It’s no secret – I love coffee. My morning ritual consistently includes a steamy handpour, even when it’s warm out. When that summer heat index gets over a hundred, though, I need something cool to kickstart my morning. Enter: cold brewed coffee.
Cold brews have recently skyrocketed in popularity. There are some truly well-crafted brands bottled and ready for enjoyment as nearby as your neighborhood Whole Foods. But how do these cold brews at Whole Foods stack up? We caffeinated heavily to bring you this (somewhat) definitive list.
For purity’s sake, we’re talking straight, black, unsweetened goodness here. Many of these are local North Carolina finds, so if they aren’t available where you live, try something from your area!
8. Stōk Coffee
They make a full line of cold brews for different tastes, but I prefer to stick with the black unsweetened. It’s good, but nothing incredible.
A New Orleans style brew, this concentrate includes that smokey chicory flavor that immediately transports you to Café du Monde in the Big Easy. While it doesn’t stand alone for flavor, it mixes nicely with coconut or almond milk.
Most of their cold brew options are concentrates, but they also have a ready-to-drink sweetened option. The mouthfeel is a little heavy for my taste, but these cold brews are refreshing all the same.
Based out of Austin, TX, Chameleon puts major emphasis on the beans they source for their cold brew, and the attention to detail shows. They have multiple bottled varieties, some sweetened.
Icebox’s Ready-to-Drink cold brews almost didn’t make it onto the “pure” list, since they come in two flavors: “Madagascar Vanilla” and “New Orleans” (aka hint of chicory root). Both are natural, though, and delicate enough that the high-quality beans’ taste still shines through.
Another big-leaguer on the craft coffee scene, Blue Bottle has sleekly canned cold brew that’s like a ray of smooth, chocolatey sunshine and fits in the palm of your hand. *takes instagram*
Made in Raleigh, NC, Slingshot labels every bottle with the beans used in the coffee inside. Each time I’ve tried it, it’s been a different, pure and impressively well-made brew.
It’s a well known winner for a reason. Stumptown’s bottled cold brew is not only adorable, but also amazingly consistent, low in acidity and full of chocolatey, citrus notes. Honorable mention to their canned Nitro Cold Brew.
Caffeinated enough to be socially responsible yet? Don’t forget that your local independent coffee shop is always the best bet for the freshest cold brew. If you’re in Durham, NC, Cocoa Cinnamon‘s “St. Al’s Iced Coffee” is waiting for you.
Drink up and stay cool out there!