Bloc 11 Café, Somerville
You’ve had your cherry Coke and egg creams. This is your coffee dream. Union Square’s bustling coffee oasis now has a house-made coffee soda—a refreshing, energizing balance of sweet vanilla syrup blended with two shots of espresso that comes alive in a burst of soda water. When the soda water hits the glass, it mimics a Guinness pour as a creamy tan froth rises to the top. Think of it as your before-work Happy Hour.
11 Bow St., Somerville 617-623-0000
Behind the Bookstore Café, Martha’s Vineyard
Barista expert Phillip Kim named a special iced coffee drink after President Barack Obama in hopes of getting the president to swing by and, well, order his namesake at the café tucked behind Edgartown Books (a place the prez likes to visit when vacationing in town). Kim mixes four shots of espresso (Intelligentsia Black Cat) with milk, adds grapefruit zest, shakes until frothy and serves it over ice. “It’s kind of got a cult following,’’ says Kim. Let’s just say this drink, dear readers, and not the world’s turmoil would keep Obama up at night.
44 Main St., Edgartown, MV, 774-549-9123
Beetlebung, Martha’s Vineyard
This frozen delight, served at two MV locations (Oak Bluffs and Menemsha) starts with Barrington Coffee Roaster’s Gold espresso. It gets a helping of Ghirardelli syrup (your choice of dark chocolate, caramel or white chocolate), and dairy—part milk, part half- and-half. Add ice and blend. The real whipped cream just makes everyone else jealous.
24 Basin Road, Menemsha, 508-645-9956
Atomic Café Coffee Roasters, North Shore
A chai latte meets a shot of espresso and they fall in love. Call it coffee. Call it tea. That’s the story, anyway, when you sip an ice-cold Chai Charger made with any kind of milk (soy, almond, whole, you name it) at this funky North Shore coffee haven with locations in Marblehead, Beverly and Newburyport. The latter locale opened earlier this year.
52 State St., Newburyport, 978-358-7539
Cold Brew Iced Coffee
Flat Black Coffee, Boston
This multi-location café isn’t the only game in town that doles out iced coffee via the cold-brew method, but its sips are mighty nice. The cold-brew Toddy method brings out the terroir or subtle characteristics of a single-origin coffee—coffee that comes from beans picked from one region or estate. The method demands more coffee and an overnight brew time, so it costs a little more. But for coffee purists, it’s worth it.
1906 Dorchester Ave., Dorchester, 617-825-1440
The Handlebar Café, Nantucket
Since opening July 4, 2014, café co-owners Courtney and Jason Bridges (also owners of nearby Nantucket Bike Tours) say islanders can’t get enough of their iced latte. Maybe it’s because they start with milk over ice then drop a double espresso over the milk to keep the hot espresso from getting diluted. (Those who want less caffeine can get a single shot. But why bother?) The other lure is the three-tiered Bark Bar outside—elevated water bowls for canines of every size. Either way, both human and hound walk away happy.
15 Washington St., Nantucket, 508-367-1976
Kickstand Café, Arlington
Families flock with their bicycles and tots in tow to this newbie-owned café in Arlington Center, where the iced mocha is made to order. The basics include milk (your choice of regular, soy or almond), espresso, cocoa and sweetener (sugar, Splenda, you choose). Toss in the Aztec spice blend of cinnamon, cayenne and clove for kick. So hot, it’ll cool you down.
594 Massachusetts Ave., Arlington, 781-583-6110
Boston Common Coffee Company, Boston
A frappuccino by any other name would taste as good—and this one sure does. It starts with roastmaster Patrick Maloney’s espresso, roasted in the company’s Hopedale facility. Sugar is added, then 2 percent. The mixture is put through a Taylor machine to give it its icy slushiness that’ll give you an ice cream headache if you don’t slow down on the slurping.
515 Washington St., Downtown Crossing, 617-542-0595
Iced Honey Latte
Simon’s Coffee Shop, Cambridge
Years ago Simon Yu, owner of Simon’s Coffee Shop, wanted to create a cold drink without using flavored shots. He knew honey had its own flavor profile, and the café already served a hot honey latte. So, he mixed the honey with hot espresso so it would melt, added cold milk (of your choosing), ice, and shook it up. The signature icy drink, which comes in two sizes (12 or 16 ounces), is served over a little—not a lot of—ice. “It doesn’t dilute the taste of the coffee,’’ says Yu, nailing a pet peeve of many iced coffee aficionados (company included).
1736 Massachusetts Ave., Cambridge, 617-497-7766
Iced Vanilla Ginger Latte
Thinking Cup, Boston
Fans of this brick-walled caffeine feeder off Boston Common know a good combo when they see one. The house-made vanilla-ginger syrup is mixed with two shots of Stumptown’s hair bender espresso and topped off with High Lawn Farm milk, essentially a Pacific Northwest roaster taking on Jersey girls from Western Mass.—a bi-coastal boost on ice.
165 Tremont St., Boston, 617-482-5555