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Summertime in Budapest means finding some cool drinks to counteract the often ferocious heat. Cold beer and lemonade are always welcome, but Hungary’s capital continues to evolve as a leader in new and innovative coffee-based drinks. The city’s cold-coffee selections are more than just an ice-cube-filled cup of latte. The advent of more and more creative coffeehouses means more varied chilled concoctions for coffee aficionados. Here, in alphabetical order, are the top 10 Budapest Iced Coffee Heavens.
Budapest Iced Coffee Heaven #1 –Budapest Baristas
Coffee with tonic? Really? Well, why not? At Budapest Baristas on Museum Avenue, you’ll find a cold brew mixed with tonic and served with ice and orange; something like a coffee cocktail. The resulting drink is a perfect summertime refreshment, sweeter than regular coffee and delicious when it’s cooled. The orangey aroma comes from the Honduran coffee used in its preparation. And there’s no bitterness or fizziness in the finished product, which is a flawless harmony of flavors.
Múzeum körút 15.
Budapest Iced Coffee Heaven #2 – EcoCafé
Everything in this unique coffeehouse is made of organic ingredients. No specialty filter coffees or beverages with exotic names; however, you will find a high-quality iced latte, prepared with fair-trade coffee beans and milk from a Hungarian organic dairy near Lake Balaton. The caramel latte is nearly perfect and is also available in vanilla, chocolate, and peanut versions. You won’t find any ice cream in their coffees, only ice, and they make their special iced coffee concoctions with or without whipped cream.
Andrássy út 68.
Budapest Iced Coffee Heaven #3 – Espresso Embassy
This funky little specialty café offers an espresso tonic, an entirely different experience. In fact, Espresso Embassy has quite a few original ice coffee treats. Espresso tonic is merely a cup of espresso poured into a glass of icy tonic. The resulting fizzy drink is sweet at first and then the sour taste of coffee comes through; also, the flavors are a lot stronger than the cold brew.
Arany János utca 15.
Budapest Iced Coffee Heaven #4 – Kontakt
Budapest’s 2014 specialty coffee of the year was Roket, a cold, nitrogen-infused coffee poured directly from a tap. Roket is still only available in a couple of cafés around Budapest. At first glance its appearance and taste seem virtually incompatible; our glass contained a dark-colored frothy drink that looks like brown beer and tastes softer than espresso. After a few sips, however, Roket tastes somewhat like beer with an overtone of caffeine instead of alcohol.
Károly körút 22
Budapest Iced Coffee Heaven #5 – Madal Cafe
We love ordering a Blood Orange Ice Nirvana at Madal Café, which is really just a blood-orange flavored double espresso. When the coffee is poured over the cold and fizzy juice, the ingredients separate in the glass. The Ice Nirvana is a tasty and orangey coffee that is not too sweet nor too sour. In our humble opinion, however, the blood orange is a much better choice than regular orange, and the drink looks really appetizing in the glass.
Ferenciek Tere 3 (plus two others around town)
Budapest Iced Coffee Heaven #6 – Mantra Specialty Coffee Minibar
Tucked away on Veres Pálné Street, Mantra draws crowds with their extra-special coffees. If you like drinks that are milky and creamy, but not too sweet, try their icy latte made with almond milk and 100% clean almond butter. Mantra uses black beans from Colombia, but no matter what kind of coffee you try, there’s never any disappointment when it comes to quality.
Mantra Specialty Coffee Minibar
Veres Pálné utca 33.
Budapest Iced Coffee Heaven #7 – My Little Melbourne
The icy version of filtered coffee is diluted when the hot coffee is filtered directly onto the ice that immediately melts, cooling the coffee. The result is a light, cold, refreshment-like beverage that brings out all of the aromas in the chosen bean, and can be sipped immediately after it’s prepared. My Little Melbourne, near Madach ter, is expert at preparing this type of cold coffee, which results in a refreshment that is softer and richer than even the best machine-made beverages.
My Little Melbourne
Madách Imre utca 3
Budapest Iced Coffee Heaven #8 – Barako Kávéház
Known far and wide in Budapest for its Iced Drip coffee, Barako Kávéház derives its name from the same coffee beans used to create this summer specialty. It takes about eight hours to make this drink, as the ice needs a long time to drip into the bowl, and finishing touches have to be added. The Ice Drip has a sweetish taste, but the aroma of dark chocolate predominates. Due to its long preparation time, the quantity of this drink is limited, so you might drop them a line on Facebook and ask them to save you some.
Török utca 3.
Budapest Iced Coffee Heaven #9 – Solinfo
Iced coffee at Solinfo is an Italian coffee with a large scoop of homemade ice cream, which is then covered with whipped cream and topped with hazelnut sauce instead of chocolate (for that little taste twist). This hearty creamy-foamy coffee is a perfect after-lunch dessert. It’s also offered in various flavors; for something beyond the ordinary, try the Bailey’s and chocolate-cookie versions.
Wesselényi utca 6.
Budapest Iced Coffee Heaven #10 – Warmcup
True coffee connoisseurs already know about icy cascara, served exclusively at Warmcup. It’s made by steeping dried coffee and cherry tea in hot water, which results in a drink that is a blend of coffee and tea. For Budapest’s scorching summer days, you can get an icy version at WarmCup. Cascara is soaked in water for at least half a day to enable the aromas to peak; next, it’s poured over ice, et voila! A perfect summertime drink. Cascara’s taste is sort of like a coffee-flavored iced tea, but it’s refreshing and cold, so it definitely does the job. NB: WarmCup also serves ‘matchaládé’, a must for matcha lovers, which is a lemonade made of matcha powder.
Erzsébet krt. 39