Taste

The Cold Brew Coffees You Should Be Drinking This Summer

It's iced coffee season!
06/28/2016 06:00am ET

As soon as summer hits, iced coffee season goes into full gear. But not just hot-brewed coffee poured over ice. No, we're talking cold brew. The intensely strong coffee is slowly steeped over 12 hours in cold water before being strained and served over ice (with or without lightener) into your cup.

Cold brew coffee is simple enough to make at home -- and really good too, so long as you don't make rookie mistakes -- but it requires planning and motivation, which not everyone is full of during the lazy summer months. Lucky for all of us, the market is teeming with cold brew options these days. Some roasters are brewing concentrates, which should be diluted with water, some are making ready-to-go bottles and cans, and all of them are worth knowing about.

We blind taste tested more cold brew than we probably should be drinking in one sitting, in hopes of finding the best ones you should be enjoying and the worst ones you should be steering clear of. What we found is that you can't go wrong with any of the cold brews we've listed below. Here are nine cold brew options you should check out to keep you fueled and cooled this summer -- in order from really good to downright phenomenal.

9
Kohana Cold Brew Coffee Concentrate
Kohana
Kohana's slightly bitter cold brew is a solid choice. It's bold. It's strong. And it will get you perfectly caffeinated. A 6-pack of 16 oz bottles is available online for $45.
8
Anchorhead Coldbrew Coffee
Anchorhead
We're not sure what roast is used to brew this bottle of coffee, but its light flavor is sure to please all the die-hard light-roast fans out there. A four-pack of 12 oz bottles is available online for $16.
7
Barefoot Coffee Roasters Cold Brew
Barefoot
A light, chocolatey, smooth taste, drinking this cold brew straight from the bottle feels like a gift from the summer gods. Since 2003 Barefoot has been dedicated to treating coffee like a culinary art and that comes across in this bottle. Available online for $3.75 per 12 oz bottle.
6
Lucky Jack Nitro Cold Brew Coffee Old School
Lucky Jack
Crisp and slightly sweet, this nitrogen-infused, ready-to-drink cold brew is spot on. The foamy coffee is not yet available in all 50 states, but here's where you can find it.
5
Jittery John's Cold Brew Concentrate
Jittery John's
Don't let the name fool you, this small-batch, hand-made brew is smooth, smooth, smooth. The 32 oz bottles are available in packs of two for $32.
4
Seaworth Single Fin Sludge Cold Brew
Seaworth
There's something really refreshing about drinking iced coffee straight from a bottle. With Seaworth's you just pop the top off and enjoy. The brew is devoid of any acidity and downright hard to stop drinking.
3
Sligshot Coffee Co. Cold Brew Concentrate
Slingshot Coffee Co
The husband-and-wife team behind Slingshot has been in the coffee industry for 15 years and it shows. The cold brew concentrate has notes of citrus and fruit that add a nice flavor to your morning java. The 16 oz bottles are available in packs of two online for $22.
2
Red Thread Good Purist Nicaragua Cold Brew Coffee Concentrate
Red Thread Good
Red Thread Good makes a cold brew concentrate so tasty you'll be tempted to drink it straight. Don't. Dilute it with one part water like they recommendbecause this stuff is strong. You can order the 16 oz bottle online, along with their other brews, for $7.
1
Blue Bottle Coffee Cold Brew
Blue Bottle Coffee
This stuff is GOOOOD. The SF-based roaster makes ready-to-go cold brew in small 8 oz cans, because really, that's all you need. It has a clean, smooth taste that nails what summer iced coffee is all about. Check it out.
Iced Coffee