The Buzz on Grab ‘n Go Coffees

By Marisa Finetti & Kirk Peterson

Prized for its ability to cool and caffeinate, iced coffee is a warm-weather ritual. Ready-To-Drink single serving versions are perfect for on-the-go, but which one will you choose – the traditional iced coffee, or the increasingly popular cold brew? I’ve teamed up with sommelier and beverage director of B&B Hospitality Group Las Vegas Kirk Peterson (a fellow coffee addict and contributing wine writer) to taste (and smell) a sampling of both styles to help “filter” through the choices.

Cold Brew (CB):  Created by steeping ground coffee in room temperature water for 12+ hours, the result is typically unadulterated flavors and aromas of coffee with less acidity.

Iced Coffee (IC): Brewed hot coffee that is cooled instantly is often blended with flavor enhancers resulting in a tasty, often-time sweet and milky beverage.

1. Chameleon – Espresso Coffee (CB): This medium-bodied black coffee is round, supple and smooth with Swiss Miss cocoa-like qualities and a mellow finish.

2. Stumptown Original (CB):  Portland-based coffee roasters’ original brew is ever-so-slightly reminiscent of instant coffee crystals.  Quite angular and high-acid for cold brew, this lightly-roasted style offers aromas of bell pepper and over-steeped tea.

3. Kohana – Sweet Black (CB):  Delicate and faintly sweetened (by monk fruit) coffee has aromas of caramel, walnut, and banana. Zero tannins makes it soft and easy to drink.

4. High Brew – Double Espresso (CB):  Boldly flavored with medium acidity and a touch of condensed milk, making a creamy and generous coffee that reminds of chocolate milk and butterscotch.

5. Lucky Jack- Old School (CB):  Las Vegas coffee company delivers a lightly effervescent brew that recalls the aroma of a fresh-brewed pot of classic diner Joe with good body, mild acidity, and minimal bitterness.

6. illy issimo Caffè No Sugar (IC): This Italian coffee company offers outstanding, bold taste with all the qualities of freshly-brewed espresso (cold): velvety texture, measured earthiness, balanced bitterness, and a smidge of caramel.

7. Bob Marley’s One Drop- Coffee (IC): Made from Jamaican beans, the taste is creamy, sweet, and smooth with subtle vanilla and cane sugar flavors.

8. UCC Original with Milk (IC): The original coffee in the can from Japan is light, sweet, milky, slightly bitter, and charming in its simplicity.

The Buzz:  If you’re more of a Frappuccino fan and prefer your coffee softened with sweetness, then go more for the traditional iced-coffee.  Drink cold brew if you enjoy a well-crafted coffee-flavored coffee, tend to enjoy your coffee unadulterated by cream and sugar, or are worried about your hipster street cred.

This piece originally appeared in VEGAS SEVEN http://www.vegasseven.com

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