Today's onsite customers “like to customize all parts of their meals, including coffee and tea beverages,” says David Porter, CEO, principal of Porter Khouw Consulting, Inc.
Instead of hitting just one flavor note with an iced tea or coffee drink, combinations of flavored syrups, fruit purees, gelato, spices and even flowers can lead to personal customization (by the customer’s choice) or signature customization (by the operator’s choice).
Perking Up Senior Dining
At Beacon Hill at Eastgate, an independent living community in Grand Rapids, MI, an ex-barista has been hired to create amazing iced coffee and tea drinks. See a slideshow of Beacon Hill's coolest drinks.
One such drink, Green Tea Fruit Smoothies, are made with gunpowder green tea, milk, sugar, frozen fruit and ice whirled together. Iced Energy tea and CocoMinTea offer more refreshing options.
Sweet Tulsi Rose is a walk through the garden, with rose tea and a pinch of lavender flowers. The sweetness of the flowers makes it “a light, fantastically refreshing tea that’s perfect for people who normally drink Southern-style sweet tea,” says Tim England, executive chef.
The iced coffees begin with triple-strength coffee.
“We use a ratio of 1 Tbsp. of coffee for every cup of water,” England says, “then chill it down in the refrigerator.”
And the coffees are super cool: from Chilled Alaskan Mocha (featuring a scoop of ice cream) to Tropical Macaroon Iced Coffee (with coconut, pineapple and mocha syrup, topped with toasted coconut and whipped cream) to Salted Butterscotch Iced Coffee (with sea salt and butterscotch syrup).
At another senior dining location, Brookdale Senior Living Solutions in Chicago, a new dessert café, DULCE, is the perfect place to enjoy iced tea and coffee drinks, alongside a sweet lineup of dessert items.
“We were looking to offer our residents an alternate place to gather, relax and enjoy coffee and tea creations,” says Joska J.W. Hajdu, senior vice president of dining services for Brookdale.
Alongside more traditional gourmet coffees, cappuccinos and lattes, guests can find such drinks as the Peach Mar ‘tea’ ni, a chilled beverage with green or white tea, sugar-free peach syrup and a garnish of dried fruit along the rim of a martini glass.
The drinks are meant to be paired with the dessert items, Hajdu says, which include on-trend items such as Parisienne Macaroons in pistachio, lemon or strawberry; and Poundcake Fondue with chocolate ganache.
When You Cross an Ice Cream Float with a Cup of Joe
At Parker Adventist Hospital, Parker, CO, iced coffee is generating a lot of buzz with a signature item: the House Made Gelato-Espresso Float. This unique item was inspired by a good-old fashioned root beer float.
Other tempting items include the Dirty Chai, a popular coffee shop drink that consists of a shot of espresso mixed into a chai tea. Milk can be added to create a creamy, bracing and a little bit exotic drink.
Parker Adventist’s café also offers Yerba Mate tea, known for its high amount of antioxidants.
Baristas should be able to make drinks easily, and upsell new flavors as well, says Jazzman’s Scott Barrineau, senior brand mananger, Sodexo.
“Also, a fresh product, made fresh daily, is very important,” he adds. Time for a coffee break on ice!
How They Cool Off in Athens, OH
The Ohio University campus, in the southernmost part of the state, can get pretty hot and humid. Rich Neumann, director of residential dining operations and Stacy Haney, general manager, have shared some of their most popular iced tea and coffee recipes to help students cool off, all in easy one-cup servings:
Iced Passion Tea/Pink Lemonade
1. Fill cup with ice
2. Fill halfway with pink lemonade
3. Steep two tea bags in hot water for one minute
4. Pour over ice and lemonade
Strawberry Lime Red Bull
1. Fill cup with ice
2. one pump of strawberry
1. add 2 shots of espresso to the cup
2. add 3 pumps of white chocolate syrup
3. then 2 oz. whole milk
4. next 3 pumps mocha base
5. add one cup of ice and blend in a blender
6. top with whipped cream and chocolate drizzle