For most of the year, I identify very strongly as a hot tea drinker.
I usually start my day with a cup of breakfast tea, then follow up later in the day with either an afternoon (caffeinated) tea, or an herbal tea with flavors like ginger, echinacea, turmeric, et cetera. My electric kettle is my favorite kitchen appliance.
But North Country summers can get pretty hot and muggy so, unfortunately, drinking hot tea makes me feel hot and muggy.
I’ll freely admit to being too lazy most of the time to brew iced tea. Plus, that has always felt like more of a dinner drink to me than a breakfast drink.
The solution? Iced coffee from the comfort of my own home.
My boyfriend, Justin, and I frequently hit up pretty much all the local coffee shops in the area.
During one of his visits to their drive-thru, Justin learned Adirondack Coffee Roasters — located at Payson and Stoughton Plaza on Route 3, just a few doors up from Starbucks — had started a growler system.
Craft beer aficionados are familiar with the large amber jugs, which you pay a flat fee to purchase, thereafter paying a set rate to exchange and refill them with your choice brew.
Adirondack Coffee Roasters now takes the same approach, but with their cold brew, caramel turtle and, our choice, iced coffee.
The best way to use the system is to stop by the shop the day before you need to refill your growler. You can either head on in or go up to the drive-thru window on the right of the building — usually staffed by husband and wife co-owners Dwane and Krissie Bast, who are super nice by the way — and let them know which coffee you would like.
They’ll brew you a pitcher, let it cool down, then refrigerate it over night so it’s ready for pick-up the next day when you swing by with your growler.
On the days I stop by for just a single iced coffee, their hazelnut with a little cream is usually my go-to. But for the at-home growler, we typically enjoy either their espresso or dark magic roasts.
Lately, my favorite way to prepare it is to fill a glass with a good bit of ice, pour in the iced coffee about three-quarters of the way full, add some milk and stir in a spoonful or so of maple syrup.
It’s a great way for me to get my caffeine fix in the morning while still supporting a local, family-owned business when I don’t have time to jet uptown. Check it out if that sounds like the perfect blend for you.