Will Travel for Iced Coffee: Where to Get the Best Brew on the Road

When jetting off for the final vacation of summer, there’s one thing everyone needs: a good iced coffee. Luckily there’s no shortage of cold brews, iced americanos, or classic iced coffees across the U.S. to guarantee a refreshing caffeine fix on any trip.

Despite cold coffee’s recent popularity, sip this: Dunkin Donuts has actually has been selling iced coffee for more than 25 years, and Starbucks’ famous Frappucino came to counters back in 1995. We can thank the youngin’s for iced coffee’s recent spike. Thirty eight percent of 18-24 year olds drink iced coffee, which is way higher than any other age group. Still, only 20 percent of Americans drink iced coffee, while 83 percent consume hot coffee.

The types of iced coffee jet setters can discover are pretty much divided into three groups: the classic iced coffee, frappuccino (or “coffee drinks”), and cold brew.

The classic kind, otherwise known as “The Japanese Method,” is when hot coffee is brewed and immediately poured over ice. This is the easiest way to make iced coffee, and produces a lighter and sweeter taste. Frappuccinos are when baristas grab a blender and mix a shot of espresso with cold milk, ice, and a bit of sugar. This’ll result in a frosty coffee treat. Cold brew is a coffee snob’s haven when it comes to coffee. Here, grounds are mixed with water for at least 12 hours; soaking the grounds this long makes the drink way more diluted and caffeinated.

We’ve rounded up some of the best cold coffees around the country, along with a recipe for jet setters to make themselves when on the move:

Iced Mint Mojito. Philz Coffee, San Francisco, CA

Philz Coffee is known for their unique spin on a classic summer rum drink: the iced mint mojito. No rum this time (but just as good!) mint leaves are added to espresso and milk or cream, which makes it both rich and refreshing. Stay at Le Meridien San Francisco and be less than a five minute walk from one of the many Philz Coffee’s in the city.

Iced Mocha. Barista Parlor, Nashville, TN

For a hipster and chocoholic twist, try this iced coffee that’s (obviously) served in a mason jar. The espresso is mixed with a specialty chocolate ganache and served over ice. It’s sweet and rich, and will make anyone want to go back for another.

New Orleans Iced Coffee. Blue Bottle Coffee, New York City and San Francisco, CA

Get a taste of NOLA at any of the Blue Bottle Coffee’s in New York City or San Francisco.
The New Orleans iced coffee is cold-brewed for 18 hours with roasted chicory and cane sugar. Pro tip: Add a bit of whole milk to cut the bitterness. Hotel Stanford, steps away from the Empire State Building in New York, is also only a few blocks from one of three Blue Bottle’s in Manhattan. Goers can also purchase their own kit to take back home or make in the hotel room.

Pure Black. La Colombe Torrefaction, Philadelphia, New York City, Chicago, D.C.

La Colombe coffee roasters, which are scattered throughout the States, has done something awesome: This iced coffee looks like beer, but is actually our favorite caffeinated beverage. Pure back is a type of cold brew that’s pressed and filtered twice after being steeped for 16 hours in a stainless steel wine tank.

Angeleno. Intelligentsia, Chicago, IL

Ready for this? The Angeleno is made with four shots of rich, espresso, creamy whole milk, and a generous squeeze of agave. The end result is a smooth and downright yummy drink that’s a sweet tooth’s favorite way to caffeinate.

Iced Almond Macadamia Latte. Go Get Em Tiger, Los Angeles CA

The superstar in this drink is house-made almond-macadamia milk, that’s mixed with espresso and (once again) served in a mason jar. Consider staying at Ginosi Hudson Apartel and be less than a 10 minute drive from this addictive drink, which is also considered the best latte in the U.S.

Want to see if a DIY brew can trump any of these places above? Save a few bucks (and see if a new career of being a legendary barista is the future…) by learning how to make iced coffee at home. Better yet, check out this article, hack your hotel room coffee, for an extra bit of buzz before taking on the day. This recipe is also perfect for a drink on-the-go when heading to the airport for the next adventure.

Measure and stir: Combine 1 part coffee to 4.5 parts room-temperature and filtered water. Give it a nice stir.

Let it brew: Place the container of coffee in the fridge overnight. This is the “brewing” part of the process—no boiling water included—and needs this much time!

Strain: To make the iced coffee concentrate, take a coffee filter or French press to strain the coffee. This removes the grounds.

Just add water! The coffee just brewed will be super concentrated, so add water depending on how strong you like it (the standard is about 1 part coffee to three parts water). Add ice, and drink up!

 

This post was posted by The Hipmunk on Hipmunk’s Tailwind Blog on September 15, 2015

Your Next Family Vacation in Los Angeles, CA?

You’ve got a big decision to make. It’s an important decision and it’s beginning to weigh on you – where to go for your next family vacation? You’ve been to the typical vacations spots – Florida, Caribbean, Mexico, etc. It’s time to change it up and add a “new” destination to the mix. Los Angeles (and southern California) will give you a bit of everything you can want or need in a family vacation – sights, beach, activities, food and more!

Plan your Trip to LA

A trip to LA gives you the chance to explore neighboring cities in southern California. Long Beach, Anaheim, Malibu, Santa Monica are all nearby and each have things to do (see below). As a major city known for entertainment, LA always has a raft of upcoming events- special events, game, concert or festival. The chance to see a great show or band may help you settle on your travel dates.

LAX (Los Angeles Airport) is a very busy airport with lots of airline and flight choices so booking your flight is easy. While you could try getting around the LA area on public transit (subway, light rail or bus), taxi or even bicycle (in some areas), it is definitely easier to rent a car. Traffic in the LA area can be challenging so allowing extra travel time for traffic is a necessity.

With hundreds of Los Angeles area hotels, there’s no shortage of places to stay. Think of your hotel as your “home base” because your LA family vacation will have you taking day trips in and around LA. Disneyland is in Anaheim; the Queen Mary ship is in Long Beach; movie studios are in Hollywood; the Santa Monica Pier is of course in Santa Monica.

Photo by B. Williams on Trover.com

What to do in LA?

There is no shortage of things to do and places to see. Here’s just a few:

–          Los Angeles Tours – This is the quick and easy way to see LA and area. Top tours are – the Legends of Hollywood, Downtown Los Angeles Food Tour, Little Tokyo Food Tour, and the Hop On/Hop Off Los Angeles/Hollywood Bus.

–          Universal Studios Hollywood – A studio tour is pretty much mandatory. Universal has rides, shows and attractions on this highly rated Hollywood tour.

–          Santa Monica – There’s Santa Monica Place, the beach and the iconic Pier with its amusement park, arcade and shops.

Photo by Jim Nix on trover.com

–          La Brea Tar Pits & Page Museum – The Tar Pits have been around for 40,000 years and actually contain hot tar. The Page Museum, on site, has one of the largest collections of Ice Age fossils in the world and also contains tar pits artifacts.

–          Disneyland Resort – This is the first and original Disney theme park with something for everyone. You’ll need a full day here to explore the entire park (two days would be better).

With so much to see and do, you simply can’t go wrong with a family vacation in LA!

 

This article is part of the #HipmunkCityLove series.

Time for a Trip to Los Angeles? Here’s Your Guide

Planning your Trip to Los Angeles

Photo by Jay Kokernak via Trover.com

Have you been to the movies recently and triggered a desire to go to Hollywood (or its bigger cousin, Los Angeles)? If you’ve never been, and even if you’ve been before, you really need to plan out your Los Angeles trip.

Before settling on your travel dates, you might want to first check and see if there is some special event, game, concert or festival in the LA area that you might want to catch.

After booking your flight into LAX, you’ll need to rent a car. It is just impossible to get around the Los Angeles area without a car (unless you have extremely deep pockets and want to take cabs everywhere). And given that everyone else is driving around LA (residents and visitors alike), you need to allow a lot of extra time for traffic for wherever you are going.

Where to Stay in LA

While you can, of course, stay anywhere you want in LA, there are some distinct areas to consider: Hollywood/Beverly Hills (movie history, studios, walk of fame, high-end shopping); Santa Monica/Malibu (beach, pier, dining, outdoors); Downtown LA (events, dining, nightlife) and Venice Beach (people-watching, boardwalk, boutiques) among others. It’s a pretty good idea to figure out what you want to do and see (including distance, traffic and total time to get there) before you book your hotel. And then there are hundreds of Los Angeles hotels to choose from.  Are you still with me?

Photo by MarkTravel via Trover.com

Cool Things to see and do in LA

Los Angeles Tours – For maximum LA impact, this is the way to go. The most popular tours are the Legends of Hollywood, Downtown Los Angeles Food Tour, Little Tokyo Food Tour, and the Hop On/Hop Off Los Angeles/Hollywood Bus.

Paramount Studios Tour – While Universal Studios is the more well-known tour, Paramount gives a unique view of a working studio. The odds are you will see familiar actors on the lot, and you will definitely see movie sets, costumes, props, and more.

Photo by MarkTravel via Trover.com

The Getty Center – The building itself is an architectural masterpiece containing some of the finest art in the world. Located north of Santa Monica, the center is known for its beauty and value (free admission). Visitors rave, and many recommend a tour.

La Brea Tar Pits & Page Museum – The Tar Pits contain hot bubbling tar and have been in existence for 40,000 years. The neighboring Page Museum contains tar pits artifacts and one of the world’s largest collections of Ice Age fossils. Really unique and different!

Sunset Strip – It’s 1.5 miles of quintessential LA on Sunset Boulevard in West Hollywood. This stretch contains the Roxy Theatre, Whisky a Go Go, and the Comedy Store, plus shops, bars, and restaurants. This is the time to walk in LA!

With all there is to see and experience in Los Angeles, make your trip a memorable one!