Cold brew coffee is by no means new — but it’s finally become popular. Much different than iced coffee, which is hot coffee that’s been diluted by ice, cold brew is a highly caffeinated concentrate. It’s brewed by steeping ground coffee beans in cold water for anywhere between 12 and 24 hours. As no hot water is used, the resulting coffee is mellower, more well-rounded, and much, much less acidic. (It also has one hell of a kick). Now, you can make cold brew at home. It can be brewed up in everything from plastic bowls to metal, apparatuses that resemble loop like Hot Wheels tracks. But not unlike canned cocktails, there are also plenty of companies pushing out excellent canned or bottled versions of the summer staple that you can toss into a bag to drink later.
To find out which bottled cold brew is worth checking out, we reached out to a man who knows his arabica from his excelsa: Brent Hall, the Business Development Manager at VP Coffee and Chair of the Barista Guild of America Content Development Committee. Hall says the beauty of cold brew is that it allows “These cold brew coffees are packed with flavors that are usually harder to detect in a cup of hot coffee,” says Hall. “You get a much sweeter and smoother drink that is easy to enjoy.” Without further ado, here are his selections for best bottled cold brew coffee.
Stōk Coffee Un-Sweet Black
“This Denver based roaster makes some great products that come in big 48oz bottles for lots of enjoyment and smaller 13oz bottles for quick hits. They steep the Arabica beans for ten-hours to extract as much flavor as possible. It’s delicious to drink straight out of the bottle or you can tailor a glass to your own flavor profile by adding other things like milk and sugar.“
Chameleon Cold Brew Mocha Coffee
“So many flavors pop out when you sip this coffee. There are chocolates, toffees and rich coffee flavors that really make each sip a pleasure. I love it over ice on a hot day, it goes down smooth and is really not that filling, despite its name. It comes out of Austin, Texas and each batch is steeped for ten-hours to create a full flavored brew.” $72 for six 32 ounce bottles.
Slingshot Coffee Co
“Anyone of this Raleigh, NC coffee companies cold brews are worth trying. They are super delicious and there is such a wide flavor profile in their portfolio. Each new bottle is an experience. They primarily source their beans from Counter Culture Coffee so they are grinding some of the best out there. They are meticulously brewed with great quality control. I can not sing their praises enough.”
La Colombe Pure Black
“So smooth and so flavorful, each one of these 5oz cans packs a punch. They are simple to tote around, pour simply, and offer a flavor profile almost like a glass of fresh Guinness beer. Each can is only cold-pressed coffee and nothing else. There are hints of chocolate and hints of other sweetness. Just one of these cans from this Philadelphia based coffee roaster and I am good to go.”
Cuvée Coffee Nitro Black Coffee
“Packed in beer cans this brew pours so smoothly due to the fact that each can is nitrogenated. The liquid is light and refreshing with a bright color that looks so good as the nitrogen rises. This Austin, Texas company has packed so many flavors into each can that it’s hard to drink just one. It’s perfect over ice or straight from the can. “