If last year was the summer of rose wine, this year, it’s cold brew season. The cafe on your corner probably has it on tap, bartenders are mixing up cocktails made with the stuff, and cold brew and tonic water "spritzers" have become the latest coffee geek craze. Even Starbucks recently took the hipster trend mainstream. We surveyed the field to find the best new options in the cold brew universe; here are three buzz-worthy innovations.
Califia Farms Concentrated Cold Brew Coffee
One of the smoothest cold brews we’ve ever tried, this new offering’s robust roasted flavor and chicory notes taste as fresh and flavorful as homemade. The strong concentrate maintains its intensity when enjoyed on the rocks; a cup will keep you alert all day long. Mix one part java to one part whole or almond milk for a beverage that tastes like coffee ice cream, minus the sugar. The cleverly designed Tetra Pack carton is shelf stable before opening and fits snugly next to OJ in the fridge. California-based Califia is known for its beautiful bottles of almond milk--and we also love their line that combines both products in flavors like Café Latte, Dirty Chai, and Cocoa Noir.
To buy: $9 for one 32-ounce carton, Whole Foods.
Grady's Cold Brew Bean Bags
Think of this product as a cold brew coffee kit (aka the ideal summer hostess gift). It includes four teabag-style pouches filled with ground coffee, chicory, and spices, which let you have the fun of soaking overnight without the hassle of straining through sieves and coffee filters in the morning. Makes enough for ten tall glasses of New Orleans-style joe.
To buy: $12 for one 8-ounce container, gradyscoldbrew.com.
Stumptown Nitro Cold Brew Coffee
A hasty observer would be forgiven for thinking this brown, white, and gold can contains craft beer--and in fact, the frothy drink inside looks quite similar to a Guinness. That’s because the brew is infused with nitrogen and canned the same way as a stout beer. Since it's not a concentrate, this creamy, refreshing cold one is best enjoyed straight up. Though currently only available at Stumptown cafes, it will be widely available for purchase later in the year. In the meantime, keep your eyes on this trend—cafes around the country are setting up their own nitro taps.
More info: www.coldbrew.com