it during the winter, note that this cup of coffee tastes just as delicious sans ice cubes.
The distinct coffee flavor of New Orleans iced brew is a step above plain cold-brewed coffee, so the next time you’re looking for a cold drink to give you your caffeine buzz, give this recipe a try.
HOW TO MAKE YOUR OWN NEW ORLEANS ICED COFFEE
- 1 cup of chilled strong coffee or cold brew coffee concentrate
- 1 tablespoon ground chicory
- 1/4 cup milk
- 1/2 tablespoon sweetened condensed milk
- Mesh strainer
A quick note before you start making your Big Easy brew: this isn’t a recipe you can start the morning of. There’s a bit of prep time required, so you should start step one before you go to bed. With that said, the first thing you’ll want to do is brew your coffee, of course.
For a more authentic tasting brew, make sure to use dark roast coffee beans with your drip coffee machine or cold brew coffee maker. For best results, grind your own whole bean coffee right before brewing.
Then, stir a spoonful of ground chicory into chilled coffee and pour the mixture into a mason jar or another airtight container of choice. Keep the herb-infused java there overnight.
The next morning, remove the jar of joe from the fridge and pull a tall glass out of your cupboard. Fill the glass with ice cubes, and pour the black coffee and chicory into a cup through the fine-mesh sieve.
Then, pour the milk into the glass. Our recipe and most you’ll find for New Orleans iced coffee call for whole milk but feel free to use a milk alternative of your choice.
Finally, you’ll need to stir in half a tablespoon of sweetened condensed milk. This gives the drink a slightly sweet yet very creamy finish that coffee drinkers everywhere are sure to love.
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This iced chicory coffee blend transports you right to the streets of New Orleans, and if you want to continue sampling brews from the Pelican State, try a café au lait made from coffee with chicory; the milky coffee drink will taste a lot like the one you’d find at the famed Café Du Monde!
Once you’ve gotten your NOLA iced coffee fill for the first time, it’ll be hard not to be tempted to have chicory in all your cups of coffee from now on. Of course, you make that happen by purchasing one of the pre-mixed coffee and chicory blends from the grocery store, but you can save yourself a few bucks by adding chicory to coffee yourself.
Happy (Chicory-Infused) Caffeinating!
- 1 cup of chilled coffee
- 1 tablespoon of chicory
- ¼ cup of milk
- ½ tablespoon sweetened condensed milk
- Combine coffee and chicory in a mason jar and leave in the fridge overnight.
- Strain coffee into a glass full of ice and top with sweetened condensed milk and milk.