I’m not a huge fan of iced coffee. I probably drink it less often than canned coffee. It’s a rare occasion when I drink either one, but I prefer them over other cold drinks that aren’t alcoholic in nature.
I can’t tell you anything about cold brewing, which is how some coffee is brewed when it’s destined for a can. Unless I see it for myself, I can only guess.
I’ll only drink cold (in a can) or iced coffee when I’m in a hot or humid environment. I can’t remember the last time I had either in the United States, but it was before I moved to the Philippines in 2006.
For me, it’s always hot and humid in the Philippines. After breakfast, I always prefer cold drinks but I rarely have any kind of cold coffee on hand. That is, unless I make it myself.
Turning hot coffee into cold coffee is really easy but it’s time-consuming. Let a cup of coffee cool down for about 15 minutes and add ice cubes. I don’t have the patience to wait that long. Really. I’ll drink a glass of ice water before going to all that trouble.
A lot of people think Starbucks invented cold coffee. I’m sorry, but the bottled Frappuccino wasn’t even close to being the first. Frappuccino wasn’t even invented by Starbucks, who start producing it in 1995 or 1996. I was drinking UCC canned coffee from vending machines on Okinawa in Japan in 1987.
Regardless of whether it comes in a bottle or a can, canned coffee isn’t necessarily cold. It isn’t usually refrigerated at grocery stores. If you want it cold, leave it in your own refrigerator for a few hours. Pour it over ice cubes if you want iced coffee instead.
With the UCC canned coffee on Okinawa, it took me a few tries to get the flavor I liked. The only English characters on the cans were “UCC” and “coffee”. Everything else was written in Japanese. The vending machines had black coffee with sugar added, coffee with cream added and coffee with cream and sugar added. They were small, skinny cans and around 200 milliliters if I remember correctly.
There are several cold coffee brands sold at the Royal Subic store at the Subic Bay Freeport Zone in the Philippines. Starbucks and Nescafé are the only ones I see every time I shop there. I haven’t bought a Frappuccino in years. The last time I went, I bought three Nescafé flavors. Black Ice, Mocha and Espresso Roast were the only flavors I found.
Nescafé is probably the most popular coffee brand in the Philippines, canned or instant. I don’t know for sure, of course. It’s just what I see the most of, in the stores and on TV. I honestly don’t know if any of the other coffee companies have tried to get in on the canned coffee act.
That is, when it’s prepared correctly. Starbucks seems to have a good handle on it, but I avoid their coffee shops. They’re just too expensive, even in the Philippines. There’s a Seattle’s Best coffee shop (also owned by Starbucks) at the SM City Olongapo mall, but I’ve yet to step foot in that place.
Some local mom-and-pop shops try to make iced coffee. In my experience, they screw it up more often than not. It even gets screwed up in some places where I wouldn’t expect it to happen. I think I’ll stick to buying coffee in a can and turn it into iced coffee when it suits me.
If I should have a craving for any kind of cold coffee wile I’m the road, it’s safe and inexpensive to buy cans at a convenience store. Most are less than a US dollar (less than 50 pesos) regardless of size. I just can’t wrap my head around paying more for a cup of any kind of coffee than an average Filipino can afford.