Different Types of Ice You Can Use in Your Cafe


You also thought this factor wasn’t relevant? Well, here’s why you’re wrong.

When it comes to serving staples in a restaurant, the importance of ice cannot be denied. Whether you run a diner or a bistro, a fine dining establishment or a cozy cafe, if you have to serve your customers well and fulfill their unspecified expectations, then you need to make sure you have some ice on hand whenever they need it. This is most typical in U.S. eateries, where ice is considered a must-have by customers. 

But even when you keep this in mind, the fact that you have to choose from multiple types of ice to serve in a cafe could make you feel very surprised really fast. After all, who pays attention to what kind of ice they are served while enjoying their meal? The answer is simple: everyone does.

Different Types of Ice You Can Use in Your Cafe
Brand My Cafe

Type of Ice Cubes

If someone is expecting their ice to melt away slowly in their cold beverage, they are quite irritated by ice that quickly infuses more water into their drink. On the other hand, if someone has ordered crushed ice and your cafe only serves ice cubes, then their disappointment over such a thing could be noticeable as well. To summarize, having the right type of ice for specific customers is crucial to keeping them happy, and avoid bad reviews that speak of your cafe as not having the bare necessities in check.

Do you own a cafe? If the answer is yes then it is highly important that you learn about the different types of ice to serve in a cafe. This way, you could ensure that your customers stay happy and do not grow weary on not getting something as seemingly trivial as ice itself. To help you understand how to use different types of ice in a cafe, here are a few tips to help you serve this staple optimally. Be sure to also check out “Leadership Tips For Cafe Owners” for more helpful tips to being a great coffee shop owner.

Different Types of Ice You Can Use in Your Cafe
Types of Ice @capelobybalaca

1. Ice Cubes

The good old’ fashioned ice cube is your go-to type of ice for most of your cafe’s needs. Whenever a customer is requesting ice with their drink, there are high chances that they are asking for ice cubes. 

There are a few good reasons for that. Ice cubes have a strong, solid build with 100 percent ice to water ratio, which makes them great in terms of cooling a drink. They also have a slow melt rate, which doesn’t dilute the drink so fast. To put a cherry on top of this proverbially cold cake, ice cubes also reduce customers’ ice consumption by meeting their needs effectively. This makes them rank on top of the types of ice to serve in a cafe.

There are two types of ice cubes that you can use in your cafe, regular cubes, and full cubes. The difference: a regular cube has the dimensions of 1 ⅛ x 1 ⅛ x ⅞ inches; whereas, a full cube has the dimensions of ⅞ x ⅞ x ⅞ inches. Both types of cubes meet the customers’ needs, with regular cubes being larger in size. 

Different Types of Ice You Can Use in Your Cafe
Ice cube melting @jkeithemmons

2. Half Cubes

Similar to regularly sized ice cubes, half cubes are solid with a 100 percent ice to water ratio. Where they differ from their normally-sized counterparts are their dimensions, which range from ⅞ x ⅞ x ⅜ inches. Another difference from regular ice cubes is their melt rate. Since these cute looking half cubes are half the size of regular cubes, they tend to melt away faster in drinks. Specifically, where regular ice cubes have a slow melt rate, these half cubes have a moderate melt rate to their name.

Why half cubes are good among the types of ice to serve in a cafe is because they are usually great for maintaining a certain kind of aesthetic in drinks, or to simply enhance the visual volume of ice in a beverage as opposed to regular cubes. But when you choose to serve them, you have to ensure that you are not contributing to diluting the flavor of your drink due to their faster melt rate. 

Different Types of Ice You Can Use in Your Cafe
Half Ice Cubes are Good @wektorgraphic

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3. Nugget Ice

Nugget ice comes in a small, bite-sized form which makes it easier to consume for those who actually like to snack on ice. It is soft and has a very absorbent property, which lets it infuse the flavor of liquid within it. 

While it can be served in soft drinks, its more suitable application is in a frozen drink. It is due to its quick melt rate and its chewable form, which makes it light and icy snacks for those who enjoy it. The dimensions of ⅞ x ½ inches make them look pretty as a picture.

Your cafe could make use of these bite-sized ice nuggets if it specializes in frozen drinks or desserts that rely on absorbent ice to pack maximum flavor in it. Once again, you need to be mindful of the melt rate proposed by these nuggets.

Different Types of Ice You Can Use in Your Cafe
Nugget Ice Cubes @scotsman_ice

4. Crescent Ice

When you want your drinks to project a certain kind of aesthetic while also being mindful of dilution, crescent ice could prove to be a very good fit. With a solid build, the crescent ice’s distinct half-moon shape could elevate the look of your drinks very aptly. 

As compared to half cubes, the crescent ice’s slow melt rate makes it quite great for drinks that need an elevated look without affecting their flavor. Since it is built in a way that allows for liquid to flow through, it also allows a great liquid displacement that can’t be achieved through ice cubes. That’s where it stands out from other types of ice to serve in a cafe.

Having crescent ice could be a great choice for almost any kind of soft drinks or mixed drinks. The only thing you need to be mindful of here is their size. With dimensions of 1 ½ x 1 ⅛ x ½ inches, you need to make sure that you don’t run out of ice during service time in order to keep your customers happy. 

Different Types of Ice You Can Use in Your Cafe
Some Sort of Ice Concept @kei22ko

Choosing the right type of ice might seem like a daunting process, but it is actually very easy when you pay attention to these details. Go through your beverage, mixed drinks and other snacks on the menu, and make sure that you are selecting a type of ice that is fit for your specific cafe. Doing so adds a certain level of finesse to your serving, and projects a very positive image to your customers. 

Thank you for reading! For more helpful guides to having a perfectly running business, check out “Best Small Business Apps for General Productivity” or even “6 Ways to Promote Your Local Coffee Shop“.

Brand My Cafe helps small & medium-sized businesses, cafes and foodservice brands grow their identity through custom coffee cups, coffee sleeves & more. Join us on Facebook and Instagram for more related inspiration for all things restaurant building.


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