In the Magazine

Iced Coffee-A-Go-Go: Cold Brews Get the Growler Treatment

Iced in a cup, sure, but also in a bottle, jug, or growler. A survey of summer’s most transportable and highly caffeinated cold brews (not just Folgers stuck in the fridge, but grounds steeped in room-temperature water for 12 to 24 hours, producing a smooth, low-acid concentrate).

This story appeared in the June 4, 2012 issue of New York Magazine.

Organic Avenue 16 Suffolk St., nr. Rivington St. (212-358-0500) This grocer cold-presses its organic fair-trade beans with alkaline water, passes the coffee through unbleached filters, and sells it in 7-ounce compostable “bio bottles” ($3). Also delicious: its creamy Café Latte Smoothie ($4) with “mylk”—a blend of cashews, hemp seeds, dates, coconut sugar, Irish moss, and Himalayan salt.
Stumptown Stubbies Stumptown Coffee in the Ace Hotel, 18 W. 29th St., nr. Broadway (212-679-2222) Pour your Red Hook–brewed and –bottled house-blend Stubby ($4 for 10.5 ounces) over ice, or swig it straight from the bottle for a toasty chocolate bite with hints of ripened cherry. Growlers are in the works for big-fan restaurateurs (like Pok Pok’s Andy Ricker).
La Colombe Pure Black Various locations ( Pure Black–olytes include chef Nobu Matsuhisa and the guys behind Freemans and Peels. It’s no wonder why: Co-founder Todd Carmichael double-filters his Corsica-blend coffee after steeping it for 16 hours in stainless-steel wine tanks. Bottles sell for $3 apiece in-store and by the two-pack or case at So smooth and sweet, it hardly needs milk.
Café Grumpy Saturdays 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. at Hester Street Fair, Essex St. at Hester St. At Grumpy’s cold-brew bar, request the Brazilian Cafundo-bean concentrate alone over ice (pictured center), stirred with Battenkill Valley Creamery milk, or mixed with seltzer in a tingly “coffee soda” ($3.50 to $4). Bottles of concentrate cost $15 for 16 ounces and $12 for refills.
Grady’s Cold Brew Saturdays 11 a.m. to 6 p.m. at Smorgasburg, N. 6th St. at the East River This fast-expanding Brooklyn company adds chicory to locally roasted Porto Rico Importing Co. beans for increased sweetness. Concentrate is $8 for 16 ounces and $15 for 32 ounces (plus a $2 bottle deposit). Dilute with water or, for a creamy café au lait effect, 2 percent milk.
19 Charles Street The West Village gourmet-food-delivery service, which offers one-liter bottles of chicory-spiked Porto Rico cold brew ($15 plus $3 refundable deposit), will introduce Saturday drop-offs in the Hamptons this summer. When fashioning at home, dilute the concentrate with water, whole milk, and a splash of half-and-half.
Kickstand This concentrate is meant to be served with equal parts filtered water, over ice (milk optional), but the foursome behind it also suggests folding the cold brew into gravies, old-fashioned cocktails, or even peanut-butter-banana smoothies. Thirty-two-ounce bottles are $27 apiece, and there’s a two-bottle delivery minimum. Photo: Erin D Keeffe
The Queens Kickshaw 40-17 Broadway, Astoria (718-777-0913) The cafe offers 24-hour cold-brewed coffee from a tap ($8 for a liter plus $3 for a first-time bottle deposit), right alongside its craft beers; the rotating menu of single-origin beans are sourced from Coffee Lab Roasters in Tarrytown. Coming in June: 64-ounce cold-brew growlers (from $20).
Nolita Mart 156 Mott St., nr. Grand St. (212-966-8883) The downtown grocer cold-brews Stumptown’s espresso-based Hairbender blend for twelve hours before pouring it into 32- and 64-ounce growlers; you pay a onetime $4.25 or $4.75 growler fee, respectively, and $8 or $15 for refills. The complex concentrate is just strong enough to account for ice meltage; no need to add water.
Birch Coffee Gershwin Hotel, 5 E. 27th St., nr. Fifth Ave. (212-686-1444) Buy a 64-ounce jug of this velvety, caramelesque brew, this month featuring a 50-50 blend of Honduran and Brazilian beans, for $20, and every refill thereafter is $15. Birch also makes Manhattan deliveries via a trike that ferries up to 30 bottles at a time ($3 extra).
Iced Coffee-A-Go-Go: Cold Brews Get the Growler Treatment