Half of my social media feed is composed of beautiful people jetsetting to Europe at the moment. They’re sipping shakeratos in cafés, breaking open flaky croissants that shard onto pristine bistro tables. Lifting sunglasses onto perfectly coiffed heads as they look out over the endless blue of the Aegean Sea.
Suffice it to say, my wanderlust is at an all-time high—and, okay, the envy too! But even in the heart of the Midwest where mornings feel less like a cooling Mediterranean breeze and more like a scorched puff from an overheated oven, I’m still embracing the slower rituals. Romanticizing my life, as they say.
And since the slowest part of my day is the early mornings before my family rouses themselves, I’ve been spending my time crafting coffee drinks with all the accouterments: a dash of cinnamon, a bit of coconut sugar. Frothy oat milk that slides like satin over heaps of ice. With a fancy cup of coffee, you could almost imagine yourself on vacation, even if your view consists of a falling-apart playset and weeds that poke persistently through the mulch in the yard.
So when I came across this viral TikTok of a banana date iced coffee, I was immediately intrigued. I love all the ingredients separately: banana, dates, milk, and coffee. Together? It looks like pure, frothy magic.
I like the thought of a low-sugar coffee alternative that has a little heft and richness from the banana, as well as the inimitable sweetness of the dates. When I saw that this frozen version from New York-based espresso bar Matto Espresso was hailed as their most popular drink, I took myself right to the kitchen.
How To Make the Viral Banana Date Iced Coffee
I had all the ingredients on hand, so I set to making the espresso. Mallory Bryce, the video creator, doesn’t use exact ingredients, but here’s my approximation:
- 2 shots espresso or 1/4 cup strong coffee
- 1 small ripe banana
- 2 pitted dates
- 1/2 cup milk of choice (I use an extra-creamy oat milk.)
Blend all the ingredients together for 10 to 15 seconds, then pour the mixture over a glass of ice.
The frothiness reminds me of an Italian shakerato, while the taste is somewhere between a vanilla and caramel latte, with the syrupiness of the dates adding a rich, almost molasses-like flavor. If you like affogatos, this has a similar velvety consistency and satisfying creaminess. I’m already evangelizing this drink to all my friends, and the next time I have guests, I’ll be bringing out the blender for sure.
Tips for Making Banana Date Iced Coffee
- Add ice to the blender if you want a frappe-like drink. I personally enjoy the regular latte, but I think the smoothie would be a tasty switch-up. Plus, you can add protein powder to a smoothie to add some nutrition.
- Blend the drink for longer than you think you need to. Unless you have a super-powerful blender, you’ll want to make sure the dates get fully incorporated. Otherwise, you’ll have chunks of date that settle to the bottom of the glass and clog up your straw. You could even cut or tear your dates into smaller pieces before adding them to the blender.
- Add spices or extracts to customize. A bit of cinnamon or almond extract would elevate this drink even more, though it doesn’t need added complexity. Some pumpkin pie spice would usher your coffee nicely into fall, too.
- Try a different kind of milk. For an extra-decadent dessert-like take, try using good-quality chocolate milk.
School might be starting in just a week for us, but it’s never too late to eke out just a bit of sweetness before the end of summer. Just add some sunshine and you’ve got yourself a quick taste of vacation without the cost of a plane ticket.