Coffee and dairy are a match made in heaven (and don’t worry, non-dairy lovers! We have some options for you! Keep reading). Specifically, ice cream and coffee are soulmates, as all of us know from our indulgences in affogatos.
When you’re looking for a great companion for all the Netflix you’re binge-watching on the last humid nights of New York City summer, go browse the supermarket aisle or the bodega ice chest and you’ll find countless variations and twists on the iconic ice cream flavor.
We are partial to some of the richest confections — you all know we like our coffee strong.
Here we review a few of our favorites, including several local makers.
Phin & Phebes Vietnamese Iced Coffee Flavor
Phin & Phebes’ coffee ice cream has a tangy flavor that tastes better with every bite. The tang comes from the condensed milk that’s used to sweeten a traditional Vietnamese Iced Coffee. The coffee base is blended with hickory and cardamom, and the result is a complex creamy flavor with a little spice. We think it’s sweet yet sophisticated.
Van Leeuwen Coffee Bean Flavor – Vegan
This straight-up coffee flavor uses Fair Trade beans from Columbia, and it’s a solid option for our vegan friends who forgo dairy (or our lactose-intolerant friends who can’t have it). Dairy is replaced with notes of cashews and coconut oil, and when we taste-tested this with our vegan friends, the flavor received their stamp of approval.
Talenti Coffee Toffee Flavor – Gelato
With an even amount of both coffee and toffee flavors, the smooth flavor of this gelato is sweet and salty. It could even be described as an extra-decadent peanut butter taste. Though the taste is not exclusively coffee, we think the result is a great combination.
Van Leeuwen Espresso Flavor
Sometimes simple is best. Van Leeuwen captures the bitter, sweet, and chocolate flavors of espresso in a rich, buttery ice cream that is hard to put down after the first bite.
Whether you live in a big city like New York, or out on a dairy farm, you’re likely to have a couple of great coffee ice cream options near you. Make sure to sample the local brands.
After all, coffee ice cream is sort of like a frozen latte, and everyone pulls their shots a little differently.