coding and drinking

Everyone I know drinks when coding. Not alcoholic - well, ok, sometimes, usually after beer-o-clock on a friday - but usually caffeinated. However, there is only so much coffee I can take in a day: usually around 5 shots of espresso. But with summer here now, here's a few nice variations on the normal run-of-the-mill stuff which I've been enjoying for a while.

Not-American Iced Tea

Thanks for my friend Tara for the basis of this - tho she makes it properly, being from the American south (I think?).

  • 6 black tea bags (just normal tea)

  • 6 green tea and lemon tea bags (or tea of your choice, I guess)

  • 6 slightly heaped teaspoons of sugar.

  • Rind of 1 lemon

  • Juice of the same lemon

  • Water. (around 1.7l)

  • 2 wine bottles

Throw the tea and sugar into a large bowl. Pour over 1.7l of boiling water. Add the lemon rind and juice. Let it steep for around 5 mins (maybe a little longer, just don't leave it for 20 mins...). Remove the tea bags and let it cool.

Once it's cool, pour thru a strainer to remove the lemon rind (tea strainer should work, tho it might be a little small), and then put in the wine bottles. Put in the fridge.

Makes about 1.5l of "syrup". Don't drink it straight! Mix about 100-150ml of the tea with 500ml of water, preferably sparkling water (to make 600ml / 1 pint total). Drink. It's a tasty, refreshing, low-calorie (reduce the sugar if you want it lower calorie), low caffeine summer drink.


  • If you drink a lot of sparkling water - we do - get a Soda Stream. Cheap, reusable, and easy.

  • If you can get Luzianne Tea Bags, use that. It's designed for Iced Tea. I can't find them in the UK tho.

  • Some say it may work well with Icelandic Vodka. But I couldn't comment.

Monmouth Iced Espresso

Monmouth Coffee in Borough Market make a killer iced espresso in a way I'd never have thought of doing it. It's simple, quick, easy to make, and very tasty - none of this sugar-iced-mocca-frappa-whatever-the-fuck with cream nonsense.

I've done this at home without the sugar syrup, but I think it's better with it.

  • 2 or 3 large iced cubes in a small tumbler

  • 1 shot of espresso, right out of the machine

  • Sugar syrup to taste. Not sure how to make this, but Leonie does.

Put the ice in the glass, and shoot the coffee over it normally. Add sugar syrup (which will dissolve in it easily) to taste. Yum yum.

The really easy version: go to Monmouth and buy one for £1.75 :) And ask them to sort out their damn website - it's been under construction (how 90's!) for ages! I'll help in exchange for coffee beans.


Nic Wise

Nic Wise

Auckland, NZ