Eiskaffee: The Best Coffee in Germany
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All you need to make this favorite German summertime treat is coffee, a scoop or two of vanilla ice cream, and whipped cream.
When I was an exchange student in Hamburg many years ago, my German host mom introduced me to one of my favorite summertime treats: Eiskaffee (German iced coffee or literally German ice cream coffee).
If I was around the house on a hot summer afternoon, she’d get a twinkle in her eye and ask if I’d like a “calorie bomb.” She’d then make us each an Eiskaffee and we’d sip them while lounging in the backyard.
Even though Eiskaffee is a cold drink, I still feel all warm and fuzzy thinking about those summer afternoons hanging out with my German mom when I was 17!
Eiskaffee comes together in minutes and is absolutely delightful on a steamy summer day. As the ice cream melts it gives the coffee a smooth and silky texture and sweetens it up just a bit.
Eiskaffee is something you’ll find at practically every German ice cream shop and cafe but for me it’s best when it’s homemade.
What Kind of Coffee Should I Use?
You can use your favorite coffee or espresso, just make sure it’s cold when you make your Eiskaffee.
I mostly drink decaf coffee and espresso these days, especially if I’m enjoying an Eiskaffee in the afternoon or evening.
A friend told me about Savorista craft low-caf and decaf coffee beans and omg, I LOVE them!
I’ve had a subscription to Savorista’s Yesso! Espresso for several months now, so I feel good about recommending them to you.
If you’re looking for delicious low caf or decaf coffee or espresso beans, I highly recommend Savorista. You can order one bag of beans (and you can choose your preferred grind) or set up a subscription (mine is set for every 6 weeks).
Be sure to use CATE when you order and you’ll get 25% off a one-time order or 30% off your first order in an ongoing subscription.
For the best taste, I recommend using a high quality vanilla bean ice cream and fresh whipped cream.
Be sure to enjoy your Eiskaffee right after assembling it because even with cold coffee the ice cream will melt quickly. Serve it German-style with a long spoon and a straw (like these cute paper straws or these colorful reusable straws).
What You Need to Make German Eiskaffee
This is a super easy sweet treat and you don’t need much in the way of food or kitchen tools in order to make it! Here’s what you need food-wise:
- Cold coffee (I drink regular Peets coffee and Savorista when I want decaf – see above for my Savorista discount code!)
- Vanilla ice cream (or your favorite non-dairy equivalent)
- Whipped cream (or your favorite non-dairy equivalent)
- Sprinkles (I use these)
And here are the (very few) kitchen tools you need:
- Something to brew coffee in
- A glass
- Straws (I use paper straws when I want something cute and reusable straws for everyday)
- Long-handled spoon
- Ice cream scoop
Can we talk about one of my favorite intercultural faux pas ? It was a hot summer day in Berlin a couple years back and all I wanted was a nice big iced coffee first thing in the morning. So, I stopped on the corner cafe and ordered eiskaffee. They looked at me kind of funny (I obviously was not a German speaker) and double checked and I insisted I wanted an eiskaffee. Well, you know what showed up. So much for a healthy day ahead. But it did start sweetly!
OMG, that’s hilarious, Gina! Thanks for sharing that story. 🙂
There was a wonderful coffeehouse with an Old World vibe at my local university in Los Angeles. I used to go there even though I wasn’t attending that school. They served a *hot* coffee with ice cream, fudge or chocolate syrup, whipped cream delight…I forget what they called it. It was the most special treat. I loved it. The hot coffee and cold ice cream, (slightly) bitter and (somewhat) rich and sweet…heaven. I never saw it anywhere else, but I had a feeling it was at least inspired by something European. In the last 10 or so years, I came across some coffeehouses in Seattle serving affogato which is similar, but with just a shot of espresso.
As I read your comment I thought back to an “espresso float” I used to love when I was in Seattle! It was basically a big affogato but I think it also had whipped cream and chocolate or caramel sauce. It was more ice cream than espresso. In my book, any combo of ice cream + coffee or espresso = delicious!!