Cold Brew Coffee Test Drive

Where are my fellow iced coffee lovers? I have been making my own iced coffee for years, I have tried overnight recipes, chilling hot coffee from the keurig & everything in between. But on the go, it was always impossible to find a good cold coffee, without any added sweeteners. Enter, packaged cold brew, the iced coffee game changer. Cold brews are fresh & full of flavor, they are brewed for longer periods of time at room temperature or with cold water.

 Our new Whole Foods opened last year & I have been loving the cold brew iced coffee aisle every single day since. On a recent trip, I stocked up on a bunch of different kinds to take them on a test drive, determined to find out which one was the very best. So here is a breakdown of five of my favorite cold brews & why I love them!

Stumptown $3.99 // The winning cold brew!! Stumptown is my absolute favorite. Strong & smooth, and the perfect coffee flavor. It tastes perfectly fresh every time. I love this one on the rocks with a splash of cream or almond milk!
Slingshot $3.99 // Slingshot cold brews are different all year round, as they brew their coffee seasonally. This particular cold brew has lots of fruity notes, which I don’t always love but they do it well. It’s a lighter coffee & I love the flavor. They also have a concentrate option, so you would mix the coffee 1 to 1 with water or milk.
Whole Foods $3.99 with $3 refills // Whole Foods cold brew is strong, flavorful & a little bit fruity. It is probably my second favorite of the bunch & I love that they offer $1 off refills if you bring your bottle back!
Coffee M $6.99 // Coffee M is an Atlanta based coffee roaster, we love to support a good local business! This coffee is bold & strong, maybe even a bit nutty, but a great coffee flavor that blends so well with a little cream.
Icebox $2.99 // Not only is the coffee great, but the packaging is on point & they have the coolest home-delivery service. Icebox is a bit more mild in strength, and has almost a sweet flavor. I love that it comes in a plastic bottle so you can toss it in your bag & drink on the go. Plus the price point is great, they’re $1 off at Whole Foods right now!
There are so many more options, a few that I have tried (and hated) and lots more that I can’t wait to try in the future. Do you have a favorite? A local coffee roaster that makes the freshest cold brew? I would love to hear your recs! 
Long live cold coffee! XO
 
PS. I just have to share, this is what happens when I leave my chalkboard unattended for three minutes around here. In case you’ve ever wondered why I don’t make as many new prints these days! 😉
 
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  1. Love this! Have you tried Wanderlust cold brew yet (I haven't) but they are local too. We actually just did a ton of cold brew testing and tasting in my office and Stumptown was a favorite. Coffee cheers!

  2. Hi there! Huge iced coffee drinker here & I live in Whole Foods as well 🙂 These are all great cold-brews, but my favorite way is to use a "toddy"! Lots of amazing local roasters serve their iced coffee using this method. Basically you choose your beans, grind them coarsely, then put them in the toddy, pour water over top, & let sit overnight. Let it drip in the morning & enjoy, in my case, at least 3 cups! It makes a strong concentrate that you can dilute to your liking with water, milk, or creamer. It is a time consuming method, especially with babes running around, but so worth it. Batdorf & Bronson is a great bean & my favorite now is Whole Foods Allegro brand mocha java, you can find both beans there. And if ever in Nordstrom, stop by their Ebar cafe, they serve a great toddy cold brew & sell the toddy too! As a mom, I know we have to take our caffeine seriously…..it's survival!!

  3. So I'm new to the iced coffee world. I've never made it before. What kind of equipment would I need to make these? Do I need a coffee maker? Or is it much simpler?

  4. I just love all of your chalkboard art. You are super talented. I love iced coffee and cold brew is even better. I keep hearing about a japanese method to iced coffee that I am trying to find out more about…because I tried it in a cafe and it was the best stuff I have ever had in my life!!

    Chels @ Red Velvet Rooster

  5. I'm in Minnesota and we're pretty big fans of Caribou Coffee up here…similar to Starbucks, if you've never been. I like my cold coffee with a little bit of sweetness to it so my new fave is their Vanilla Crafted Cold Press. It's cold press coffee blended with a bit of cream, sugar and vanilla flavor. So good! And even with the sweetness, it's not a calorie-bomb like a lot of the heavier sweet drinks are.

  6. Stump town is my FAV. (I'm also currently living in Portland so how could it not be?) Slingshot is a close second, we also used to live in NC so these I'm all partial to.

  7. Slingshot is local to me, and I've enjoyed cold brew concentrate from them in the past. My all-time favorite cold brew comes from my local coffee shop though. I started out buying iced coffee from them, then I moved up to a 32oz mason jar, and now I buy a growler, which lasts me a couple of weeks. I usually add a shot of cold water and cream, and then I pour it over ice. There's never any bitterness, and I never have to use sugar. Check out your local coffee shops and see if they offer cold brew coffee in bulk.

  8. Thank you for this post – there are so many cold brews to choose from these days! My favorite is Chameleon Cold Brew (I buy the concentrate). I'll have to try some of your recommendations. 🙂

  9. Those sound so good! I'm not a huge coffee drinker but my husband is a coffee snob. He can only have cold brews for health reasons so the most cost effective and delicious way we have found to do it is to use this: http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B0001GSSIO?keywords=cold%20brew%20coffee&qid=1445439672&ref_=sr_1_15&sr=8-15. He let's it steep for 10-12 hours and then you have like a few weeks of coffee concentrate in the fridge! So every morning he gets up pours some of the concentrate into his cup adds water and ice and TADA! I partake but I have to add milk and sugar :). Also doing that way lets you choose whatever coffee you want. And if you ever make it out to Phoenix you have to try Cartel they have THE BEST coffee ever. They had roast and grind the beans. It's amazing. They also do an Agave Latte with agave syrup in it and it's to die for!

  10. Saving this right now! I love cold or iced coffee & have tried making cold brew myself. The process takes forever and I feel like I use a TON of coffee for what I end up getting out of it. Sometimes, it's nice to have someone else do all the work! And these are very affordable too. Thanks for sharing!

  11. Heck yes, Stumptown!! Have you tried the Stumptown cold brew with chocolate? It's a little much for everyday, but it's pretty perfect for every once in a while 😉

  12. I love stumptown coffee! If you ever see blue bottle cold brew grab it, it is delicious! And if you're ever in San Fran or NYC be sure to visit their shop, hands down the best designed coffee shop around!

  13. Totally off topic, how do you clean your chalkboard? I made a huge chalkboard for our kitchen (used the same paint you recommended) with several coats of paint and chalk – yet it just doesn't erase very well.

  14. I know this is WAY past due, but what is your recipe for your morning coffee? I just bought the Trader Joe's, but have never made cold brew coffee before 😉 Do you use both water and almond milk?

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