Cold brew—coffee made without heat and served chilled—is a Seattle obsession during cold and warm months alike. The bold beverage packs a punch of caffeine without the acidic taste of traditional coffee poured over ice and can be found in a number of styles throughout the city.
Skip the “iced coffee” and instead ask for a cold brew on tap—once a novelty at specialty coffee shops, it has become an industry standard of sorts. Even the Starbucks Reserve Roastery and Tasting Room (*1124 Pike St; roastery.starbucks.com) now pours cold brew from a keg, bringing whole new meaning to “coffee bar.”
The best way to enjoy cold brew might be via six-pack. Many local shops like Porchlight Coffee and Records (1517 14th Ave; porchlightcoffee.com) bottle brews or even sell java by the growler.
Cold brew infused with nitrogen creates a creamy, lightly carbonated version of the caffeinated favorite, found at Craftworks Coffee (110 Republican St; craftworkscoffee.biz) and other specialty coffee shops like Seattle Coffee Works (107 Pike St; seattlecoffeeworks.com). A cross between coffee and a Guinness (without the alcohol), nitro brew poured from a tap finishes with a foamy head for extra decadence.
Following the popular coffee and beer mash-up, some craft coffee shops like Anchorhead Coffee (*1600 Seventh Ave, Ste 105; anchorheadcoffee.com) add hops to the recipe for a refreshing java drink. It’s an acquired taste (and Anchorhead offers plenty of other options, including nitro on tap), but hoppy cold brew is a must-try for any coffee-fueled traveler.
An alternative method of brewing without heat, this Japanese style takes time to prepare. At Caffe Vita (multiple locations; caffevita.com) it’s made during a period of at least six hours, as water slowly drips through a cylinder of coffee grounds and collects in a carafe. The result is a clean but bold cup, with smoky flavors similar to a scotch or whiskey
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