FiveFive Ways to Stay Cool

Summer has finally decided to grace us with her presence. And as the temperature starts climbing up into the high(er) twenties, we can really feel the heat. So here are five ways we like cool down in Vancouver.

1. Vietnamese Iced Coffee (Cafe Sua Da)

The Vietnamese get their coffee mojo from the French. But they upped the awesome factor by adding sweetened condensed milk to create a velvet-like concoction after slow-dripping it through a medieval looking individual filter. Pour that over a glass full of ice and you’ll stay both cool and wired. You can find this icy caffeine masterpiece at any respectable Pho joint. We particularly like the ones at Au Petit Cafe, Ba Le and Le Do.

2. Taiwanese Icy Plates (Baobing)

Straight from the streets of Taiwan is the icy plate. Take a big block of ice. Shave it or crush it into a big pile of ice dust on a plate. Top with various sweet goodies like red bean, coconut jelly, grass jelly, all kinds of fruits and of course a generous portion of sweetened condensed milk. It’s similar to other iced dishes like halo halo — but it’s on a plate. Cherry’s Tea & Icy Bar at Crystal Mall and Leisure Tea & Coffee and Tapioca Express in Richmond will hook you up.

3. Bubble Tea (Pearl Milk Tea)

It seems like Bubble Tea is everywhere. But for the uninitiated, bubble tea is another Taiwanese import — sweetly flavoured tea usually shaken with ice and a milk. Many offer extras such as pearls (Tapioca balls), coconut jelly, grass jelly or whatever a particular tea shop may offer. For your bubble tea fix, try Dragon Ball Tea House on King Edward, Ochi in Chinatown or Yuen Yuen Cafe across the street from Oakridge.

4. Iced Slushes

Forget the slurpee, Asian iced slushes show us just how diverse something as simple as crushed ice can be. Consider the Avocado slush or three layer Pandan from Le Do, or the Hong Kong style red bean from Little Tea House. Regardless, there’s enough variety here to cool down anyone.

5. Ice Cream

If you’re seeking something more conventional to cool down, look no further than the humble ice cream cone. Ice cream has come a long way from chocolate chip mint and plain vanilla. La Casa Gelato, last count was offering up to 508 flavours including such classics as Wasabi and Garlic. Chicco on Robson has a unique Japanese twist, combining ice cream with a variety of unique toppings such as corn flakes and sponge cakes. Finally, if you’re looking for more traditional flavours, Cumpari’s Gelato & Caffe, has what you need.

— ♠ —