Iced Coffee – Blue Bottle and Stumptown

It was quite warm in Oklahoma City yesterday, and despite missing Boston I was in the mood for an iced coffee, one of my favorite way’s to cool off. In Boston it seems like in the summer everyone is drinking iced coffee from Dunkin Donuts, which is served just like a hot coffee from Dunkin Donuts: lots of cream and lots of sugar. AKA “Regular” (or “regulah” if you’re in Southie or Dorchester or Roxbury)

They serve the coffee in plastic cups, which they then stick into a Styrofoam cup to keep your hands from freezing off; these weird cup-combos are absolutely uniquitious around Boston, so it was a shock to me when I moved to San Francisco to find that pretty much no café nearby sold ice coffee! Baristas were actually taken aback when I asked for it. I was just stunned.

The only place where I did find iced coffee is actually the one place where I had some of the very best iced coffee in my life: Blue Bottle. At the Blue Bottle shop in Mint Square I was pleasantly surprised to see “Tokyo Style” iced coffee on the menu, and ordered some. They suggested I drink it black, and told me that it was cold brewed.

It was a revelation! And no, I am not exaggerating. I had three cups in a row. It was coffee…good coffee…but cold! That may seem like a no-brainer to you, but remember I was used to drinking coffee where the taste of coffee was almost completely disguised by cream and sugar. Or, if I had an iced coffee black it would be bitter and stale. This was rich, soft, naturally sweet and very, very refreshing. It was also quite strong (I had trouble sleeping after three cups, serves me right).

On a recent trip to Portland my girlfriend took me to Stumptown, and I was blown away by how good their espressos and brewed coffees were (I’ll get around to writing a review soon), but I was also very surprised to see glass bottles of cold brewed coffee for sale. I had to try it, and it was wonderful. Cold brewed iced coffee really is the way to go, there simply is no comparison.

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