Algerian French Mediterranean

Iced Coffee: Mediterranean Drink Born In Algeria

If the origins of the coffee-based drink and its spread from Ethiopia or Yemen date back to about 1400, even iced coffee, or ice coffee, boasts an equally long history that begins in the seventeenth century. From Spain to Salento, from the seventeenth century to the present day, cold coffee is the ideal drink to enjoy at any time of a hot summer day, to enjoy a regenerating and refreshing break, with satisfaction for the palate and a load of energy.

Summer is the perfect season for iced coffee! This drink is very delicious and pleasant in moments of intense heat.

Iced coffee can also be prepared at home and stored in the fridge. Many have the habit of storing the coffee of the morning, or the previous day, in glass bottles and keep it aside. But cold coffee is a real art, and to enjoy it at its best, you must take some small precautions.

In the world, there are many variations of iced coffee, but the main ingredients are two: a high-quality coffee and a professional coffee machine – preferably levered – that enhances its characteristics.

Let’s take a little dip into the history of this drink and among its variants and see what is our recipe for cold coffee to make at home.

How Iced Coffee Is Born

Mazagran was brought from North Africa to France in the nineteenth century and soon became popular in the cafes of Paris. It was the first coffee to be served in tall, narrow glasses in Europe.

It seems that the origin of this drink is Algerian since it was born in a town in Algeria called Mazagran around 1840, at the time when a battle was fought between French and Algerians. It is said that the French soldiers got used to drinking coffee mixed with cold water, and a little brandy, to cope with the heat, and this drink has given rise to the soft drink as we know it today.

But good ideas usually have more than one father and one mother, and there are many countries that claim the invention of this coffee preparation, in fact, the Spaniards claim it as “a typically Spanish soft drink”. Portugal, so linked to the transport of coffee from Africa, maintains that mazagran “belongs” to it. In Austria, it is served mixed with a little rum.

Such an international drink could not have a single recipe, and in each country, it has its point. However, the basic ingredients are coffee, sugar, ice, and lemon juice and the usual thing is to serve it in a high glass. It is important that the coffee is strong and freshly prepared.

Among the most popular versions are frozen coffee drinks, similar to Italian coffee granita, and coffee prepared and then chilled with ice.

In the twenties, iced coffee had a real boom, thanks to a marketing campaign by the Joint Coffee Trade Publicity Committee of the United States.

But its spread worldwide comes with the birth of large chains such as Burger King, Dunkin’ Donuts, and Starbucks, which has built an empire on coffee.

The Full Story Of Mazagran Coffee

In 1830 Algeria was invaded by the French army, interrupting the control of the region by the Ottoman Empire. The Algerian resistance, led by El Emir Abd al-Qadir after negotiating a treaty with General French Bugeaud began to fight for freedom from the invader along the Mediterranean coast.

Only three years after the signing of the treaty, in fact, the Algerians captured over 100 French soldiers who were locked up inside a fortress in the outpost of Mazagran, an Algerian coastal city.

A few days after their capture, French reinforcements arrived, which freed the captured soldiers. Despite the short stay of the prisoners in the fortress of Mazagran this was enough to give birth to this drink.

Inside the walls, in fact, given the limited access to resources, it was not possible for the soldiers to lengthen the coffee with Brandy, as usual, and the only advantageous solution to overcome the hot African days was to dilute it with cold water. From here was born the Caffè Mazagran which became very famous in France until the 20th century, obviously with variations …

But how do you prepare the “original” Mazagran Coffee? On this there are different opinions even among historians who have carried out research on it, there are those who speak of hot coffee poured on ice, those who speak of a coffee served with a bunch of cold water apart (like the French soldiers!).

Nowadays this drink has been almost forgotten in Algeria and France but a version of it can be found in Portugal, a version with a touch of lemon, sometimes also served in an alcoholic version with the addition of Rum.

Recipe For Iced Coffee

Traveling around the world to taste the different versions of iced coffee would be wonderful. But even at home, you can make a tasty cold coffee to be enjoyed every day and at any time of the day.

Here is our favorite recipe


  • Room temperature coffee prepared with Pontevecchio lever machines;
  • Ice cubes;
  • Sugar or sweetened syrup;
  • Condensed milk or fresh milk (whole, skimmed or partially skimmed, depending on your taste).


Making iced coffee at home is very simple, but with a few little secrets, you can make a pleasant and refreshing drink, to drink at any time.

  • First of all you will need to prepare the espresso and let it cool.
  • Then you will have to get a tall transparent glass (the transparent glass allows you to see the milk mixing with coffee and ice cubes) and a long spoon to mix the ingredients all the way.
  • Fill the glass with ice cubes and pour the coffee at room temperature inside the glass.
  • Add milk and sweeten to taste. Mix everything well.
  • Relax and enjoy your homemade iced coffee!


Iced coffee is one of the most popular drinks in summer. Its fresh flavor and coffee aroma that prevails over all other ingredients make it a favorite choice in the hot hours.

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