Cold, stovetop-brewed espresso poured over vanilla ice-cream is a favourite of mine. The trick is to blow on it. You'll look weird, but the blowing creates little shards of icy coffee (granita for cheaters). I love it, but I'm not so devoted that I don't swoon over most anything ice-cold and caffeinated. In that spirit, here's a Sydney hit-list to help beat the heat one cup at a time.
The Affogato Project is Sydney's ultimate affogato experience brought to us by Enmore's Cow and the Moon gelataria in cahoots with Single Origin Roasters. This month's carefully selected combo is Burundi Mahonda cup of excellence from Single O, with soft honey gelato. And since affogato translates to drowned – we'll sneak in a nod to Flood Street Carousel at Leichhardt's "dunker's joy". It's affogato with a hunk of cinnamon brioche replacing the ice-cream, a jug of chilled milky coffee to pour over top.
Cow & the Moon, 181 Enmore Road, Enmore
Flood Street Carousel, 1 Lords Road, Leichhardt
2. THAI ICED TEA
Thai iced tea is a reassuring safety net for triple-chilli rated orders. You'll barely survive most of the Southern Thai dishes at Caysorn, Haymarket, without one – sweet, milky relief. Khao Pla at Chatswood serves their Thai-imported black tea in a tall glass on ice. It's tannin-rich and 20 per cent sugar. They also do Thai tea flavoured ice-cream for dessert.
Caysorn, 8 Quay Street, Haymarket
Khao Pla, 370 Victoria Street, Chatswood
3. GREEK COFFEE FRAPPE
To some it ain't a Greek frappe unless it involves Nescafe. Not me (but then, I'm not Greek). Lemonia cafe at Annandale's version uses espresso on ice, topped with milk foam so thick it looks almost like Italian meringue. Swizzle with a straw to combine the coffee and milk layers and hey presto: summertime bliss. Ask for added sugar if you're not up for a bitter edge.
Memo to frappe fiends: Aki Daikos, formerly of Marrickville's Vesbar will open new cafe Gasolina at Ramsgate early in 2014 with Nescafe frappe as a speciality.
Lemonia, 4-8 Booth Street, Annandale
Opening soon: Gasolina, Rocky Point Road, Ramsgate
4. FULLY WORKED ICED COFFEE
The folk at Don Campos at Alexandria don't do things by halves. Case in point is their addictive iced coffee made with espresso, ice-cream, ice, milk, and topped with fresh whipped cream, served with both a straw and a spoon by necessity. Sounds a bit old school, tastes amazing. Also on the menu is "espresso freddo": a double shot of espresso shaken with ice.
Don Campos, 21 Fountain Street, Alexandria
5. CUT-ABOVE ICED TEA
In the same building as Don Campos, Bread and Circus – wholefoods heaven and a tea drinker's delight – has in its line-up a Kyoto roasted green tea. It's green tea but not as you know it: served in a rounded glass tumbler clinking with chunky ice-cubes, it is crisp tasting but the process of roasting in place of steaming gives the tea distinct toasty, caramel flavours. Another place taking iced tea to a whole new level is T2B – the brew bars by T2. Here you can try the likes of cold drip French Earl Grey, various bottled iced teas, and a seriously refreshing "slush" tea made with apple, grapefruit, cinnamon, lemongrass and ginger.
Bread & Circus, 21 Fountain Street, Alexandria
T2B, QVB and Westfield Sydney see t2btea.com
6. TAIWANESE BUBBLE TEA
Bubble tea shops are appropriately pop, with various franchises spread right across Sydney. Gong Cha has four Sydney outlets including a brand spanking new one at Ashfield. The speciality here is 'milk foam' topped teas – try alisan (a fruity Taiwanese tea) or wintermelon with chewy tapioca pearls (aka, bubbles). You can add coffee jelly to your drink, too, but our advice is to stick to the pearls.
Gong Cha, 18 Hercules Street, Ashfield
7. VIETNAMESE ICED COFFEE
Cafe Nho has busy branches in Cabramatta and Bankstown and while they use espresso rather than traditional Vietnamese drip coffee, the offerings still have that distinctly Viet coffee effect of slowing time to a crawl as you sip, the caffeine/sugar-high kicking in at the end. Great Aunty Three at Enmore use the authentic stainless steel drip filter, serving the cold version in a tall glass with sweet condensed milk and ice. Pretty sure this is what powers the Energizer Bunny.
Cafe Nho, 7 Belvedere Arcade, Cabramatta
Great Aunty Three, 115 Enmore Road, Enmore
8. COLD DRIP
The cold drip brewing apparatus might seem complicated, but the end result is a subtle, easy drinking drop. Cold drip is becoming easier to find, and Artarmon's Salvage Specialty Roasters has taken things a step further, bottling their cold drip for portable chill. The Wedge at Glebe does cold drip with a twist, adding vanilla ice-cream and cookie crumbs, Brewtown Newtown's cold drip is on tap, and Grind Espresso at Cronulla is another fine spot to try cold drip.
Salvage Specialty Coffee, 5 Wilkes Avenue, Artarmon
The Wedge Espresso, 553-55 Glebe Point Road, Glebe
Brewtown Newtown, 6-8 O'Connell Street, Newtown
Grind Espresso, Shop 4/15 Surf Road, Cronulla
9. COFFEE WITH FIZZ
There's cold drip, and then there's carbonated cold drip, as served at Marrickville's Coffee Alchemy. Dubbed "the Sparkler", this is coffee disguised as beer: pulled from a tap into a tall, thin glass, complete with foamy head. It's got a bitter, Campari-esque edge, which softens as it sits. Carbonated cold drip is also on the menu at Crows Nest's Bean Drinking but why stop at one beverage, when their tasting flight gives you the chance to try three drinks from the brew bar?
Coffee Alchemy, 24 Addison Road, Marrickville
Bean Drinking, Shop 1/13 Ernest Place, Crows Nest
10. AN AFTER WORK TIPPLE
Because 'tis the season … New Zealand brewed Monteith's Black Beer has an awesome coffee flavour to it, while Aussie crowd-funding success story Mr Black produces fine cold drip coffee liquor. Both are worth hunting down at good bottle shops and bars, pronto.
Mr Black, mrblack.co