The Best Flavored Cold-Brew Bottles, Ranked
Cold brew is perfect when you want a cup of coffee, but don't want third-degree burns in your mouth. There are plenty of options for bottled black cold brew on shelves, and you should go out and buy them all right now. But what if you want something cold, caffeinated, and with a sugary, flavored kick? We've got you covered with the best flavored cold brew in America -- read on to find out if the best flavored coffee is with vanilla, chocolate, chicory, coconut, or chai.
This has no sugar and way stronger coffee flavors than other Califia Farms varieties. And coconut cream! And 2g MCTs, which is an ingredient you care about if you do CrossFit! This isn't my cup of (cold-brewed) tea. It tastes like chugging pancake batter. Perhaps they should've added sugar. And made it not taste like pancake batter.
I got salt and caramel notes, but they didn't mix too well. For a moment, it was like drinking straight salt. A hint of coffee comes out in the finish, but the "almondmilk" overpowers it. Perhaps Califia Farms should've called it Salted Caramel Almondmilk.
I enjoyed the Frappuccino-level thickness of this drink, and it finishes with nice cinnamon notes. But I couldn't taste the coffee at all. It'll remind you of a watered-down horchata.
The stevia flavors here aren't as forward as they are in the other High Brew drinks, but using stevia is probably the only way it can manufacture a caramel drink with just 8g of sugar. The more you drink, the more artificial both the caramel and the stevia taste, despite the drink using "natural flavors!" As with all of the High Brew drinks, the stevia and the flavoring outshine the coffee.
I love dirty chais (chai with espresso), but this tastes like chai with no coffee. On the upside, the chai is delicious. It tastes like an iced almond milk chai you'd pay $5 for at a coffee shop, and considering buying this means you won't have to wait five minutes for someone to make it, or tip, buying this isn't a horrible value proposition.
The good news: there's only 8g of sugar for a super-strong mouthful of mocha flavors that don't taste fake! The bad news: a rush of stevia comes in at the end and ruins everything. Some people don't mind stevia! It tastes close enough to sugar for them. I am not one of those people. To me, stevia ruins drinks like an ex barging in at a wedding when the preacher asks if anyone opposes this union. Why you gotta ruin the ceremony, stevia?!
This Austin-based cold-brew brand didn't make an energy drink with coffee flavor, it's a coffee drink with a buttload of caffeine in it -- the can promises two cups' of coffee worth of caffeine in one slim 8oz can! But I'm not digging the Mexican Vanilla here. Moving on.
Strangely, this is my favorite Chameleon Cold-Brew concentrate, but it doesn't work as well in the ready-to-drink bottle. It's not as good. It's got added sugar, which it doesn't need, as the chocolate in here is already delicious and sweet. And the aftertaste is a bit cloying, too.
The Hiball has a smooth vanilla flavor -- granted, it helps that it also has 25g of sugar -- but it reminds me of Starbucks' vanilla cold brew. It's more of a flavored milk energy drink than a coffee one, which makes sense considering nonfat milk is the first ingredient. And there's 120mg of caffeine in this (shoutout to guarana!), which will give you a solid kick in the pantalones -- a normal cup only has 95mg.
I like the cocoa notes here, which mix well with the almond milk. And I actually get a hint of coffee flavor at the end, which so far has been lacking from this line of drinks. It's faint though, like that tattoo on the sole of your foot.
This is a New Orleans-style beauty in that it's loaded with delicious chicory flavors. The best part of every Chameleon coffee is that with a lot of these other cold brews, I'd wait for a wave of stevia or a cloying aftertaste after the initial pop of flavor. With this? It's a smooth, rich coffee flavor followed by chicory, followed by more coffee. And at 9g of sugar, it's less sugary than most of the cold brews I've tried. Chameleon knows what it's doing.
It's packaged in the kind of carton you'd get milk in in middle school, so this is fun to drink already! It also helps that it's straight-up delicious. Twenty-three grams of sugar don't hurt, but this is a chocolate lover's heaven. You can tell Peet's spent money on top-notch cocoa to make this. The only downside is that this is only available in select Peet's cafes and supermarkets in the Bay Area. The upside? It's rolling it into new markets soon. Once it does, Stumptown better be scared. Oh wait, both companies are owned by the same Luxembourg-based conglomerate now. Synergy!
Vanilla, almond, and cinnamon flavors combine in this Mexican coffee, and all three of them layer nicely atop one another to make one of the more offbeat cold brews you'll find on the market. Califia and High Brew tried to pull off something similar with their Mexican drinks, but this is the best in class.
This is adult chocolate milk. It's grown-up Yoo-hoo, and I am not saying that as a slam in any way. The coffee flavors are mostly in the finish, but when that first sip hits your mouth, it's pure chocolate all the way. Glorious chocolate. People love cold brew. And adults should really be drinking more chocolate milk. Stumptown has found the middle ground between the two.
This cold brew balances the coffee and vanilla flavors nicely, and there's only 7g of sugar -- Chameleon doesn't need 25g of sugar for its coffee to taste good, unlike some other cold-brew makers that will remain nameless. The one downside: I feel like a vanilla coffee without milk is a bit of a shame. There's a reason French vanilla creamer is delicious -- it's creamy! This is a black coffee with vanilla. If Chameleon ever decides to add milk to its coffees in the ready-to-drink bottles, I'd be an even bigger fan. And yet on its own, it's still so good it deserves the No. 3 slot.
Let me start by expressing shock that this is anywhere near the top of the rundown here. Strike one: it's dairy-free. Strike two: it only has 13g of sugar, compared to the 25g elsewhere. Strike three: coconut coffee sounds horrible. But here's the thing: it tastes fantastic. And I think it's because it's deceptively simple -- its only ingredients are cold brew, coconut cream, and sugar. And it works. The coffee and coconut flavors blend beautifully. It's like drinking a coffee milkshake with a little coconut mixed in.
Cold brew isn't in the name of this drink, but make no mistake -- this is cold-brewed coffee at its best. This version in a carton doesn't quite do justice to the coffee that has folks in the Bay, NYC, and LA lining up daily, but it's still damn good. Good enough, in fact, to be the best flavored cold brew on the market. Yeah, it's loaded with sugar (19g), but no other option layers coffee, cream, and chicory together so seamlessly. It's currently only available in Blue Bottle-blessed cities. But as Blue Bottle grows, so will this cold brew's dominance.
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