For me, it’s always hot and humid in the Philippines. After breakfast, I 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 to 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.
I was drinking UCC canned coffee from vending machines on Okinawa in 1987. Starbucks didn’t start producing the bottled Frappuccino until 1996.
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. 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, cold or hot. 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 here 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 dollar USD (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 (Starbucks) than an average Filipino can afford.