Not all ice is the same. Differences in the physical characteristics of ice affect the overall consistency of a blended beverage.
Ice comes in different shapes and forms and can vary from small cubes with a hollow center to larger half-moon shapes. Many common forms come as solid discs, tubes, or pellets, as well as more delicate types that are shaved, chipped, or flaked.
We suggest using standard-sized cubes, made from an automatic icemaker. We prefer this type of ice because its characteristics put it in the “median” category – not too large or small, and not too wet or dry. Keeping your ice consistent will make measuring an easy task and will ensure you get a perfect beverage every time.
Ice that is not kept frozen will become wet or transparent, and will melt very quickly. You will need to drain excess water from your ice, and reduce or perhaps even eliminate the water in your recipe altogether.
Ice that is shaved, chipped, or flaked will usually require less water and a shorter blending time. The heat generated in the blending process will melt this delicate ice. In these instances, reducing the amount of water and increasing the amount of ice may be the solution. Some experimentation will be necessary in order to achieve the desired results.
Using the correct number of scoops when preparing Cafe Essentials will produce rich and creamy flavors as well. Your repeat customer business is best assured by serving rich and full beverages every time, so please do not use less concentrate than the recipes call for.
Note: If the instructions say to use 6 oz. of concentrate to make an 18-ounce beverage, then use 6 oz. of concentrate. We refer to this measurement as the “constant,” so you only need to adjust the ice and water in order to achieve a flavorful 18-ounce finished beverage.
The proper balance between ice and water determines the viscosity of your beverage. Too much ice creates a drink that is overly icy and thick, and can even make the blender cavitate; plus it is hard to pour. Too much water or not enough ice will result in thin, liquidy beverages. Perfection is achieved when the frappé pours easily from the blender jar, while still exhibiting a full-bodied “smooth” texture. Any result short of this will need adjusting of ice or water.
Remember, since ice comes in all shapes, sizes, and consistencies, these characteristics determine how much you should use. Typically, your measuring device will be the same size as your serving cup. Large sized cubes will take up more air space than smaller cubes, so adjust accordingly. For a 16-ounce beverage you would normally use between 14 oz. -16 oz. of commercial ice, or 16 oz. – 20 oz. of shaved, chipped, or wet ice.
With minimal experimentation and some practice, you will start creating your own blended masterpieces that thrill your clientele and result in high-quality, healthy beverages that you can be proud to serve time after time.