When we woke up Sunday morning on the North Fork our first order of business was Aldo’s in Greenport for his insanely good iced mochas. The weekend queue is loooong but well worth it: he makes each drink by hand and with care.
We always order a machiatto (espresso “marked” with a dash of milk) to sip while we wait for the mochas. He asks you to taste it first before he adds “the cheese,” which he grinds fresh for every drink (as seen above).
He misheard us this time, and made us hot mochas instead of iced. When I asked if he could pour them over ice he said no — “It can’t be done. These must be served hot. I would have made them stronger if they were to be iced. But they are better this way.”
At the Starbucks across the street (where the wait is 70% shorter) they would have dumped the mochas and started over (or just poured them over ice). What do they care?
But Aldo is an artist. I would not ask Picasso to draw that dove again because I specifically wanted him to be holding two olive sprigs, and I would not refuse mochas that Aldo labored over simply because I wanted them iced.
And they were better. Extraordinary! (Though I still adore them iced.)
In Italy, of course, you’d never get an iced (proper) mocha — but that’s part of Aldo’s artistry. He has adapted to the demands of his adopted hometown. He has developed a technique to make iced mochas worthy of his espresso. He even makes iced brewed coffee that look quite delicious (though why you’d go to Aldo’s for brewed coffee is beyond me).
And a tip! I’m sure he has many secrets but there is one thing that we can all do to make our iced drinks better: shake! He shakes them vigorously for a full 30 seconds, which froths the drink in a most appealing manner. After you’ve added your milk, put your thumb over the straw-hole and shake it like a Polaroid picture. It won’t be Aldo’s, but it will be better.
If you’re ever on the North Fork, DO experience Aldo’s, hot or iced, and DO order machiattos as a sort of espresso appetizer: 105 Front Street, Greenport.