The 11 Best Cold Brew Coffees, Tested by Food Network
We tried more than a dozen store-bought cold brew coffees to find the very best ones to drink this summer and beyond!
Our Top Cold Brew Coffee Picks
- Best Overall: illy Ready to Drink Cold Brew Cappuccino
- Best Nitro Variety: Starbucks Nitro Cold Brew Splash of Sweet Cream
- Best Canned Latte: La Colombe Triple Latte
- Best New Orleans Style: Rook New Orleans Style Cold Brew Coffee
- Best to Drink Black: Califia Farms Pure Black Medium Roast Cold Brew
- Best Oat Milk Variety: Lavazza Double Shot Oat Milk Cold Brew
- Best Bang for Your Buck: Wandering Bear Hazelnut Cold Brew on Tap
- Best Cold Brew Concentrate: Jot Ultra Coffee Original
- Best “Bagged” Variety: Chamberlain Coffee Elephant XL Cold Brew Bags
- Best Jolt: Pop & Bottle Mocha Coffee Super Concentrate
- Best New Addition to Your Cold Brew Routine: Verve Honey Lavender Flash Brew Oat Milk Latte
Cold coffee season is officially upon us! Though we consider cold brew a year-round thing (in fact our Cold Brew Coffee Maker just so happens to be one of our favorite appliances), there's something about sipping on it during hot summer months that just hits differently. Whether you prefer to drink yours black or you add a splash of creamer, almond, oat or dairy milk inside, there’s no doubt that cold brew is the queen bean. If you haven’t jumped on the trend as of yet or you’re just looking for a new blend, we have some exciting news for you. After downing numerous glasses of boxed, canned and bottled cold brew concentrates, nitros and draft lattes, we’ve rounded up the best cold brew coffees you can purchase in stores and online right now. Here are all the brands that had us grabbing a second glass.
We tried illy’s ready-to-drink cold brew cappuccino and we were instant fans. The unique flavor is one of two new canned offerings available from the brand this year — the second is velvety-smooth latte macchiato. Made from illy’s signature 100% Arabica coffee blend, this cappuccino is cold brewed for 12 hours to give you a bold jolt of caffeine with subtle hints of cocoa. If your favorite part of a hot cappuccino is the bubbly foam, you won’t be disappointed either — the beverage contains a light hint of milk fat, which froths up quite nicely when you pour it over ice. Our panel of testers were also big fans of the 8.45 oz. slim can, which is the perfect size for just about any on-the-go summer activity, including pool lounging, bike riding and backyard sunbathing.
If you're a fan of Starbucks' in-store Nitro cold brew, but find yourself too busy to run in and grab one during the work week, you’ll want to add a few cans of this Splash of Sweet Cream version to your fridge. Of all the nitros we tested, this one was the only option that retained its foamy texture from our first sip to our very last. This is all thanks to the nitrogen microbubbles infused within the coffee. If you’re someone who prefers coffee drinks with a touch of sugar, you’ll also appreciate the hint of sweet cream, which keeps this cold brew from being overly acidic and bitter. Be sure to drink this one cold or over ice to get the full effect!
Making hot lattes isn't too difficult, but replicating all their luscious goodness in a cold and canned beverage is a lot harder than you might think. Not only is the milk vs. coffee ratio key, but for it to still qualify as a latte, you also need plenty of bubbles on top. We’re happy to report that La Colombe’s Triple Latte hits the mark on both of those fronts. In fact, we’d say that a good 3/4 of the beverage actually settled into a thick and creamy foam when we poured it out of the can! The coffee itself is super robust thanks to the three shots of espresso housed within it. If you rely on coffee to get your morning off on the right foot, this is the cold brew choice for you!
You can't talk (or do a taste test) about cold brew coffee without including New Orleans Style options. The distinct flavor is a beloved staple at coffee shops in Louisiana and across the country, and it’s popping up more and more frequently on grocery store shelves too. We drank quite a few NOLA varieties for this roundup and Rook’s New Orleans Style Cold Brew was hands down our favorite. The offering is one of the New Jersey-based chain’s all-time bestsellers, and after drinking just a cup worth of it, it was easy to see why. Unlike other New Orleans Style options, Rook’s is completely free of added sweeteners and syrups. Instead, Rook blends dark roasted ground coffee with chicory, then brews the mixture with cold-filtered water for several hours. The end result is a cold brew that tastes rich, smokey and slightly woodsy. One of our testers even swore it reminded them of a Hershey’s Special Dark chocolate bar! If you prefer cold brews with an extra kick, be sure to follow the brand on Instagram — they sell limited and seasonal releases year-round, including these past favorites: Banana Toffee, Coconut Mocha, Apple Pie and S’mores.
This pure black cold brew option from Califia Farms is the ultimate choice for straight coffee drinkers. The medium roast is made from exactly two ingredients — water and coffee made from 100% Arabica beans — and can even be heated up on the stove or in the microwave, if you prefer to drink your cold brew hot (yes, that’s actually a thing.) Our tasters tried this cold brew three different ways — black, with a splash of oat milk and with coffee creamer — and found it to be smooth and robust each and every time. They also all noted that there was no bitterness whatsoever when they drank it straight, which really surprised them! The blend is also available in shelf stable boxes, so stocking up is totally acceptable if you happen to love it just as much as our panel did. Like your cold brew on the sweeter side?! Be sure to check out Califia’s line of almond- and oat milk-based coffee creamers. The cookie butter flavor is out of this world!
Our testers had some pretty high standards when it came to the canned cold brew with oat milk options they drank for this roundup. Overall, they were looking for one that was equal parts creamy and smooth, with a slight touch of sweetness, and they found that while sipping on Lavazza’s brand-new Double Shot Cold Brew Coffee with Oat Milk. The canned treat, which is modeled after Italian doppios or double-espressos, is perfectly balanced with a thick and creamy layer of coffee foam on top. The drink also had chocolate tasting notes, which reminded our testers of ice cold chocolate milk.
Wandering Bear’s Hazelnut Cold Brew on Tap was a twofer for our panel of coffee drinkers — not only was it the best flavored cold brew they tasted, but it was also the only one that lasted the longest in their refrigerators. That’s because there’s 96 oz. of coffee packed inside the box! That’s the equivalent of 16 glasses. Apart from being a total bang for your buck, our colleagues also found this cold brew to be the one that gave them the biggest caffeine jolt, adding that even a small cupful went a really long way in helping them get through the dreaded afternoon slump. The nutty flavor is more light than overpowering, and more than one of our testers noted that the cold brew omitted a very pleasant aroma everytime they poured some out of the box. Wandering Bear is also the only brand we found that sells a decaf version of their cold brew, which is great for late-night coffee enjoyment.
It might surprise you to learn that cold brew and cold brew concentrate are two different things. Unlike all the other options on this list, which you can drink straight from the bottle or can if you so choose, cold brew concentrate is a lot stronger and should be diluted with milk or water before you start sipping. Our taste testers used both to dilute Jot's Original Concentrate, since it's 20 times stronger than other options currently on the market. The results were pretty stellar. "Robust," "bold" and "super-charged" were the words our panel used to describe it, so if you are someone who is looking for a cold coffee option that actually tastes like coffee, add this one to your cart asap! Note: don't be alarmed by Jot's tiny-sized bottles. Though small, each one contains about 14 cups’ worth of coffee. In fact, a tablespoon of this concentrate is all you need to make any hot or iced beverage, even affogato!
TikTokers can't get enough of influencer Emma Chamberlain's new line of ground and whole bean coffees. The brand's Elephant XL Cold Brew Bags were a hit with our testers too, who loved the convenience of being able to make the coffee overnight. Simply drop the coffee-filled bag into a pitcher or large jar, submerge it in water and refrigerate! One bag also makes about 12 cups of cold brew, so you're set for at least 2 weeks, if you choose to go with this variety. Despite having a caffeine level of 5/5, our testers did note that it was lighter than all the other bagged coffee options they tried, so be sure to keep that in mind.
If you're a fan of Pop & Bottle’s antioxidant-, collagen- and adaptogen-rich canned oatmilk lattes, you'll equally love their newest line of super coffee concentrates. The boldly caffeinated collection comes with three flavors total — Vanilla, Mocha and Original Coffee. Our panel of taste testers liked the woman-owned business' Mocha variety best of all, which they found to be heavy on both the chocolate flavoring and the caffeine. It truly gave them the jolt they were after! They also loved just how versatile this concentrate is — not only can it be poured over ice and paired with your choice of milk and coffee creamer, but you can also heat it up and use it to make a bevy of hot coffee drinks, including Americanos, lattes and cappuccinos.
If we were asked to name the "official" coffee drink of the summer, these flash brewed Honey Lavender lattes from Verve Coffee Roasters would be it. The uniquely-flavored, first-of-its-kind offering had our panel of testers raving for days (and subsequently ordering even more cans!) Unlike some of the other canned lattes they tasted for this roundup, these Honey Lavender ones had the perfect amount of oat milk, which made the drink beautifully creamy and adequately frothy. In fact, our testers were really impressed with just how long the drink remained so! The lavender flavor is nicely subtle too, in case you’re someone who isn’t a big fan of including floral notes in drinks. To quote one of our editors, "just do yourself a favor, and get 'em!"