If you’re as passionate about iced coffee as Ben Affleck is, our city’s coffee shops have you covered. Affleck – a Boston boy if there ever was one – has a particularly strong affinity for Massachusetts coffee chain Dunkin’, formerly known as Dunkin Donuts. But here in Melbourne, of course, it’s the specialty coffee shops and cafes that make the best (and most creative) iced brews.

In recent years, Melbourne coffee makers have been getting inventive, turning out more than just iced long blacks and lattes. A number of venues have developed their own signature iced coffees – often taking inspiration from overseas, especially Korea and Japan, where many cafes are known for their signature drinks. It’s both a treat for customers and a chance for baristas and beverage managers to play around.

From a nutmeg-spiced, cream-topped cold brew made famous by Tiktok to a Vietnamese-inspired number with salted marscapone, here are nine of the best specialty iced coffees to sip in Melbourne this summer.

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Montblanc, Good Measure

This dessert-style coffee became a sensation on Tiktok at the beginning of 2022, thanks in part to its striking two-toned aesthetic, and the team has been pumping it out ever since. Good Measure co-founder Brandon Jo tells Broadsheet that the business’s positioning as as a cafe and cocktail bar provides unique opportunities to get creative. The Montblanc, he says, has a “flavour profile [that] keeps the drink feeling light and refreshing”, combining filter coffee, cream and freshly grated nutmeg and orange zest.

Coconut cold brew, Terror Twilight

Tropical and punchy, the coconut cold brew is a staple on the Terror Twilight menu. The team has tweaked the formula over the years, and what’s on offer today is a drink made with a rich home-made syrup of coconut sugar, coconut cream and coconut milk, which is mixed with the house cold brew and garnished with desiccated coconut flakes.

Iced milk coffee with salted mascarpone, Banh Mi Stand

The iced milk coffee from this hole-in-the-wall spot is made with concentrated coffee and condensed milk, and topped with salted mascarpone. It’s inspired by the Vietnamese ca phe muoi, or salt coffee.

“What distinguishes salt coffee from one brand to another is the salted cream foam, so we decided to come up with our own recipe by adding mascarpone and a special salt to make it tastier,” says co-owner Ai Huynh. “Our cream foam, when combined with the bitter and sweet taste of traditional Vietnamese iced coffee, really enhances the flavour and takes the drink to the next level.”

Iced coffee spritz, Hector’s Deli

Hector’s Deli ((Fitzroy, Richmond and South Melbourne) is known for fresh chicken sandwiches, tuna melts and fluffy doughnuts. But equally deserving of praise is its iced coffee spritz.

Combining house-made lemon syrup, cold brew and soda, it’s a nod to the espresso tonic (iced coffee and tonic water) – although this version is slightly sweeter and more approachable than the original.

Nick Jenkins, Hector’s head of beverages, tells Broadsheet that “the key is the strength of the coffee. It needs to be spot on to balance the sweetness of the lemon, and then the soda cleanses the palate for that next sip.” The resulting spritz is refreshing and zesty, mixed with just the right amount of coffee.

Iced latte with condensed milk and cream, Moon Mart

Charming Korean- and Japanese-influenced cafe Moon Mart serves two exceptional iced coffees, using beans from Primary Coffee, the Sydney cafe where Moon Mart owners Eun Hee An and Mei Onsamlee first met.

The condensed-milk latte was inspired by Vietnamese iced coffee, as well as the pair’s love of frappuccinos with whipped cream. As the name suggests, it’s made with condensed milk and two shots of coffee, and finished with whipped cream and a sprinkle of peanut praline.

Iced long black with orange juice, Moon Mart

Moon Mart is also home to a stellar iced long black that takes advantage of the classic coffee and orange combo. Inspired by a drink Hee An and Onsamlee tried at Stereo Coffee in Fukuoka, Japan, it sees freshly squeezed orange juice mixed with single-origin cold brew.

Iced coffee frappe, Juniper

You might have come for the chicken sandwich, but don’t leave Juniper without trying its Greek-inspired iced coffee frappe. Rich fine-grain coffee is whipped with sugar and finished with a nutty, creamy coconut ice cube, served over your choice of milk.

“It’s a classic coffee frappe that you might see people enjoying on the beaches of the Greek islands in the blaring sun,” according to head barista Alex Sneddon. As for the coconut ice cube, “Some purists may disagree, but we tested it lots and felt it was a welcome addition.”

Tiramisu iced coffee, Wreckyn St Coffee

This tiny North Melbourne coffee bar has four fun iced coffees to try, but its signature is an ode to tiramisu: cold brew topped with a mix of thickened cream, mascarpone, milk and sugar – whipped till it’s thick enough to sit neatly on top of the cold brew – and dusted with dark chocolate powder. There’s also the Cascara Negroni, a non-alcoholic riff on the cocktail with cascara (the dried cherry that comes from the coffee plant) syrup in lieu of vermouth; a sparkling yuzu spritz with concentrated cold brew; and an espresso cola, made with single-origin espresso and cola from Ordinary Soda.

Spring Glow, Bench Coffee Co

This Little Collins Street spot is, for the most part, all about simplicity. The menu comprises hot and iced filter coffee, cold brew and an espresso tonic. But the team keeps it fun with rotating seasonal beverages – like this summer’s Spring Glow, an aromatic iced latte with jasmine tea. The tea is brewed in milk for more than eight hours, then combined with two shots of espresso and a sweet garnish of alyssum blossom.