We’ve all had those days when you just don’t feel like drinking coffee. Maybe it’s the summer heat, maybe you just want something a little lighter and thirst-quenching instead of your usual cup of Joe. Whatever your reason, there will come a time when you need to drink something other than coffee. There are cold brew coffee makers available in every kitchen and they make perfect sense — why would you want to heat up the liquid when you can chill it instead?
Cold brewing is an old technique that’s been used for centuries. Essentially, it involves steeping coffee grounds in room temperature water for an extended period of time (typically 12 hours or more). The end result is a rich, aromatic beverage with little to no acidity from the added water. You can also add sweeteners and spices at the end if desired.
There are several cold brew variations available to explore and we have rounded up some of the best places to go for a deliciously refreshing drink this February 26th:
Starbucks Cold Brew
Coffee giant Starbucks has released its own cold brew as a limited edition flavor. That means you can order one at any of their locations or on the Starbucks app. For $5, you can enjoy a tall iced coffee made with cold brewed coffee and half-and-half.
The Chill Room
The Chill Room is a popular spot in the East Village of New York City. The Cold Brew Coffee is brewed with Ethiopian Harrar beans and comes in several flavors like Vanilla, Strawberry, and Espresso.
Other drinks on the menu include cold brew made from espresso, gingerbread spice latte, and even a vegan version that substitutes almond milk for cow’s milk.
The Chill Room also features a selection of wines, beer on tap, and cocktails like the Brooklyn Sour or Old Fashioned.
Blue Bottle Coffee
Blue Bottle Coffee is a Los Angeles-based roaster that has been around since 2004. It’s consistently ranked among the top coffee shops in the world for its quality, and it has won more than 20 global awards. This year, Blue Bottle celebrates National Cold Brew Day with a special blend of cold brew coffee made exclusively with Blue Bottle beans.
The Blue Bottle cold brew is made using water and coarsely ground coffee that stays fresh in a fermentation tank for 12 hours before it’s blended and bottled. The result is a light, refreshing beverage that tastes crisp and clean.
Another option is to try the Swedish-style iced coffee from Grey Goose Deuce restaurant in NY. This sweet, creamy Iced Coffee consists of a blend of Stumptown Single Origin Roast Bottomless Roast Blend Coffee, steamed milk, vanilla syrup, and cinnamon dusted whipped cream on top of ice cubes. It’s sure to be just what you need when you need something iced!
Teavana Cold Brew
Teavana is a popular brand of teaware and tea products. They have a wide selection of cold brews including their signature “Chamomile Vanilla” and “Peppermint Vanilla” varieties.
7-Eleven Cold Brew
7-Eleven’s take on the cold brew is a little different than what you might be used to. They use coffee grounds instead of water and then add ice to give it a refreshing, slushy taste. This beverage is perfect for those who are in need of a caffeine fix but aren’t in the mood for coffee.
Or, You Can Make Your Own Cold Brew!
If you don’t want to visit a coffee shop, you can also make your own cold brew at home. It takes a few hours of soaking the coffee grounds and chilling the brewed liquid, but it’s worth it when you taste the difference. The recipe is as follows:
1/2 cup of coarsely ground coffee beans
2 cups water
1. Place water in a large container and add ground coffee beans. Stir until all the grounds are covered in water and allow to sit for at least 4 hours or up to 12.
2. Rinse the coffee grounds before using by pouring the mixture through a sieve lined with cheesecloth into a large bowl, squeezing out any remaining beans (save for making another batch).
3. Pour mixture into an airtight container and store in refrigerator for 1-2 days.
4. After 2 days, pour cold brew into ice cube trays or mason jars, add sweeteners or spices, if desired, and freeze until needed!
The Bottom Line
You don’t need a fancy coffee maker to make cold brew, either. You can use your regular drip machine and just set the temperature to cold. There are also some DIY options that require no equipment at all, so if you’re feeling ambitious, you can give it a try. If your preference is iced coffees rather than hot ones, these recipes will be perfect for you:
1) The classic iced coffee: mix one tablespoon of sugar into each half-cup of cold brew and pour over ice cubes in a glass
2) Mocha frappe: mix equal parts of cold brew and milk into a blender with a little sugar, cocoa powder, and vanilla extract
3) White chocolate mocha frappe: add two teaspoons of white chocolate to each half-cup of cold brew then add just a touch more sugar to taste