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Starbucks is Diving Into Cold Brew Coffee Just in Time for Spring

Starbucks is Diving Into Cold Brew Coffee Just in Time for Spring

Starbucks iced cold brew coffees will be available starting March 31 in almost 3,000 Starbucks locations in the US and Canada

Starbucks wants to get the approval of the coffee hipsters.

Just call them your friendly neighborhood, artisan coffee shop. The transformation began with the opening of the reserve tasting room in Seattle and the introduction of a subscription service for the chain’s high-end reserve coffee. Now, just in time for warmer weather, the largest coffee chain in America has introduced iced cold brew coffee, a trend that has exploded in smaller coffee shops, home to hipster coffee connoisseurs.

The cold brew coffee is steeped using cold water, instead of just by brewing hot coffee and pouring over ice. The result, according to Starbucks, is a richer, more robust flavor profile than a traditional iced coffee. The coffee actually brews for 20 hours to achieve the right taste.

“Our cold brew blend is smooth and rich, it’s very refreshing with chocolate and light citrus notes,” said Michelle Sundquist, a member of the research and development team. “Our goal was to find the perfect spot where the coffee was rich, dense and slightly sweet. We found that 20 hours was the right balance of sweetness with citrusy and chocolate notes.”

You’ll be able to find cold brew coffee at select Starbucks shops in the Mid-Atlantic, Midwestern, and Northeastern regions starting March 31.

Cold Brew Floats – Recipe

Hi, friends! We’re back and I missed you so much! Seattle was wonderful, filled with food, family and life changing haircuts. I hope you all have been enjoying Spring since our last chat.

Inspired by the raging coffee scene in the Pacific Northwest, and by the delicious dessert that is the affogato, today we are diving into Cold Brew Floats! We are making the ice cream (without an ice cream maker!) from scratch, as well as the cold brew.

A few notes about cold brew before we get started – the final coffee beverage is a concentrate of coffee and is typically diluted with water before drinking, as it is extremely caffeinated and very strong otherwise. For this recipe, I used the concentrate without any dilution because of how sweet and creamy the ice cream is, but beware, before the ice cream melts, it’s pretty heavy on coffee flavor (which I love, but not everyone will). So, if you like a tamer coffee vibe, feel free to dilute your concentrate to taste.

And a note about making ice cream without an ice cream maker – it’s a labor of love. Homemade ice cream is one of my all time favorite things, but it does take a lot of patience and a lot of whisking stamina (or a sister willing to tap in mid whisk, like mine did). Also, a lil culinary secret: ice cream base, creme brûlée base, flan base, creme anglaise, etc ARE ALL THE SAME THING. So, if you’re a regular reader, parts of this recipe will look very similar to our creme brûlée recipe.

Both the cold brew and the ice cream need to be made the day before you serve, but can be made even further in advance if need be! Alright, let’s gooooooooo.

Cold Brew Floats
Ice Cream
1 Quart Heavy Cream
4 Egg Yolks
1/2 Cup Granulated Sugar
1 TBSP Vanilla Extract

Cold Brew Concentrate
as seen on
4 Cups Water
1 1/3 Cups Ground Coffee (I used a vanilla coffee)

For the coffee, mix the grounds and water in a sealable container, and refrigerate for 8 hours (or up to overnight). Easy!

After allowing your coffee to brew overnight, you’ll need to strain before drinking. I prefer to strain twice, just to be sure to get all the grounds out. Get out a fine mesh strainer, strain into a bowl, and then strain back into a clean and sealable jar. Your concentrate will be good in the fridge for up to 1 week.

For the ice cream, start by putting the cream and vanilla in a pan and warming that baby up. It needs to boil BUT KEEP AN EYE ON IT. I was busy taking pictures and my cream boiled over and made a huge mess. While its heating, whisk together the yolks and sugar until they are smooth and pale yellow. Once the cream has boiled, slowly slowly SLOWLY whisk into your egg mixture. The goal is to heat the eggs to a safe consumption temperature without scrambling them, so move slowly. Once combined, refrigerate until cool.

Now, what makes ice cream, ice cream and not just a cream ice cube, is air and agitation. What an ice cream maker does is constantly stir your base in a frozen bowl until it becomes soft serve. So, we are going to recreate that action by filling a large bowl with ice and putting a smaller bowl inside of it to whisk our base in. If you have a handheld mixer, now is the time to whip that sucker out, if not, get your muscles ready. Transfer your base to the inner bowl and whisk for 15 minutes (7 if you have a hand mixer). Once done whisking, place both bowls together in the freezer uncovered for 2 hours.

When you remove from the freezer, your base will have a soft serve consistency on the top, but be still liquidy on the bottom. Bust out your whisk again and whisk for 5 more minutes (3 with a handheld), and be sure to work all the custard-like lumps out. Remove the small bowl from the larger ice bowl, cover with plastic wrap and allow the wrap to touch the entire surface of your ice cream. This prevents a gross film from forming over the top of your delicious treat. Freeze overnight!

When you wake up, BAM. You have homemade vanilla ice cream that is smooth, creamy and so good. Using an ice cream scoop, fill a tall glass with your ice cream. Top off with 5 oz of your cold brew and enjoy!

I am so pleased with how this recipe turned out, and so excited for you to try it! I love you all, and will see you on Sunday! Happy tasting!

Best Overall: Toddy Cold Brew System

Dishwasher safe (excluding filter)

Kind of an eyesore while brewing

You can't beat a classic, and Todd Simpson's "Toddy" brewer is arguably the maker that started it all: While cold-brewed coffee has been made for who knows how long simply by soaking ground coffee in water, the Toddy brewer revolutionized the process for easy and convenient home use, and essentially reinvented the wheel of iced coffee brewing in 1964.

While it's made almost completely from plastic, the reusable filter makes up for the environmental impact a little, and the glass decanter is one of the most durable out there, and pretty enough to use as a serving vessel. After testing the product, our reviewer noted that cleanup was easy because all of the pieces detach and are dishwasher safe, aside from the filter.

Our reviewer also praised the coffee's flavor, calling it "very strong, yet smooth" and noted that a "single batch lasted a long time." This shouldn't be a surprise. Todd Simpson is undoubtedly the father of modern cold brew, and it's no wonder the coffee-loving chemical engineer was able to devise a brewer that eliminates coffee acid and produce a heavy, smooth, silky iced coffee with almost no hassle.

Style: Immersion | Capacity: 38 ounces | Material: Glass and plastic | Warranty: 1 year

"Beyond brewing a strong cold brew concentrate, the Toddy Cold Brew System offers a myriad of other extra features that make it well worth the price." — Cheyenne Elwell, Product Tester

Best coffee bean for cold brew.

So I've been wanting to try making my own cold brew and I saw you can make it with a French press but I've never bought coffee beans so I was wondering what are some good coffee beans to buy.

Cold brew is pretty good at smoothing out prominent flavors in coffee, so bean quality isn't super important. IME dark roasts that are months old tend to have rancid flavors that can even make it into cold brew.

making cold brew really works with any beans. Its more about what roast level you use. I love light roasted coffee on anything, hot or cold brew so its up to find beans that suite your flavor choice. If you do use a french press I highly recommend filtering the cold brew extract multiple times because the french press method creates a lot of fine grains that lower the drinking experience.

Only new to the whole coffee game only recently coming off of instant, Am i correct in saying that darker roasts tend to have more 'sweet' flavours such as chocolates and caramels? whereas a more blonde roast give rise to fruity notes?

I'm personally not convinced it's worth using expensive coffee on cold brew. It all ends up tasting much the same (fairly muted, albeit strong, flavour profile).

If you like cold coffee I would consider making a normal filter coffee and then chilling it and drinking it cold. My impression has been that hot water is important when extracting flavour. Try both methods with the same coffee bean and see what you prefer :)

Starbucks is Diving Into Cold Brew Coffee Just in Time for Spring - Recipes

IMO, people who routinely drink instant coffee do so just to drink something warm out of habit, not because they actually need, want or appreciate coffee as a beverage. You could just as easily drink Hot Anything or consume a Red Bull if caffeine is desired. And I’m not saying this is a bad thing - but IMO drinking instant coffee isn’t providing what coffee drinkers enjoy - the taste of a good coffee bean properly brewed. Coffees are many and varied, with distinct differences in flavor. Instant coffee tastes like one thing - instant coffee - a drink by itself, often not bearing much relation in taste to brewed coffee.

I’m not a coffee snob. I don’t grind my own beans fresh for each cup and buy the weirdest of the weird variety just so I can say I did, brew at a precise temperature for so many minutes, etc.

Before I got a Keurig, I did grind my own beans in a coffeemaker that had a grinder, but I’m happy with the Keurig and the variety of coffees/tastes it gives me. I enjoy good brewed coffee in restaurants. I like the taste of coffee.

When I was working or traveling, I tried the Starbuck’s Via coffee, which is part instant, part finely ground coffee dust. To me it’s better than a jar of mainstream instant coffee, but not a whole lot better.

I’m not trying to diss those who drink instant coffee, I just don’t consider them coffee lovers as in appreciating the variety of tastes of different coffee beans.

Cold-Brew Coffee Hits the Mainstream

James Freeman can remember when the cold-brew program for his company&mdashBlue Bottle Coffee, which sells its cold brew in refrigerated cartons that are distributed nationwide&mdashwas just cups of iced coffee at a farmers&rsquo market in Oakland. &ldquoIt&rsquos funny, the vicissitudes of fashion,&rdquo Freeman says of cold brew&rsquos hot-and-cold popularity. &ldquoThe pendulum swings one way, then swings another.&rdquo

Freeman recalls tinkering with recipes in the early 2000s, cold- steeping coffee and adding chicory and ice in an experiment that would evolve into Blue Bottle&rsquos famously cute cartons of New Orleans&ndashstyle iced coffee, which are sort of the iPad Mini of cold-brew products. Blue Bottle also serves various forms of cold brew in their cafés in the U.S. and Japan, from single-origin cold brew prepared in a Filtron and served black, to the slow-drip Oji cold brew to Blue Bottle&rsquos signature New Orleans&ndashstyle chicory-laced cold brew blended with milk and sugar.

While they&rsquove been a trailblazer, Blue Bottle has certainly not been alone in fueling the cold-brew craze. In March 2011, Portland, Oregon-based Stumptown Coffee Roasters launched their now- iconic cold-brew stubbies, which are sold at Whole Foods Markets in 42 states, along with an expanding line of cold-brew options. &ldquoOne thing led to another,&rdquo says Diane Aylsworth, Stumptown&rsquos director of cold brew.&ldquoThe cafés had been making their own cold brew every night, which is kind of a pain, and Duane [Sorensen, Stumptown founder] said, &lsquoWhy don&rsquot we bottle it so the baristas aren&rsquot doing all the work.&rsquo &rdquo

Before long, somebody pointed out that the downtown Portland café had beer taps that were no longer in use, and cold brew was the obvious replacement today, their draft cold-brew options at cafés in Portland, Los Angeles, Seattle and New York City include a standard cold brew, as well as a single-origin cold brew and a nitrogen-charged &ldquonitro&rdquo draft that pours like a pillow-topped Guinness.

And stubbies were just the start of the company&rsquos packaged cold brews. &ldquoWe were watching folks buy a stubby, pour it over ice, and add milk and sugar,&rdquoAylsworth says.&ldquoSo we thought we&rsquod take some of the work out of it.&rdquo By the end of 2013, Stumptown introduced cartons of cold brew mixed with milk and sugar a cocoa-enhanced cold brew soon followed, along with a seasonal Winter Cheer cold brew flavored with mulling spices. And this spring, Stumptown upped the ante with nitro-charged cold brew in cans.

While Stumptown and Blue Bottle are quickly filling refrigerator shelves from coast to coast, smaller roasters have been satisfying the growing craving for cold brew on a smaller scale. Manhattan-based Birch Coffee has built much of its business around cold brew.

&ldquoOur cold-brew sales almost triple [in the summer] from what they are in the winter,&rdquo says Jeremy Lyman, co-owner of Birch. &ldquoWith four stores we are going through about three bathtubs worth of cold brew in the café per day.&rdquo Birch has become known locally for its takeaway and delivery growlers of the stuff. &ldquoWhen we have &lsquoem in the refrigerators out front, they just fly out of the stores,&rdquo says Lyman.

Down the coast in Raleigh, North Carolina, Slingshot Coffee Co. started as a one-woman operation at the hands of Jenny Bonchak, who was trying&mdashas have many&mdashto fill a need for a quality cold brew that didn&rsquot fall flat.

&ldquoI&rsquod been doing this at home for years and years, and I was never able to find anything [commercially] that was really satisfying,&rdquo Bonchak says. &ldquoI felt that things were falling short not only in a bottle, but sometimes at the café level, too.&rdquo

What started as a moonlighting gig for Bonchak soon became her full-time pursuit, and Slingshot now sells ready-to-drink cold brew and cold-brew concentrate in 13 states, with a small amount of cold- brew cascara tea (made from the husks of coffee cherries) also avail- able. Bonchak sources the coffee for her cold brew from nearby roaster Counter Culture. &ldquoWe have all of our coffees roasted to order, and we brew to order,&rdquoshe says.&ldquoWe don&rsquot have bottles just sitting around our brewery waiting to fill orders. To a lot of people, that model seems crazy,&rdquo she says, &ldquobut for Slingshot, it&rsquos all about the coffee&mdashconstant quality control, developing our palates and making sure Slingshot stands out for those reasons.&rdquo

Grady&rsquos, Joyride, Cuvee, La Colombe, Roasting Plant, Secret Squirrel, Gorilla, Chameleon&mdasha seemingly endless stream of entrepreneurs like those behind Birch and Slingshot are building cold-brew businesses across the country. And it&rsquos not just smaller businesses that are tap- ping into cold brew this year, Starbucks entered the cold-brew game, marking a major milestone for the once-esoteric style of coffee.

One of the most unique approaches is from Coffer out of Austin, Texas. Kevin Chen was a product engineer and self-described coffee hobbyist in Houston when the cold-brew bug bit. &ldquoMy brother gave me a Toddy system, and I came to really enjoy cold brew&mdashespecially during a hot Texas summer,&rdquo Chen says. In 2013, after playing around with a home-carbonation kit, Chen decided to sort out a process for carbonating cold brew while maintaining its delicate flavor. By the end of the year, he&rsquod hit upon a solution,
and he moved to Austin to launch Coffer Coffee.

Coffer&rsquos bottled cold brew is a different sort of fizzy coffee from what you&rsquoll find in most cans and cafés. &ldquoWe use natural carbonation, similar to the way kombucha is made,&rdquo Chen says, relying on the age-old combination of yeast, sugar and time to create a gentle, velvety fizz in Coffer&rsquos cold brew. &ldquoThat&rsquos what gives the coffee a silky mouthfeel, along with an effervescent carbonation.&rdquo

Coffer introduced its cold brew in 2014, and the business is still in its early stages. The coffee is sourced from Tweed Coffee Roasters in Dallas (which operates Houndstooth Coffee cafés in Austin), and currently Coffer&rsquos well-designed bottles are only distributed in Austin. Chen says there are plans to expand, and that he sees plenty of potential as the taste for cold brew continues to spread.

&ldquoWe love seeing cold brew take off,&rdquo he says. &ldquoWhen people experience a coffee that&rsquos been brewed cold, they really see the difference in flavor.&rdquo

Cold coffee in North America used to mean a can of something slightly obscure picked up at the international grocery store, or a mass-market bottle packed with stabilizers and artificial ingredients. So as this cold- brew revolution evolves, how do the products stay true to their quality-driven roots? Aylsworth and Freeman say there&rsquos a big difference between yesterday&rsquos highly processed product and their own packaged cold brews&mdasha difference underscored by the integrity of ingredients, and by keeping the product on the shelf as close as possible to the coffee being poured in the cafés. &ldquoIt is a mass-market product,&rdquo Freeman says of Blue Bottle&rsquos New Orleans Iced Coffee. &ldquoBut we don&rsquot have carrageenan or stabilizers in our little cartons. We&rsquove got the same four ingredients that we serve in our shops,&rdquohe says: coffee, chicory, sugar and milk, all certified organic. &ldquoI want a barista to be proud of everything we have. I couldn&rsquot ask them to do that if we had all kinds of stuff that we didn&rsquot want in the carton.&rdquo

Still, once the bottles, cartons and kegs leave a café or warehouse, how do producers maintain quality until their product is in the hands of drinkers? To start, many producers ensure a chilled distribution system, either delivering the product themselves or utilizing refrigerated trucks to maintain the cold brew&rsquos quality. And Aylsworth says cold brew even offers a better opportunity to make sure a coffee is up to par at the time it hits a customer&rsquos cup. &ldquoWith cold brew, we actually have more control over the coffee,&rdquo she says. &ldquoWe&rsquore not only sourcing and roasting the coffee, but brewing it for them&mdashwe can ensure a high-quality, consistent product in a way that we can&rsquot with whole bean. They know that every time they pick up a bottle, it&rsquoll be the high-quality coffee they&rsquore expecting.&rdquo

Aylsworth adds that nationally available cold brews from quality-driven roasters also offer promise as an entry point to the world of specialty coffee. As Stumptown&rsquos ready-to-drink category has expanded, Aylsworth says the company has found a national customer base&mdashparticularly in the vast area between the coasts&mdashthat sometimes doesn&rsquot even know the company roasts coffee. Reaching people through the grocery aisle has opened up a whole new audience, and conversation.&ldquoIt&rsquos a gateway to tasting quality coffee,&rdquoAylsworth says. &ldquoThey&rsquore getting to it through a cold-brew perspective, and hopefully that&rsquos piquing their interest so they&rsquoll ask, &lsquoWhat else do these folks make?&rsquo

This article originally appeared in the July/August 2015 issue. Paul Clarke provided additional reporting for the story.

No-Cook Backpacking Breakfast Ideas

While I love starting my day off with something hot, sometimes there isn’t the time and you need to get moving. Here are a few ideas to start your hike without turning on the camp stove.

1. Overnight Oats

This popular fad is becoming popular at home, but I say take overnight oats to the trail! Simply soak your oatmeal oats in water overnight. (Or even better if you have milk or dehydrated milk.) You can soak with cinnamon and dried fruit too for extra flavor, but be sure to add nuts in the morning.

2. Cold-Soak Granola & Milk

Eat it for breakfast, eat it for lunch – I eat this cold-soaked granola cereal by Peak Refuel anytime! Just add one cup of cold water to the bag and let the dehydrated milk rehydrate. You can eat it straight out of the bag, so you have no clean up!

3. Bagels

You can even get cream cheese in individual, single-use containers so you don’t have to eat it plain. I personally love peanut butter on a bagel in the morning. Or, buy smoked salmon as well for a protien boost in the morning.

4. Make-Ahead Breakfast Burrito

This one is another make-ahead meal that would be great for shorter trips. Wrap eggs, cheese, and chorizo into a tortilla, then wrap up and have first thing in the morning!

Check out my recipe for my camping breakfast burritos here.

5. Breakfast Shakes

We recently tried Soylent. I’m not going to say I’d drink it every day, but it’s packed with nutrition and would be a great backpacking meal on the go. Plus, the powdered version is great for those on long trips and watching the weight of their bag.

6. Smoked Salmon & Cream Cheese

I love smoked salmon for backpacking! Since they’re sold in vacuum-sealed packs, you don’t need to worry too much about a mess or smell while you’re hiking. It’s perfect for a weekend hike. I wouldn’t recommend keeping it unrefrigerated for too long, so you want to eat it in the first couple of days of your hike.

I like these single-serving cream cheese packs for backpacking too!

7. Chia Pudding

Chia seeds are packed with protein, fiber, and omega-3. I love adding them to oatmeal! But I tried brainstorming how else I can eat more while on the trial. The answer? Chai pudding! Mix dehydrated milk, water, and chia seeds. You can add in some cinnamon, vanilla or sugar for some extra flavor. Or top it off in the morning with dried fruit and notes.

When I make them at home, I use mason jars, but on the trail, it works great if you have a thermos that you can let the chia seeds soak overnight. You can eat the pudding after just a couple hours, but the longer you soak them, the thicker and creamier it will get!

8. “Cold Brew” Instant Coffee

Coffee isn’t a meal, but it is for breakfast and doesn’t require any cooking. With enough stirring, you can dissolve any instant coffee into cold water. Starbucks even makes instant coffee packs designed as a “cold brew.” But it’s really just instant coffee with added sugar. Check out this cold-brew instant coffee – it’s my favorite!

My #1 Tip For Making Cold Brew Tea

Use purified water (not tap)! This is the single most important thing affecting the taste of your tea because it's the primary ingredient. The same goes for cold brew coffee or anything that's infused in water.

Before you make anything, take a BIG ol' drink of whatever water you plan to use and make sure it tastes good to you with nothing in it.

If it tastes gross or off or has a weird aftertaste. don't use it. Period. Grab a few gallons of purified drinking water from the store (not distilled or spring), that has been filtered via reverse osmosis so it doesn't taste like crud.

Brendan Hanson: Hey there, and welcome to the 10th episodes of the Drips and Draughts podcast. Today we’re joined by Eric Johnson from Trident Coffee company in San Diego, California. Eric runs Trident Coffee Company with his brother, and a very good friend which I can relate to, because I run Keg Outlet and Cold Brew Avenue with my brother Cary.

In today’s episode we discuss branding with Eric. Trident coffee does a great job with branding, and tying in the same theme and the same logo throughout all the merchandise from their bottles, to their tap handles, to the shirts, and their hats. They do a great job integrating both their logo and their colors throughout all their merchandise, and all their products. It’s something that really makes them stand out.

In addition to branding we also discuss their cold brew process. The types of beans they use, the roast levels they prefer, as well as their steeping times while making the cold brew.

I’m constantly getting questions about what roast level should I use when I’m making cold brew. So I kind a put Eric on the spot and asked him what they use, and what he’d recommend. In fact I might start forwarding all those questions to him and just let him answer them.

In addition to the cold brewing process we also discussed the health benefits of cold brew coffee. This is something that I had never really looked into, so it’s really cool to hear Eric take on this, and some of the info and facts about how cold brew coffee is actually more healthy for you.

Then of course we asked Eric what his thoughts on where coffee is currently at, and where he thinks it’s going in the next one, to three, to five years.

So without further ado let’s get into the episode. If you’re looking for this show notes or links to anything that we discussed today, you can find them at

Brendan: Alright. Welcome back to the Drifts & Drafts podcast. I’m Brendan Hanson. Today we’re joined by Eric Johnson from Trident Coffee company in San Diego, California. Welcome Eric, you’re the first in-studio guest, and we’re happy to have you here.

Eric Johnson: Thanks so much for having me. It’s great to stop and see you face-to-face.

Brendan: Right on. Well, give us a little background on Trident coffee company, and how you guys got started, when you guys started. I guess you’ve got two business partners, so maybe a little bit about them as well?

Eric: Absolutely. We kind of kicked this whole thing off last, at the end of tail of last summer, was going through, and was looking at something else to do, vice join the kind of the corporate grind and for me coffee is always a big part of my life growing up, so kind a dove into that, and cold brew seem to be a great avenue.

With that brought on my brother, Matt, and another business partner Keegan. We all have different ties to what makes coffee special to us and important to us. We’re actually really excited to kind a see where this goes, and take it off, and grow the business.

Brendan: So cold brew is the specific market that you guys we’re looking to get into obviously?

Eric: Absolutely right away. Way we kind a looked at it it’s fairly untapped and has lot of a potential to growth, but what it does for us is the active lifestyle we like to have is perfect for it. A lot of it you can kind get away with additional health benefits, and different packaging methods that you can’t do it with hot coffee. You can get out and explore little bit more, and do more things that you love with cold brew.

Brendan: Right. Yes. I never even thought of that, but yes, it does make it easy to throw a bottle of cold brew in your bag when you go out hiking, or biking, or running, or whatever it might be. Nice.

One of the things we wanted to talk to you about was branding, you guys have some great branding. You brought us a couple of bottles here today. I’m looking at one right now that’s — they’re awesome, they’re beautiful actually. Tell us a little bit about the Trident logo, how you guys came up with that, and we can get into the bottles, and your tap handles.

Eric: Absolutely. For us, my brother and I from San Diego, and Keegan is as well. The three of us growing up there, being around the beach, being around lakes, being around the ocean. It really tied it together for us, as Poseidon held the trident and he controlled all the seven seas and had the power of the ocean through that. We kind a really dove into that, with the three of us the — three prongs of the trident.

It really means a lot to us from a nautical sense. Both Keegan and I are military — navy side, so that kind a really brings a lot together for us in terms of the nautical theme, and the power that it brings for us.

Brendan: Nice. Yeah, for those of you who maybe haven’t seen Eric’s branding bottles, you can check ‘em out at — you guys are

Brendan: These bottles are absolutely beautiful. They’re cobalt blue, and they’re screen printed or painted?

Eric: Yes. We work with a screen printer in Paso Robles and they do phenomenal work. They do a lot of obviously more for wine, but we did a collaboration with them, and they just put a phenomenal products. So Peltier Glassworks of Paso Robles has done great work for us.

Brendan: Yes. These things are amazing. If you haven’t, at least check them out online if — can people order these online yet?

Eric: We’re still finalizing the last little bit for onlining sales, and now will be up hopefully by the end of June.

Brendan: Okay. Yeah, these are amazing. In additional to these bottles you guys have some really great tap handles. Tell us a little bit about the tap handles? Do you guys make those? Do you commission somebody to make those for you?

Eric: Yeah, we lucked out. We have lot of good connections with woodworking. One of our friends who isn’t the military, he has a side business that does woodworking. Kincaid Woodworking. We gave him the premise of what we wanted, and he use all of his tools through his shop and create us a tap handles. We we really love about it is, it really kind catches peoples eyes.

After they’re kind a manufactured from our friend, I go get through and we’ll wrap ‘em kind of paracord wrap, which is kind a big tradition in military, at least for us — for kind a go in a way presents. Kinda gives us the nice old craft artisan feel that time that was put into this product. It catches people’s eyes as soon as they walk into the place that has tap handle like, “What is that,” right away. Stands are taller than most of the tap handles. It’s got a really nice bold look so we’re pretty excited about ‘em.

Brendan: Yes. Those tap handles are awesome. Yeah, when I was checking your guys out yesterday, I saw one of the pictures that I was wondering what they were wrapped with, kind a like your dog leash there.

Eric: Yes. Paracord wrap is, again, 550 core for those in the military know what it’s about, very high tensile strength stuff, but you can really do some cool craft things with it. There’s tons of books out on how to wrap paracord and do different things with it.

Brendan: Yeah, you guys got that spiral going down, and then I think you actually have the word “Nitro” written in it as well?

Eric: Yeah, so that takes a little bit more time. They’re little bit time consuming, but learned a few tricks of the trade from some of the guys I’ve worked with, you do these for kinda going away presents. Learned how to write “Nitro” or do custom tap handles for a few people with their acronym for their company name or what not.

Brendan: That is awesome, because you guys are not only putting craft in coffee but in your tap handles as well, there’s obviously a lot of workmanship that goes into everything, from the wood to the wrap. They’re really beautiful. They’re works of art. Yes, very cool.

Moving along, let’s start talking about some of your cold brewing. Would you mind sharing your process a little bit, as long as we’re not asking for some trade secrets?

Eric: [laughs] No, absolutely. The funny thing is as lot of the stuff that we’ve got originally for our equipment is through Keg Outlet, and that has been a great source for us. Equipments phenomenal, stainless steel cold brewing batches, and gives us the same consistency we want every time. They’re real to easy clean, being all stainless steel. It doesn’t impart to many different flavors like a cloth, or plastic type filter, or five gallon bucket, you can get some distinctive flavors or oil build up on that. Using stainless steel products have been great.

Using our ratio and our blend we found over several different trial and errors, and R&D — we found our favorite batch. It works really great, because we get a lot of good feedback on the beans that we use, the roast levels. Then going from there it’s been fun to start doing more and more R&D up to batches like couple of hundred. Drink plenty of coffee throughout the day and not throughout the night. It’s fun for us.

Brendan: What’s your bean of choice, if you don’t mind sharing? What roast level — that’s one of the questions that we probably get the most. I prefer medium roast, but I tell everybody it’s obviously a preference.

Eric: Absolutely. From when we found and done our trial and error, we do a nice blend from Brazilian and Guatemalan beans, and medium to dark roast works well more for us. It gives the same kind of nice caramel coffee flavor, but you still get a little bit of the inherent qualities from the floral and fruity notes from the coffee.

Brendan: Okay. Well, I’m going to start turning people your way when they ask that question.

Brendan: Would you mind sharing your ratio or we’re getting too specific if I ask about that?

Eric: No, no. What kind of how we do for our blends is that it’s a 50/50 mix for us. Then as we get our concentrate out, we found pretty much at 1:1 gives it the most palatable for to general audience. We had a few people say, “It’s a little bit too weak.” We have a little people say, “It’s just perfect.” A lot of it now boils down to — everyone has their own personal preference for coffee, and especially when people are drinking a black, which is kind of new novelty with cold brew — it’s new to them. They don’t know what their palette suppose to be there. They’re use to really burnt beans, or really bitter flavors.

Brendan: Or really sugary.

Eric: Yes, or exactly. Doing this and we’ve gotten, again, phenomenal feedback from a lot of people who have never really enjoyed black coffee before with this ratio.

Brendan: Okay. And that’s one to one you said.

Brendan: One pound to one gallon.

Eric: Yes. So, for us it’s one pound for gallon.

Brendan: Okay. We had everything in between, one liter to one kilo.

Brendan: So, always curious what the ratios are. And, you guys do the bottled, ready to drink. You also do nitro coffee on tap.

Brendan: Do your recipes change for those?

Eric: No. We found it very consistently. What’s nice about the nitro, it adds just a different texture, creaminess and it brings out a little bit more of the kind of the caramel and chocolate notes. So, nothing different in our process, it’s obviously at that point we’re kegging it and charging it with nitrogen, a little bit higher PSI than we would for serving it flat or serving out of our bottles.

Brendan: Sure. And then as you guys grow, obviously, you’ve experimented with a lot of beans and roasts. Do you see putting in different styles on tap?

Eric: Yes. So, that’s kind of what we’d like to do is really kind of make it more of a, again, truly craft feel where you can come in and we have a flavor profile that meets everyone’s likings at some point. So, they can mix and match like you would for a tasting room for a brewery. You can go and like, “Hey, IPAs are not my style but I really like stouts”. So, we’d like to get to that and really bring kind of the craft to influence a little bit more deeper level than just a single orange in or a blend. You can really dive in and file a lot of good flavor profiles out of coffee.

Brendan: So, we’ll eventually see different bottles of Trident Coffee.

Eric: Absolutely, we have a lot of good plans for that.

Brendan: Great. So, one of the things you brought up that I really have no idea about were some of the health benefits of coffee, and not just coffee but cold brewing specifically. So, maybe if you could give us just a brief overview and then we could dive into a couple of questions.

Eric: Absolutely, yes. The really nice thing that’s enjoyable about cold brew is that one, right off the bat, it’s a lot less bitter so that the flavor profile is better for people. But one kind of hidden thing is that, we’ve done lots of tests now, is actually the pH level. So, we’ve taken our pH meter and done tons of analysis on it. And, we found out that it’s on a higher pH level than most of hot press coffee or any sort of traditional coffee.
So, it means for you is that as you digest it, less stomach acid is being used. And it’s readily absorbed by your body better than creating more of acidic profile. You’re now more of a basic profile which is you tie it back to like the pH diets and a lot of things that people are going through where you want your body to be more alkaline than acidic.

Eric: And so, that’s definitely one of the benefits of cold brew coffee is that it brings that pH balance a little bit better into the mix. So, for the most part people are very sick throughout the day with coffee, beer, soda –

Brendan: Everything they eat.

Eric: – all that other stuff. And then this allows us to kind of bring it back a little bit more of the center.

Brendan: Okay. Well, yes, interesting kind of a tangent right now. But we’ve got an RO system at home. I’ll drink alkaline water at night every now and then. Have you ever considered or have you guys ever done any testing brewing with alkaline water versus purified water versus even acidic water?

Eric: Not really dive into that too much. We obviously want to go for the most kind of pure water so we do purification just to remove any of the kind of heavy metals or whatnot. So, really you’re only brewing with coffee beans and water to kind of get the most control of those two allows us to kind of have a better quality control products. So, it’ll be interesting to see how that plays out. But for us we haven’t done too much experiments with the pH levels or whatnot of the water.

Brendan: Messing with the water first or rather than just using a purified water.

Brendan: Okay. So, going back to the health benefits of coffee, how does the bean selection contribute to or detract from benefits when you’re cold brewing?

Eric: So, I think for the most part, the bean selection will be relatively the same for about the different kind of health benefits. What will kind of impact is the roasting level. So, there’s been a lot of kind of studies recently done that a lighter roast is going to have more chlorogenic acid which is anti-inflammatory. So, it has a lot of kind of hidden health benefits that are starting to get uncovered. And, it also has more caffeine. So, the longer you roast, the more it burns off naturally because the heat and the chemical reaction that you have, you’re going to burn more of the caffeine than more of the chlorogenic acid.

Brendan: Okay. So, you’re actually able to change the bean as you’re roasting it to change the health benefits.

Eric: Absolutely, so couple of companies are looking at that right now and really diving in. And I think Bulletproof Coffee is one that’s really kind of brought it to life with also adding certain things to is the MCT oils and the clarified butter. And as for people who are on like ketogenic type diets and/or kind of more intermittent fasting. So, using a couple of different things to look at it, cold brew really does open up the avenues for added health benefits that are even secondary and tertiary effects that people aren’t necessarily thinking about day to day basis.

Brendan: Sure. Interesting. Well, and just kind of on a broader scale, how does cold brew maybe differ from hot brewed coffee in terms of health benefits and what it does to your body when you’re drinking it?

Eric: So, the biggest thing that we’ve kind of found and kind of just did our research on is really kind of boils back to the pH level.

Eric: So, as you go through, you’re adding pressure and hot water, or normal traditional style you mix your coffee pot or espresso machine. And so, that is really extracting a lot of the acid off the bean because of the pressure and hot water situation. Whilst in the cold brew allows it to just kind of basically sit naturally with the coffee bean so there’s really no forced interaction between the water and coffee. And so, you really get a more of a natural kind of outtake from it. And, with that you don’t really extract either the bitterness or acid that you would necessarily take off in hot method.

Brendan: And I think that’s what draws so many people into cold brew coffee is they get this rich smooth drink that they’ve never tried before. It’s eye-opening once somebody tries a cold brew for the first time.

Eric: Absolutely, so for the most part, my dad was a very stubborn coffee drinker. He had to have his cream and sugar every time. And he would use a French press and I remember kind of offering to him the first time, because he was a very much creature of habit. He tried out our nitro and really, really enjoyed it, and comes back for more. So, that’s a good sign that if we can kind of change my dad’s approach to coffee, there’s a lot of people out there who probably haven’t tried it who I think would be very open to what cold brew brings to the table.

Brendan: Absolutely. And I think that’s one of the health benefits as well as nitro coffee. I can drink it black. I’m usually not a black coffee drinker but just the nitrogenation process really changes the taste and the mouthfeel of the coffee. It makes it more bold and more rich. And, as you said, it brings out chocolaty and caramel notes.

Eric: Absolutely, and that’s kind of one of the secondary effects of cold brews that if you are able to drink it black you don’t have to add cream or sugar or some of the other things that can cause some health problems down the line with the additional insulin spikes and sugar intake. So, for us that’s what we like about it most is that we like being active. We like being outdoors. We like being connected with the ocean. So, any time that’s not going to slow us down with kind of a heavier adding cream or sugar, that gets perfect for us.

Brendan: Absolutely. Sure is. Right on. Anything else you might want to add about the health benefits before we kind of move on from that?

Eric: Just, again, tie in a little bit more. I know Bulletproof Coffee does this a lot. They’re out at Santa Monica and they are adding clarified butter and MCT oils to theirs and blending it up. And that’s great for people who are obviously trying to control sugar intake. The MCT oils are broken down a lot faster into the body in the blood stream than normal fats. And so, you’re able to use them readily available as energy for mental clarity and day to day functions. And so, people who have tried that with ketogenic type diets or intermittent fasting have seen great results of high sustained energy throughout the day. You don’t have a crash and again, those fats have actually been proven to kind of help with body weight management too. So, helping you lose fat by actually in taking fat.

Brendan: Interesting. I’m going to have to search one of those out and try that.

Eric: Yes. They’re very good. Again, they actually have that creamy buttery texture that’s a little bit different. Again, I know people are scared of high fat sometimes but we love it.

Brendan: Cool. Yes, as I mentioned, Cary and I are heading down to San Diego in a couple of weeks. So, we might have to swing through Santa Monica on the way and give them a shot.

Eric: Come by, you can have one of our home blends. We’ll make one for you.

Brendan: Awesome. So, lastly, we talked a little bit before the show about the future of craft coffee and last week’s episode where we had Bradford Lowry on speaking about the waves of coffee. And specifically the third wave and some of the leaders in the third wave, Intellignetsia, Stumptown, and sharing knowledge about coffee and the cold brew process. Where do you see coffee currently? Where do you see it going?

Eric: You know for those who do shop at Whole Foods or some of the more health food stores, you see now there is a cold brew selection everywhere. Like you said from Stumptown to Seaworthy to a few other companies that are out there that are kind of more local because Whole Foods carry local people. But it’s allowing a different market that has not really been tapped into. People are very accustomed to going in and getting a Dunkin Donuts or Starbucks – they want it hot and they want it with cream and sugar to get their day started. So, with this there’s only a few companies out there that are able to package and manufacture and ship it.

And so, I see this as just kind of the front end of what craft coffee can truly be. If you hit a third wave of more of the espresso latte art and this and the other, you can’t really truly express all the nuances of coffee through that method because you’re masking it with a bunch of other different additives. So, with the cold brew method you can really dive into all the different flavor profiles that a Kenyan bean can offer or Ethiopian or Columbian or Brazilian. And so it opens up the aperture a lot for people who want to bring craft coffee to the scene. So, we have kind of looked at Bird Rock Roasters in San Diego where the owner will go out and do direct sourcing from these coffee beans. And he really brings out the best flavour profiles from that. And he wants to educate people on that. It’s not just your father or mother’s drink where you just add cream and sugar and go. You can really sit down and connect with the coffee and really enjoy it to where you can pick out the subtle nuances. So, he does cupping events and things like that. We’re just on the tip end of where craft coffee, where craft breweries where 15, 20 years ago.

Brendan: Sure. Yes, as I’ve said in many other shows, I’ve been in the beer scene a lot longer and I’ve appreciated beers for what they are, the ingredients that go into them. And now, as I get more of the coffee, I find myself doing that with coffees, wanting to learn about them, where they were grown, what roasts are playing a part in all these labors. So, it’s really cool to see coffee growing that way.

Eric: Absolutely. I think we briefly talked about this before the podcast interview where the consumers are being very well educated on the coffee source selection really from farm – “from seed cup” has become a very popular term where people want to be engaged with the process along the way. They want to know how the farmers treating their supply and how the distributors packaging it and how the makers making it.
So, you have a bunch of organizations out there that are really tied into making sure that the coffee is sustainable down the line, but also is grown in a kind of a renewable type of environment where —

Brendan: Renewable, responsible.

Eric: Yes. All that connection to where a lot of that is kind of going with the millennial crowd. They are very engaged with that. So, it’s definitely fun to see as it’s interesting to see how all these different companies are kind of playing off that for marketing purposes. But again, the model is that great coffee is great coffee regardless of the certification that can come with. As long as you meet with the farmers and you see the process. Having organic stamp on it, it means a lot but at the same time I don’t think it’s the most important because you can get great coffee at a 94 rating. That’s still a great coffee at a 94 rating.

Brendan: Absolutely. We talked about this last week a little bit, was the shift in the market from just wanting coffee to wanting craft coffees. Do you have any feedback or maybe input on what do you think helps cause that market shift? Obviously, companies started educating but there was obviously a little change in the consumer mind-set as well. Any ideas? You’re obviously a health conscious guy and we can’t say that a hundred percent of Americans are health conscious [chuckles] by any means. But what do you think might have started to cause that shift?

Eric: Honestly, I think it was just the sharing available via social media, internet, and whatnot. So, people want to see a lot of transparency in the products that they are consuming. So, anything from documentaries or things along the lines for sourcing trips to things like that nature. People like to be engaged with what they’re buying and consuming. So, it’s more of kind of for them it’s self-awareness of like, “Hey, this is the product that we’re buying into. We believe in it so we’re going to buy into it.” I don’t think a lot of the millennials have the stamp like, “Yes, we believe.” They don’t want to press the “I believe” button.

Eric: They want to actually dive into it and really peel back the onion on what they’re supporting.

Brendan: Sure. Okay. That makes sense. And, yes, I guess with the availability of information. It’s no reason not to go educate yourself and learn more.

Eric: Absolutely, and, again, the transparency and the education piece is what’s going to bring this thing around kind of full circle. So, again, you’ve tapped on to a lot where the brewery scene was very transparent with like, “Hey brew methodology and here’s how we’ve been doing stuff.” And it’s more of a community than anything. The only way you make craft coffee better is by letting it grow. By holding on to information and kind of being really reserved about it, yes, I mean you can have a successful company but you’re not going to let the craft grow itself, which is kind of what I think most people’s intentions are.

Brendan: It’s interesting. Yes, I see both beer brewing and coffee as more of a community than a competition between companies. It’s a really cool market to be part of.

Eric: Yes, so at the end of this month, on the 25th, down San Diego, there is SD Coffee Network is holding a competition for local breweries or local coffee companies to do their cold brew. So, they’re going to select the best cold brew and the best specialty cold brew, the nitro or added flavour. So, go in there and kind of hopefully networking with people and expanding off is what we do here at Cold Brew Avenue is going to be a lot of fun to really dive in and create that community that you guys have started here.

Brendan: Nice, right on. So, speaking of that community and where cold brew and where craft coffee might be going, where do you think, we’ve mentioned the third wave of coffee, we’re probably entering a fourth wave of coffee with on-demand type stuff. Where do you think coffee’s going to go next one to five years?

Eric: I think we’re going to see a lot more stuff readily available in pre-packaged solutions. So, you’re still going to have the need for craft where people can go into their favourite coffee shops and order it because they go there because they buy into the

Brendan: People want to go hang out.

Eric: Yes. For us, coffee is very community driven. I love the connection it has with people. The reason why I drink coffee is because it’s supposed to be sitting across from somebody face to face and talking, not on a cell phone or not engaged off in a distant land where you’re not paying attention to the present.

Eric: So, that’s kind of the reasons why we love coffee so much is that it brings people together. Between water, tea, coffee and beer, those are the four most consumed beverages in the world.

Eric: And, coffee is the number two traded commodity besides oil. So, it’s just one of those things where it has tons of connections from start to finish. And if you can tie that into your story it just makes it better. I really like the community aspect of it. I think you’re going to see a lot more independent coffee shops come up with that and have the ability to, again, create a craft kind of feel, kind of what microbreweries and nano-breweries are doing now. They go to a neighborhood and really kind of that’s their neighborhood. Everyone on the street corner knows them.

So, it’s not going to be very much we have the third wave guys, where the second wave guys at Starbucks have started that. People will still go because they know it. But I think you’re going to see a lot more people who want to connect to the coffee than before.

Brendan: Yes. And you guys are from San Diego. You’ve got hundreds of craft breweries down there. So, it’s awesome to see coffee shops. Like you said, it’s basically going to be people supporting these smaller craft coffee companies rather than going to Starbucks or Coffee Bean, the big guys. Obviously those will always exist but I like to go search out craft breweries, small ones that I’ve never seen, never been to, never heard of. And I can definitely see that happening with coffee.

Eric: Yes, because the one thing the reason why I think people go to those craft or micro and nano breweries is because there’s the passion behind with brewers or people behind the company. I mean if you go into any of the craft things like people even working the register, whoever, it doesn’t really matter who they are, they believe in the product. They want to tell you about their product because they’re so passionate about it. And I think that’s we’re coffee’s going is that you can dive into so many different things with coffee and really express you passion through your products.

Brendan: Yes. Absolutely. We’re cool. I think we’re about done here unless you want to add anything.

Eric: No. I think that really covers a lot of stuffs that kind of who we are what we are about and kind of our thought process toward cold brew specifically but coffee in general.

Brendan: Right on. Well, if people want to find you and learn more about you guys where can they go to do that?

Eric: We have our website and we do a lot of social media advertising on our Instagram page @tridentcoffee.

Brendan: Okay. All right, Eric. Thanks for joining us today. Best of luck.

Eric: Thanks so much for having me. I appreciate it.

Brendan: Once again, thanks to Eric for stopping by the “studio” today. I’m actually making air quotes as I say studio because our “studio” is our office which is completely dishevelled right now. We’ve been moving the past couple months and it’s just a mess. So, apologies to Eric. We promise that next time we do this the kegerator will be up and running. We’ll have some coffee on draft. We might even have an actual chair for you next time so you don’t have to sit on a step ladder. And there’s a good chance that next time you visit, we may actually have a dog bed in our office. So, Pica could get comfortable while we talk.

Alright, enough about the furnishings at our office or lack thereof. Make sure you go check out Trident Coffee at If you’re looking for the show notes for this episode, you can find them at

And finally, our last bit of business for today. If you’re getting any value from this podcast please stop by iTunes and leave us a review. If you don’t know how to leave a review go to our website, and we’ll show you how. It’s quick. It’s easy. It’ll take you less than a minute and it’ll really help our show out.

Thanks to all of you who have already subscribed and downloaded our show and those of you who have left reviews. Thanks to you guys we’ve popped up into the New & Noteworthy section for a brief amount of time in the hobbies category of iTunes. So, help us out, subscribe, leave a review, and enjoy your weekend. We’ll see you next Friday on Drips & Draughts.

Coffee For The Picky Traveler

Some of us are particular about our morning routines. We like our coffee just so. We need it just so. If we don’t have it just so, we may not be able to function.

Arrange on top of mug, pour hot water over grounds.

Coffee can be tricky while traveling. Not every trip passes through Seattle. Some will pass through Utah. Try getting coffee in a small Utah town. It won’t happen.

What then to do? I started with a Bodum French press mug combo thing. It worked OK (but not great) and was impossible to clean. I love my French press normally, but as a transportable device, it sucks. There’s just too much going on. Most of the big ones are glass, the screen thing doesn’t rinse well. It just doesn’t work out unless you travel with a dishwasher. Most of us don’t.

Instant is another option. You could bootleg those little Starbucks packets. But what if you don’t like Starbucks?

Well, there’s this, the Melitta single-cup funnel. It’s perfect. It’s a single piece of plastic – no moving parts, easy to rinse clean. Bring a Ziploc of coffee and a couple filters and you’re set. You will, of course, need hot water and a cup. Bring a mug too if you are driving (and a camp stove for the water if you’re camping). Score both the mug and the water from the motel if you’re flying (balancing on the smallest sized Styrofoam cups can be a bit tricky, especially pre-coffee).

Note: the Melitta is also a Keurig-beater in the home. Pass on that over-engineered counter-top robber and save yourself a boatload. Get one of these instead. The landfills will thank you as well.

Cold-Brew Vanilla Honey Coffee

You guys, send help. I can’t stop // won’t stop // can’t stop drinking these Cold-Brew Vanilla Honey Iced Coffees. And I’m not even a huge coffee fan. That has to be saying something, right?

I don’t usually drink a lot of hot coffee, or even iced coffee for that matter I find the taste to be much too acrid and pungent. If and when I do drink it, it’s usually because I’m absolutely dead tired and need a jolt of caffeine, and/or it’s completely loaded with sugar and cream and any other yummy thing that’ll disguise the bitterness.

I love the smell of coffee, and I love coffee flavoured things, and I love Iced Capps (since they’re mostly milk and sugar), but when it comes to actual drip coffee, I tend to avoid it.

BUT… This heatwave that’s been blessing Vancouver these last few days (30°C, never leave, I ♥ you) has made me crave iced coffee. Now, why someone who hates coffee would be craving it so hard is beyond me. I think it’s because the idea of an iced cold cuppa joe on a scorching hot day just seems so right. Ya know?

So, I did a little digging. Googling “Why can’t I like coffee” or “Why does coffee taste like sour feet” didn’t help. Then I got to thinking, maybe I’m just drinking it wrong? Maybe there’s a secret to brewing perfection in a pot?

Turns out, there is. It’s called cold-brew coffee and it is where it’s at.

I discovered the method of cold-brew in my research on iced coffee recipes. At first I assumed they were the same thing, but they’re really completely opposite.

Iced coffee is coffee that’s been brewed with hot water, as normal, and then slightly cooled and poured over ice. It’s what most people think of when they think of drinking cold coffee. The result is a quick, easy iced coffee, but the taste can be quite bitter and sharp.

Cold-brew coffee is simply coffee that’s been brewed cold, and never exposed to heat. It requires a bit more forethought and patience – the coffee needs to steep in the fridge for at least 12 hours, but oh my, it’s so worth it. Essentially, letting the beans steep naturally in cold water makes the coffee less acidic, resulting in a sweeter, smoother tasting coffee.

So to sum up: Iced coffee = coffee on ice. Cold brew = coffee brewed cold.

I was skeptical when I tried it. I ground up the beans – or, more specifically, I made Matt ground up the beans for me because I have never before used a coffee grinder (thanks hun) – and mixed them with water in a large jug.

A whole 15 hours later, I took the jug out of the fridge and marvelled at it’s rich brown, caramel colour. I strained it through a fine-mesh sieve (luckily the beans were ground coarsely enough) and tried a bit of it with milk. Then with cream. Honey. Sugar. Maple syrup.

I have never liked coffee, but I would inject this stuff into my veins if I could. It’s definitely true: cold-brew coffee comes out sweeter and less bitter than regular coffee. My first thought when I took a sip? Where have you been all my life?

Don’t get me wrong, if you were to drink the cold-brew coffee black, it would still be bitter, just less so. Cold-brew is pretty concentrated, so you’ll need to dilute it with an equal(ish) amount of water or milk, but wouldn’t you do that anyway with cold coffee? Plus, since it’s naturally a bit sweeter, you don’t need to add as much sugar to the drink to counteract the bitterness.

After a bit of experimenting, I found what I like best in my cold-brew coffee: a vanilla bean-infused honey. It sweetens the coffee naturally and adds the warm, fragrant taste of vanilla. It’s a cinch to make – just stir together some honey and vanilla bean paste. You could also use vanilla beans if you really wanted to splurge, but I find the paste works just as well.

It takes a bit of patience to mix in the honey with the coffee add honey to your glass and a splash of the coffee. Use a whisk of a fork to stir it together until most of the honey has dissolved. Then, add the rest of the coffee, ice, and milk/water.

So whether you’re an avid coffee drinker or you’re just purely curious, give this cold-brew stuff a shot. It’s worth it, I promise.

This recipe makes a lot of coffee, about 8 cups worth of straight black coffee, but it will keep in the fridge for up to a week. I like to make a big batch on Sunday so I have easy access to this delicious drink throughout the week!

Remember, it’s pretty potent stuff, so unless you want the jitters, don’t forget to dilute it! I prefer the coffee to milk ratio listed below, but experiment to your personal taste.