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This vegan iced coffee frappé is a refreshing non-dairy, nut-free and naturally-sweetened drink that’s perfect for summer! With just three main ingredients, it takes only minutes to whip up.
Created with nutritious oat milk and dates, it delivers all the kick and sweetness of a traditional Starbucks-like frappuccino but omits any dairy or refined sugars.
You can feel a whole lot better about your health with this creamy iced coffee!
List of Ingredients
This home iced coffee is inspired by FrescAvena, the oatmeal drink popular in Guatemala, and by Greek coffee frappé, an iced drink I fell in love with while island-hopping through Greece with my daughters.
Instead of the refined sugar (and additives) used in those classic drinks, I’ve opted for dates. They’re naturally sweet, rich in nutrients and provide many health benefits.
When it comes to choosing the best non-dairy milk for iced coffee, the best choice is oat milk. The beauty of oat milk is that it foams like real cow’s milk but is entirely plant-based. It’s a creamy and slightly-sweet dairy substitute that’s perfect to use in any coffee beverage.
It’s also nut-free which is important if you’re sensitive to milk substitutes such as almond milk.
Melted ice dilutes drinks so I froze the oat milk into cubes to prevent watering down our frappé. It’s an extra step but is definitely worth the outcome.
Here are the ingredients you need:
● 1 ice cube tray filled with oatmilk and then frozen
● 1 cup cold brew coffee
● 7 pitted Medjool (or Deglet Noor or Sayer) dates
● 4 Tablespoons of hot water
Best Coffee to Use for Home Iced Coffee
While Greek cafes often use instant coffee for their cafe frappe (and I was tempted to use my leftover morning coffee), I consulted with a pro to get her opinion on the best coffee to use for iced coffee.
According to Chiara Carroll the chief recipe creator of caffeinated concoctions at Roasty Coffee, the best coffee to use for iced coffee is either a shot of espresso or cold brew.
When it comes to cold brew, there are a myriad of options out there. Most stores now have it pre-made and available on their shelves (i.e. Aldi, Target, Trader Joes etc.).
You can also brew your own cold brew coffee at home. It is relatively easy and just takes a bit of forethought as it needs to steep overnight.
If you’re new to the world of cold brew, here are some key points to note:
- Cold brew can be strong.
- Don’t drink cold brew concentrate straight—it’s highly caffeinated!
- While the caffeine content is higher the acidity is less! The cold extraction process brings out fewer of coffee’s bitter compounds, which produces a sweeter and smoother result.
- You can use any coffee bean you prefer! There is no special cold-brew bean. Learn about the four types of coffee beans and choose the flavour profile you like best.
- Although you can use pre-ground coffee, you’ll get the best flavour if you buy whole bean coffee and grind it at home.
- Set your grinder to the “coarse” setting in order to make cold brew.
How to Make Cold Brew Coffee
If you’re going the DIY route for your cold brew, then the simplest way to do it is with a French Press coffee maker. I’m a huge fan of the Bodum French Press – it’s easy to use and produces piping hot coffee that retains the robust natural flavour of the beans.
It’s also perfect for travelling as it’s very portable. So if you have a kettle (as we did in our hotels in Grenada) you can easily make a pot of excellent coffee without even leaving your room in the morning.
- I opted to use the wonderful coffee beans from Pluma Hidalgo in Oaxaca, Mexico and ground it on the coarse setting.
- For cold brew, start by using 2 tablespoons of ground coffee per cup of water. Filtered water is preferable but not necessary.
- Rather than make just enough for just this recipe, my suggestion is to make extra cold brew concentrate to keep in the fridge. So why not just fill your French Press?
- That means if you’ve got an 8-cup French Press, you’d do about 16 tablespoons of coffee and then fill the French Press near the top (leaving enough room to put your lid & plunger back on without overflowing).
- Once you’ve added your desired amount of coffee grounds and water, use a plastic or wooden spoon to gently stir it all together. Then, put the lid on your French Press but don’t push down the plunger yet!
- Store your French Press in the fridge for around 24 hours to make a strong concentrate. Some people let it sit for as little as 10 hours, which is fine, but will just produce a less concentrated, weaker cold brew. Feel free to experiment with the timing – but I’d start with letting it sit for at least 12 hours.
- Once the time has passed, now it’s time to push that plunger down on your French Press. This will push all the grounds down to the bottom and separate them from the liquid, leaving your cold brew concentrate on the top, ready to pour.
- Remember, this is going to be stronger than regular coffee. It’s perfect as a mix-in for iced coffee recipes just like this.
How to Sweeten Iced Coffee Naturally
Now, on to the super fun and healthy way of sweetening up this iced coffee! I’m new to this sweetening agent but it’s definitely holding a place in my arsenal of sweet substitutes!
It’s super simple to make and gives you a wonderful vegan caramel replacement! It works beautifully in many other beverages including this delicious Vegan Iced Matcha Green Tea Latte.
While there are many date caramel recipes out there, the gist is ultimately the same —blended dates with hot water. I used medjool dates because they are moister than other varieties of dates but you can use whatever kind of date you prefer.
If the dates you choose to use are drier, just adjust the amount of water. Increase the amount of water while blending until you get a smooth paste
This caramel date paste gives your drink the perfect amount of sweetness all while making you feel perfectly non regretful about the drink ingredients!
Step by Step Instructions on How to Make Vegan Iced Coffee Frappé
1. Freeze the oat milk (store-bought or home made) in an ice cube tray until frozen.
2. Next, make your date caramel sweetener. Add the dates into a food processor or blender. Pulse until finely chopped.
3. Then pour in your warm water and blend until a caramel-like consistency forms. Remove from the blender and place in a small bowl to use as sweetener.
4. Place your frozen oat milk cubes in the blender. Pour your coffee over and blend until smooth.
5. Add about 3 tablespoons of the date caramel to your drink (more or less to taste).
6. Blend all of this goodness together, pour into your glass, put your feet up and sip to your heart’s content!
Tips on Serving this Non-Dairy Drink
- Oat milk magically produces its own delicious foam, much like a dairy beverage does. But no judgement here if you add a dollop of non-dairy whipped cream to the top. It’s totally optional!
- Serve this frozen iced coffee drink immediately to preserve as much of the oat milk foam as possible.
- This vegan drink can be doubled and tripled for a crowd. It’s delicious at brunch and pairs perfectly with these Fluffy Almond Milk Pancakes.
- Store extra date caramel in the fridge for up to two weeks for making future treats!
- Use a powerful blender to blend the ice completely. I’ve used a Blendtec and a Ninja Professional ( 900 watts) and both worked really well.
If You Liked this Vegan Iced Coffee, You’ll Love These Recipes
- Healthy No-Bake Energy Balls
- Sparkling Bourbon Peach Punch
- Foraged Purslane, Fig, Walnut and Pomegranate Salad
- Vietnamese Iced Coffee
- Agua de Avena – Vanilla Oat Milk Cooler
Vegan Iced Coffee Frappé
- French Press Coffee Maker or other coffee machine
- Tall glasses
- Ice cube tray
- 1.5 cups oat milk frozen in an ice cube tray
- 1 cup coffee cold brew
- 7 dates Medjool
- 4 tbsp water hot
- Freeze the oat milk (store-bought or home made) in an ice cube tray until frozen.
- Next, make your date caramel sweetener. Add the dates into a food processor or blender. Pulse until finely chopped.
- Then, pour the warm water into the dales and blend until a caramel-like consistency forms.
- Remove the date caramel paste from the blender.
- Place your frozen oat milk cubes in the blender. Pour your coffee over and blend until smooth.
- Add about 3 tablespoons of date caramel to your coffee and oat milk mixture (add more or less date caramel to taste).
- Give it all one more good blend and pour into your glasses!
- Serve immediately!
- Oat milk magically produces its own delicious foam, much like a dairy beverage does. But no judgement here if you add a big ol’ dollop of non-dairy whipped cream to the top. It's totally optional!
- Serve your vegan iced coffee frappé immediately so you preserve as much of the foam as possible.
- Store the extra caramel in the fridge for up to two weeks for making future treats!
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Dividing her time between Canada, Guatemala and Mexico (or the nearest tropical beach), Michele Peterson is the founder of A Taste for Travel. Her award-winning travel and food writing has appeared in Lonely Planet’s cookbook Mexico: From the Source, National Geographic Traveler, Fodor’s and 100+ other publications.
Read more about Michele Peterson.