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Bottled Cold-Brew Coffee
Once available only in high-end coffee shops, cold-brew coffees now fill supermarket shelves. We sampled both concentrates and ready-to-drink versions to find the best.
La Colombe Cold Brew Brazilian
Starbucks Bottled Cold Brew
Chameleon Organic Cold Brew Concentrate, Black
Grady's Cold Brew New Orleans–Style Coffee Concentrate
What You Need To Know
Once upon a time, cold-brew coffee could be found only at the trendiest coffee shops and in the home kitchens of the most devoted coffee drinkers. Now it’s increasingly available and appears to be here to stay; many grocery stores stock dozens of different cold brews, and even more are available for purchase online. DIY cold brew generally requires 12 to 24 hours of steeping time, s...
Everything We Tested
Ready to drink
“Smooth and not too acidic,” with a “subtle nutty and chocolaty flavor,” this ready-to-drink brew went over well with many tasters, especially when sampled without milk. Tasters praised its body, calling it “velvety.”
This “nutty and bold” cold brew held up well to milk, with one taster noting, “the coffee flavor and intensity come through in a nice way, and it doesn't feel overwhelmed by dairy richness.” Other tasters enjoyed its “smooth and drinkable” body and noticed notes of vanilla, chocolate, and smoke.
When tasting this coffee both with and without milk, many tasters enjoyed its intense flavor, noting its “dimension and complexity” and calling it “smoky” and “earthy.” It was too acidic for others, who called its acidity “overwhelming.” Some were put off by its “dark,” “strong” flavors, noting there was “nothing to smooth out the bitterness.”
Some tasters praised this coffee’s flavor and body both with and without milk, calling it “very drinkable with a nice, balanced flavor” and noticing notes of “maple syrup and brown sugar.” Others found it “weak” and “thin,” with one taster commenting, “I need more coffee in my coffee.”
Available for purchase at these stores: www.stokbrew.com/where-to-buy/#48oz-black-unsweet
This cold brew was praised by a few tasters, who called it “fruity and bright” and said they “liked that [they] could drink it straight up.” Some tasters found it too acidic but noted that milk improved it, calling it a “full-flavored, bright cup of iced coffee that's mellowed slightly (in a good way).”
Tasters picked up on a bouquet of flavors in this chicory-infused brew, including lemon, cinnamon, chocolate, and orange. If you like the unique complexity of coffee with chicory root added, this is our top New Orleans–style cold brew.
Available for purchase at these stores: www.gradyscoldbrew.com/pages/store-locator
A few tasters praised this coffee’s “balance of acidity,” deeming it “very bright” and noting that it “will wake you right up.” Others were turned off by the acidity, calling it “sour and unripe.” Though we diluted it according to the manufacturer’s recommendation, many found it too watery both with and without milk.
Available for purchase at these stores: www.bizzycoffee.com/pages/store-locator
Some tasters noted that this “smooth” brew wasn’t “too acidic or bitter” and that it was “nonoffensive,” reminding them “of iced tea.” However, many tasters said that this coffee was “weak” when diluted according to the manufacturer’s directions.
Available for purchase at these stores: www.coolbrew.com/coolbrew-partners/
Reviews you can trust
The mission of America’s Test Kitchen Reviews is to find the best equipment and ingredients for the home cook through rigorous, hands-on testing.
Chase is an associate editor for ATK Reviews. He's an epidemiologist-turned-equipment tester and biscuit enthusiast.