What's All This About Cold Brew Coffee?

You may have heard of cold brew coffee and wondered, what the heck is that? Cold brew coffee is simply coffee brewed at low temperature. This results in less acid. Low acid is great for those of us who have to watch this in our diet. Also, as heated water never comes in contact with the coffee beans, the resulting smooth, delicious flavor is becoming more and more popular. Perfect for the warm weather months, many people enjoy a nice cold brew instead of the typical hot coffee year round. No chance of scalding your tongue, either! Coffee has also been found to be a mild-antidepressant, too, and really helps you get going in the morning. Yet there are a myriad of cold brew brands out there. Which ones are best?

Starbucks has a delightful assortment of cold brews, but if you want to save some pennies, you can pick up a nice selection at your local grocery store.

It is also easy to make Cold Brew coffee at home. Here’s a simple recipe from the Cooking section of the New York Times: https://cooking.nytimes.com/recipes/1017355-cold-brewed-iced-coffee. For those of us not so handy in the kitchen, there are a myriad of cold brews available at your local grocery store.

One of my current favorites is Kohana Island Cold Brew Coffee. Available in various flavors, I love the Island Latte flavor. Sweet, smooth, and so refreshing, it’s a great way to start your day. They also have a Caramel, and sweetened black coffee flavor.

Note, this is not a complete review of all brands, however just a sampling from my local market. Suffice it to say, most Cold Brews are very nice, and you really can’t go too far off. Make sure you shake the cans first though but only if they say to do so for the best flavor, and store them in the frig so they stay nicely chilled. Some other brands are (in no particular order):

Stumptown Cold Brew Coffee with Milk. Delicious! This company did much to popularize this new alternative form of coffee. If you go to coldbrew.com, Stumptown Coffee comes up. It has a good, strong flavor, very pleasant, and comes in 16 oz. little milk carton containers that are handy to share with a friend or when you are feeling particularly thirsty. Stumptown by the way is a nick name for several US cities, but Stumptown the company is located in Portland, Oregon. Their website is a wealth of information about coffee and cold brewing, and is very much worth perusing if you are curious. stumptowncoffee.com.

Califia Farms XX Espresso Cold Brew Coffee with Almond Milk. This one is my least favorite so far. It had a slightly unpleasant taste, perhaps it was the almond milk, but I actually ended up drinking only half and pouring the rest out. They do boast a whopping 150 mg of caffeine per 10.5 oz. bottle, but there is so much more to cold brew than the amount of caffeine ingested! Interesting side note, the founder of Califia Farms also founded Odwalla Juice. Califia Farms is his new project. Califia Farms is a nut milk business, and he is trying to ride the wave of cold brew popularity with this beverage.

Hi Ball Energy Cold Brew Coffee Vanilla Flavor. This one had a pleasant enough taste, but they add guarana, ginseng, B-vitamins, etc. to give you more energy. It’s great if you like all that, but I tend to be more of a purist, I don’t like all that other stuff included. I also tried the Mocha flavor, with similar results. However, if you like the extras, enjoy!

La Colombe Draft Latte Cold-Pressed Espresso Vanilla Flavor. This is a delightful find. It has a smooth, creamy flavor, with a touch more caffeine than other drinks, and even boasts a patent pending “sip through lid” that is quite unique. Do not shake this can though. One of my new favorites, this is an outstanding cold brew (cold-pressed is another name for cold brew).

Secret Squirrel Cold Brew Coffee Caffe Latte Flavor. Not good. With a whopping 220 mg of caffeine per 8 ounces (and the bottle I got was 12 oz.), the bitterness overwhelms the flavor. Try only if you want a huge dose of caffeine. This has more caffeine than Red Bull or a cup of coffee, around 80 or 90 mg respectively in 8.4 ounces. I poured it out without finishing before I got too jittery!

So that’s it. There are other brands coming on the market for cold brew coffee all the time. Go ahead and try some on your own. Just beware of the high caffeine content of some. You don’t want to lose too much sleep!

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