My entire life I’ve hated trends. I never understood how something that is not groundbreaking or new could suddenly become popular among a large number of people. I’m not a counterculture hippie, I’ve just been a stuffy old man my whole life and liked what I liked and did what I did and if that happened to be a trend at the time so be it. I liked pizza and wine long before it was cool to talk about liking pizza and wine. I first tried wine during a childhood trip to France with my parents, and obviously every kid likes pizza. I power pointed long before the Internet made it cool. As a child, I watched my grandpa and my mom power point and I picked it up from them. The annoying thing is that then you do it involuntarily and people think you’re doing it because it’s trendy. No, I’m a pizza-and-wine-loving power point OG.
However, this year I decided to trek out of my comfort zone and try new things. Test the hype. I won’t go into the boring details of everything I’ve tried out, but I will say I finally caved and tried cold brew. It’s popping up in coffee shops and grocery stores everywhere, I have a few friends who drink it, and obviously certain websites and podcasts have raved about it. So I had to try it.
I’ve been a coffee junkie since my junior year of high school. My parents drank it a lot and it gave me a boost for a long day of morning weights, school, and track and tennis workouts when I needed it. I didn’t become a regular coffee drinker until college, though, when I had to pull all nighters and work part time. I eventually became a coffee nerd because if I was going to drink a lot of coffee I might as well enjoy it, right? So, I did some research and learned that you want to brew and pour coffee at about 185 degrees Fahrenheit and drink it at around 140 degrees Fahrenheit. The coffee to water ratio can vary, but ideally you want 2 grams of coffee per ounce of water. This way it won’t be too sour or too bitter. For you Keurig users, never fear—each K-cup is 10 grams of coffee, meaning you should brew a 5 to 6-ounce cup. But I digress. The bottom line is I know my coffee.
Cold brew has been traced back to the Dutch in the 1600s, but now it’s a hot trend. So, obviously, I finally decided to see what this cold brew trend was all about, and I went to Publix and dropped $6 on a cold brew. What a rip off. It was sour, like many cold-served or iced coffees prepared by amateurs. It didn’t go down as smoothly as I’d hoped, and if there is supposed to be some kind of caffeine boost or enhancement, I couldn’t tell the difference between my 11 ounce cold brew and a regular 6 ounce cup of properly brewed coffee. I’ve gotten much better buzzes from espresso. I ended up dumping half and brewing myself a regular cup of coffee. Six bucks down the drain.
Today, I decided to try another brand of cold brew to see if it was just the brand. Nope. Still sour. Still average. Nothing special. I’m sure some place out there brews a mean cold brew, but I sure as hell haven’t found it, and it shouldn’t be that difficult to find a good cup of coffee anyways. Cold brew has turned out to be average at best, and way too expensive for what you get. It’s worse than a quality fifty cent K-cup, maybe even low tier K-cups. If you really need a big boost, get an espresso. Or just brew yourself two quality cups of coffee. You’ll thank me later. .