In summer, it is important to cool down and ward off the negative effects of the heat. So if you want to stay cool but have no intention of going without your beloved coffee, especially at the hottest times of the day, why not replace that boiling cup of espresso with a cooler recipe or version of our favourite beverage?
Such as, for example, iced coffee from Lecce, one of the many different versions of the classic espresso that Italians order at the bar. Or you could spend time making some or all of our 9 cold coffee recipes at home. But let’s start by making a delicious homemade caffè leccese: follow our recipe to find out how easy it is.
The origins of iced caffè leccese
The ingredients of iced caffè leccese are coffee, ice, and almonds. Leaving aside the almonds for a moment, it’s easy to tell that, given the simplicity of its ingredients – just coffee and ice-, it is a popular drink in many countries. It can therefore be considered as having its origins in various parts of the world. For some, it first appeared in the Mediterranean, others say it originated in Vietnam, a coffee-producing country.
Legend has it that hot coffee with added ice arrived in Italy from Spain, landing in Otranto back in 1600, then spreading throughout the rest of Salento and Italy.
Instead, it is known that the addition of almonds originated in the city of Lecce. For this reason, when coffee contains almonds and the method below is followed, it is also called iced caffè leccese, or caffè salentino.
Recipe for making iced caffè leccese
As mentioned above, you can easily make this speciality at home because there are only a few ingredients, and they are extremely easy to find and combine.
- One piping hot espresso coffee.
- Ice, in small cubes, or crushed not too finely.
- Two tablespoons of almond paste or two espresso cups of sweetened almond milk.
Use an old fashioned glass, of the short, wide type used to serve certain kinds of rum and whisky.
For this particularly sweet recipe, if you’re using a moka pot, we recommend you use fresh ground Espresso or Supermiscela. If using capsules or pods, it’s better to choose one of the Ricetta Classica blends.
The method specified below is the one we have personally seen the baristas from Lecce follow. In fact, even if you change bar, when you ask for an iced coffee, the ingredients and the order of the various steps we’ve seen will always be those we recommend below:
- Make the coffee and pour it into an espresso cup, when still boiling hot.
- Place first the ice and then the kind of almonds you’ve chosen into the glass (in the bars in the Lecce area, we have always been served caffè leccese made with a homemade almond paste).
- Finally, add the cup of piping hot coffee, and stir for a few seconds.
Your iced coffee is already good to go! Get ready to taste and have others try this veritable coffee delicacy. There’s no denying it: the combination of coffee and almonds is truly delicious, so try it out for yourself!