Cold brewing coffee isn’t new, but with big-brand coffee houses now putting it on offer, it’s entered the mainstream—in a big way. Starbucks recently announced it would sell bottled cold brew coffee, and the chain is rolling out cold brew on tap at 500 stores.
Instead of watered-down hot coffee, iced coffee lovers can now enjoy a much bolder flavor profile from coffee that’s brewed using room temperature or cold water and steeped over several hours.
And while many coffee shops concoct their own cold brew coffee, a number of suppliers across the U.S. cater to this niche, as we saw at the recent National Restaurant Association Show. Suppliers offer cold brew coffee in various sizes, containers and flavors to fit the needs of each restaurant’s customer base.
"Cold brew has become a staple on most coffee shop menus and is frequently requested due to its smooth and sweet taste with almost no bitterness,” says Tamar Mizrahi Stone, partner at The Goddess Restaurant Group in Chicago. “That being said, since basic cold brew is now commonplace at most shops, everyone is really upping their game and competing to see who can come up with the most creative cold brew creations.”
At Goddess and Grocer and Goddess and The Baker, Stone says they’ve made a Salted Caramel cold brew with vanilla syrup, caramel sauce, whipped cream and pink salt crystals, and a Summer Brew, which is ultra creamy and fluffy.
“The salted caramel was a huge success for us, and I expect the Summer Brew will be too, as it’s unique and surprisingly delicious and creamy,” says Stone. “We look to our barista staff to help create cold brew options that are easy to execute as well as something that our customers will want to order again and again."
One of the best sellers at Oasthouse Kitchen + Bar in Austin is the Chocomenta, a signature mint chocolate coffee brunch cocktail made with local Cuvee cold brew coffee, Branca Menta, Caffé Borghetti and a swirl of chocolate syrup. The signature drink offers a bold caffeine kick to a summertime brunch drink.