Iced coffee is a hot topic — and there are about a million different ways to make it, ranging from the very simple (brew hot coffee, put it in the refrigerator) to the very complex (google “Yama Tower” for a visual).
But it's cold-brewed coffee that's the real sweetheart of the iced coffee world. It’s a pretty easy method that produces a pretty tasty outcome. Lovers of the method applaud its low-acidity and full-body. Baristas like to make it because it’s easy — at minimum, all you need to make it is coffee, water, a big ol’ bucket, and a cloth sack. And shop owners and managers love it because it helps cut down on coffee bean waste (roast date doesn’t make a huge difference when it comes to making cold brew, so any unsold retail beans can be recycled into a new, still-sellable product.)
Recently, specialty coffee roasters have been in a race to see who can package cold brew in the most adorable fashion. We’ve seen some pretty cute ones, such as the old-school milk carton model that Stumptown Coffee Roasters and Blue Bottle are employing, as well as some more straightforward ones, including La Colombe’s stopper-bottled “Pure Black” blend.
Now the bottled cold brew trend has officially come to Phoenix. Here are four cute local options for bottled cold-brew coffee.
Royal recently started bottling cold brew — and the results have been great. The roaster's choice of vessel is impeccable: a stubby, round, brown glass bottle with banana yellow lettering. The choice of beans used in the cold brew is subject to change, but the baristas at Royal are happy to provide answers if you’re curious. We recently tried a blend of Ethiopian and Mexican coffees that was juicy and full of syrupy (natural) sweetness. We liked this pick for its fruity, hibiscus-tea like qualities and fun red berry notes. This one’s easy-drinking; even those who fear black coffee will appreciate its light, refreshing qualities.
Press Coffee’s cold brew comes in a flask-shaped bottle that will make you feel like you’re doing something naughty. Take a nip and you’ll find a cold-brewed Brazilian coffee that — coincidentally or not — is remarkably reminiscent of bourbon. This coffee’s rich, brown sugar sweetness, subtle nuttiness, and caramel-like qualities make it great on its own, but also wholly compatible with milk.
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Mama’s Cold Brew
Mama’s Cold Brew is one of our favorite stops at the Uptown Farmers Market, but the company also makes regular appearances at the Anthem Market and the Simple Farm as well. Owner Jennifer Rzepecki is the mother of four children, and also the creator of this delicious cold brew. Organic coffee is flavored with a proprietary blend of spices, then stored in branded Quart-sized Mason jars. Even the staunchest black coffee drinker will enjoy Mama’s homemade coffee creamers — we’re partial to Rzpecki’s Sweet Vanilla Cream, which is made with organic dairy, a touch of vanilla, and just a whisper of sweetness. Buy Mama’s Cold Brew by the cup, quart, or gallon at your favorite Farmers Market. For more information check the Mama's Cold Brew website.
Cortez Coffee takes the traditional beer bottle and growler route when it comes to packaging — because why mess with a good thing? Cortez generally takes a heavy-handed approach to roasting, but they take it easy on the Ethiopian coffee beans they use for their cold brew. The result? A citrusy, subtly berry-flavored cold brew with a ton of milk chocolate sweetness.