Cold brew and iced coffee are two very, very different things. Iced coffee is simply coffee that was brewed like any hot cup of joe then chilled or poured over ice. Cold brew begins and ends without any added heat. This new type of coffee that is spreading across the nation is made with just water, really good coffee grounds and a filtering system. By utilizing time instead of heat, cold brew coffee results in a much more concentrated and strong flavor.
Although Starbucks and now even Dunkin' Donuts have given their best attempts at cold brew coffee, let's leave the brewing to these small, family run and artisanal businesses. Good cold brew coffee can only be made with patience and time and we could definitely taste the tender loving care that went into making these brews.
Even though the price of buying cold brew everyday might shock you, some of these concentrates can make up to 15 cups of coffee from one container due to the small amount of concentrate you need for a great cup of joe. Not only will you be saving time and money, these cold brew brands focus on the flavor of the coffee without an excessive amount of added sugars or calories. From chicory concentrates to almond milk additions, these six cold brew options will keep your energy high and your taste buds happy:
Made as concentrate, meaning just pure coffee without any milk or sugar, Icebox suggests adding your preferred choice of milk to dilute the chicory concentrate. Despite the fact that almond milk usually makes coffee taste watery, almond milk pairs smoothly with this cold brew. Our staff was "obsessed" and loved the traditional New Orleans' chicory flavor, plus the design of the bottle lets you perfectly measure out the right amount to pair with your choice of milk. You can find this concentrate at most nationwide Whole Foods markets.
The can might be small, but this Northern California based coffee company packs the flavor into their brew. This cold brew can enjoyed straight from the can or mixed with your preferred choice of milk. Our staff loved how smooth and easy it was to drink while still providing the zing and bold flavor of Blue Bottle coffee. The size and design also makes this convenient in the morning for grab-and-go coffee. Blue Bottle treats coffee brewing as an art form and we can definitely taste the quality and care that goes into their coffee. Blue Bottle can be found in the California Bay Area, Los Angeles, NYC, Tokyo and select Whole Foods markets.
If you love both cold brew and sweetened ice coffee, try Califia's Triple Shot. Sweetened with pure cane sugar and diluted with almond milk, this bottled brew packs everything you love about coffee in one. The almond milk adds a creamy, instead of watery, consistency and the sugar doesn't make it overly sweet. Skip the long lines at Starbucks and just buy this cold brew bottle at your nearest Whole Foods or specialty market.
A clear favorite, Larry's cold brew is ready to sip or can be mixed with your choice of milk. We preferred it cold and black because of its pleasant and perfectly mild flavor. Larry's steeps their cold brew for over 24 hours resulting in a smooth and full bodied brew and they even recommend making coffee cocktails with it. You can order Larry's online, find it in coffee shops in Raleigh, NC or at select Whole Foods.
Brewed and filtered in Raleigh, NC, Slingshot was started by a husband and wife team who have a passion for making and sharing really great coffee. They also offer a concentrate brew along with their ready to drink option that they suggest to dilute with milk or water. The ready to drink brew was smooth yet tangy with both the high and low notes that great coffee offers. They also offer boxed versions of their ready to drink cold brew that can be ordered for groups or sit perfectly in your fridge for whenever you want your coffee. Slingshot can be found in most Whole Foods in the Southeast.
Brewed in NYC, Grady's Cold Brew Concentrate is brewed for 20 hours with chicory and their secret spice blend. They suggest serving their brew with one part milk and one part concentrate for a balanced cup of cold brew. Grady's was a clear favorite and we are still talking about it's smooth and warm flavor even days after the taste test. The concentrate was very balanced with a slight mildness and a little acidity that perfectly paired with the New Orleans' chicory flavor. One staff member even went so far to say, "I would certainly drink unprecedented amounts of this." Grady's can be found online and at specialty markets across the nation.