with summer in full swing, i can definitely attest to the fact that most mornings, the last thing i want to do is sip something hot. instead, this time of year i’m more apt to indulge in an iced version of my morning brew. and i don’t appear to be the only one. with the addition of small-batch “cold brew” to the menu at starbucks and a taste-test of the different cold brew varieties on last week’s podcast episode of “food news” (seriously, you should check it out, it’s only 15 minutes long!), i’ve become very interested in this new trend in coffee.
having been a loyal iced coffee drinker for years, i recently swapped my habitual starbucks order of a venti unsweetened iced coffee (with a splash of soy milk) for their cold brew. in addition to the $0.80 cent increase in price (hrmph), i did notice a smoother, almost more chocolatey finish in the latter version. in fact, i barely had to use cream or stevia, it was that refreshing and sweet.
but because i try to be a responsible adult with my finances, i know i can’t commit to making a visit to the green mermaid more than twice a week. so in the meantime, i am now on the search for the perfect cold brew to enjoy at home. these are the ones currently on my radar:
trader joe’s cold brew. i picked up a bottle of this on my visit to the store last weekend. at $7.99 it’s a modest price tag for 32 oz, considering the ratio of water or milk to coffee concentrate is two to one. i’m still trying to find the perfect balance but overall, it’s a great starter if you’re new to the cold brew scene. i’d probably pick up a box of almond milk next time to try a take on an iced latte or better yet, throw everything into the blender with some ice and make a frothy afternoon treat.
stumptown cold brew. i’ve always heard great things about stumptown. according to their website, they “start with the highest quality coffee, cold brew it without heat for over 12 hours, then use a double filtration process to procure the end result: a complex, smooth and full-bodied brew with low-acid and a chocolate finish.” sounds delightful, don’t you think? stumptown boasts a few locations sprinkled across the pacific northwest, los angeles, and new york, but unfortunately none here in san diego. luckily there are enough hipster coffee shops and specialty stores in north county alone that i’m bound to come across it eventually.
cold brew high brew coffee. this one hailing from austin, tx earned top honors on the taste test. in addition to the traditional black & bold and double espresso varieties, high brew offers three sweetened flavors -mexican vanilla (um, YUM), dark chocolate mocha, and salted caramel. none of the tasty libations boast more than 60 calories and each comes packaged in a vibrantly colored can. though stationed in texas, high brew can be purchased all over the united states -including locally at select ralphs and target stores. clearly, i know what else will be making its way into my basket next time i venture to the bulls eye for some floss, shave gel, and kleenex!
chameleon cold-brew. like high brew, not only is chameleon also based in austin, texas, but the company offers an array of flavors of their signature cold brew -black, mocha, and vanilla, with additional flavors sold exclusively at whole foods as well (mexican, chicory & espresso). chameleon produces both ready-to-drink coffee as well as coffee concentrate that you can keep in the fridge at home to whip up a single glass whenever you fancy. speaking of fancy, apparently chameleon is endorsed by miss fancy pants herself, oprah, as it was featured in O magazine. and if it’s good enough for lady O, it’s definitely good enough for me!
did i miss any brands that are worthy of trying? what are your favorite varieties? help a caffeine-obsessed gal out!
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