New Orleans style iced coffee poured in a glass at Blue Bottle Coffee.
What Makes New Orleans-Style Iced Coffee Distinctive
When it gets hot in New Orleans, you may see locals drinking one of the city’s most famous creations: a refreshing New Orleans-style iced coffee.
This sweet drink is no ordinary iced coffee. What gives the brew its distinctive flair is the addition of chicory, a plant with blue blooms that grows in the wild along roadsides.
Historically, chicory was used as a substitute for coffee when supplies were difficult to obtain. Today, coffee lovers appreciate the ground root as an accompaniment.
When chicory root is roasted and ground, it shares some of coffee’s rich flavor profile. Brewed together, the two ingredients harmonize, creating a unique beverage beloved in NOLA.
To make New Orleans iced coffee, use a potent cold brew concentrate to avoid a weak drink. A surefire ratio is one part chicory root to two or three parts coffee.
Once the coffee is chilled, add sugar, simple syrup, or condensed milk to sweeten and pour over ice. The balance of sweet and bitter makes this drink a French Quarter classic.