Small World Coffee

Making the ‘NOLA’: New Orleans Iced Coffee

By Jacqui | Monday, April 30th, 2012 at 11:27 am

New Orleans Style Iced Coffee from Small World Coffee
Shortly after we introduced our New Orleans style iced coffee last summer, we could tell it was a hit.  Though we had only planned it to be a nice addition to our summer drink menu, the NOLA became so popular that we knew we had to keep it on the menu year round.  As summer approaches we’ve been serving more NOLA than ever, and our kitchen crew has been brewing the delicious serum, batch after batch.  What is it, exactly, that has made the NOLA such a fan favorite?  Well, our Nassau Street kitchen has brought the secrets from New Orleans to Princeton with this magical recipe…

It all begins with the colorful history of the chicory root.  For centuries, the chicory plant was served as a coffee substitute around the world.   Grown by Medieval monks and served by the Dutch as an addition to their coffee, widely served in the Mediterranean (where the plant is native), and used as a replacement for coffee during the Great Depression, chicory has played an important role in many cultures.  Its association with the city of New Orleans likely came from during the American Civil War, where locals relied on the root to supplement their coffee supplies after the Union’s naval blockades closed off the city’s port.  ‘New Orleans style’ coffee was born!

Over at our kitchen on Nassau Street, we use roasted chicory root to give our NOLA its New Orleans style.  It’s added to our specialty coffee (which we’ve ground coarsely) and cold-brewed overnight in purified water.  By the time the kitchen crew returns, the cambros are full of dark, rich coffee extract, covered in a thick crust of coffee grinds and chicory.  Once the crust is punctured, the crema from the coffee bubbles up as the gasses are released.  (You can imagine how intense the coffee smell is!)  They strain the entire batch through a chinois, and the extract is sent to the cafes to be prepared and served as our famous NOLA!

New Orleans Iced Coffee

The baristas add a few finishing touches, like our homemade vanilla syrup (also made in small batches by our kitchen, starting with whole, organic Tahitian vanilla beans) and a splash of milk.  The concoction is poured over ice for a refreshing, sweet, and high-test specialty coffee beverage!

New Orleans Iced Coffee made with Organic Vanilla Syrup

If you aren’t already a NOLA fan, ask for a sample next time you come in!

One Response to “Making the ‘NOLA’: New Orleans Iced Coffee”

  1. [...] the heels of our recent post about our well-loved New Orleans style iced coffee, we have been fielding some questions about how to cold-brew coffee at home.  Summer’s on [...]