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Joe Cool

America first woke up and smelled the iced coffee in 1983, during a sweet, creamy and very cold experiment at Northwestern University. Soon thereafter, national brands, including Starbucks, 7-Eleven and Arby’s, began to develop their own refreshing blends, usually consisting of coffee, milk, crushed ice, flavoring, whipped cream and chocolate syrup. As a result, about 1.5 million American adults are fueled by iced/cold coffee every day, with another 40 million on an occasional basis. Stock up on bottles and cans of joe, available at your local grocery, convenience and liquor stores. To aid you in your sluggish, impatient state, we reviewed each brand, based on the same qualities a hot-coffee devotee looks for, such as body, richness, sweetness and real coffee flavor.

 

Our findings (rated on a five-sunshine system):

 

AriZona Latté Supreme is light and smooth, but to have the pomposity to call yourself “supreme”? Seriously, folks, the coffee flavor needs to come out just a little bit more. bbb

Strictly for the soda-pop aficionado, AriZona Mocha Latté could stand to cut down on the sugar. Also, as with the company’s ä other artfully bottled beverages — nice jugs! bb

Drinking the delightfully rich yet thirst-quenching Blue Luna Café Latte, from its fancy, European-fashioned bottle, is what we call sippin’ in style. bbbbb

In addition to having 50 percent fewer calories than other regular brands, Blue Luna Café Lite Mocha is preserved in an exquisitely crafted, cobalt-blue bottle, designed to resemble an ancient olive vessel unearthed from the ruins of Pompeii. And, for what it’s worth, tastes too sugary. bb

A subtle sweetness and bold java bouquet make Caravelle French Style Coffee taste simply magnifique. bbbb

Alas, the repellent, chemical-tasting Coffee House USA Mocha will not make you proud to be an American. b

Coffee House USA Vanilla Mousse comes off excessively sweet, chemical-tasting . . . we could analyze this further, but that would require taking another sip. b

Not your average can of joe, the rich, full-bodied Jamaican Gold Cappuccino Mocha is one of those rare cold coffee drinks that actually taste like coffee. (Warning: Unless you enjoy pulling pins out of hand grenades, pay close attention to the “shake gently” instruction before opening.) bbbb

Although somewhat thirst-quenching, Jamaican Gold Cappuccino Original’s java aftertaste wears just a bit thin. bbb

Sorry, kiddies, Kahlua Iced Coffee is nonalcoholic. (Kahlua, of course, is a famous Mexican liqueur.) We’re even more remorseful that the drink’s frail body and watery texture make it taste like caffeinated Yoo-Hoo. bb

Finally, a beverage for the health-conscious, er, coffee drinker. The delectably light and refreshing Kogee Café Organic Coffee Drink is made with Horizon Organic Milk, certified chemical-free, straight from the cow’s teat. bbbb

The weak, empty-bodied Kogee Café Vanilla Organic Coffee Drink begs the question “Would you like coffee with your cream and sugar?” bbb

Don’t be fooled by the jolly, portly fellow, winking and giving a thumbs-up, illustrated on the can. Mr. Brown Iced Coffee goes down stale and bitter, like that from a pot that’s been sitting too long. bb

Starbucks Coffee Caramel Frappuccino is the Baywatch babe of ready-to-drink cold coffees — good body but too much artificial enhancement, which leaves a chemical aftertaste. bb

As pleasurable as it would be for this writer to make fun of a big corporate product, sadly, it’s difficult to find fault with the deep, rich flavor and creamy texture of Starbucks Coffee Coffee Frappuccino. bbbb

You’ll go nutty over the freshly roasted fragrance of Starbucks Coffee Hazelnut Frappuccino, the coffee powerhouse’s newest bottled beverage. bbbb

The cool, creamy Starbucks Coffee Mocha Frappuccino is the Shaquille O’Neal of ready-to-drink cold coffees — huge body and filthy rich. bbbbb

Starbucks Coffee Mocha Lite Frappuccino: See Starbucks Coffee Mocha Frappuccino, then subtract 90 calories. bbbbb

Sweet and unassuming, Starbucks Coffee Vanilla Frappuccino isn’t bad, but nothing to write home to Mother about. We’re no longer thirsty; it served its purpose. bbb

Japanese import UCC Coffee With Milk is brought to us by the makers of the world’s first canned java, and it sure tastes like it. As in the first canned coffee — old, flat, thick like mud, well past its prime. b


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