When Starbucks announced they'd be doing cold brew, we knew it was only a matter of time before everyone would be ordering the drink like it was something new and different. But it's not: there's plenty of places in Broward and Palm Beach that offer up the cold-brew coffee here in South Florida. You just need to know where to look.
For those of you still not 100-percent sure exactly what cold brew is, here's some clarification: cold brew is coffee steeped using cool water, while traditional iced coffee is made by brewing hot coffee at double-strength, served over ice. Going one step further, iced espresso beverages – like iced lattes or iced caffè Americano – are made by combining espresso shots with cold milk, water, and ice.
Now that the temps have reached their peak, there's no better time than the present to get out there and find you favorite cup of cold brew. Here's where to find the best in South Florida:
10. Common Grounds Coffee Bar
12 South J St., Lake Worth. Call 561-318-8980, or visit commongroundscoffeebar.com.
Formerly Coastars, Common Grounds Coffee Bar opened in the same spot off J Street in downtown Lake Worth. This quaint coffee shop serves everything caffeine related — both hot and cold — from pour overs and cappuccinos and cortaditos to flavored iced coffees, iced lattes, and cold brew. The roast of choice at this coffee shop is Rabbit Coffee, roasted nearby in Riviera Beach, which is used to make the in-house cold brew. Rabbit's own cold brew is also available in glass bottles.
9. C Street Cafe
319 Clematis St., West Palm Beach. Call 561-469-9959, or visit facebook.com/cstreetcoffee.
C Street Cafe is a cavernous, cool coffee shop located off Clematis Street in downtown West Palm Beach. The cafe serves food — sandwiches, salads, and soup or breakfast type food like pastries available until 11 a.m. Of course, there’s also an impressive assortment of gourmet coffee, including cold brew made in-house and steeped for 24 hours before serving over ice with your choice of cream, milk, or added sugar.
8. Beat Cup Cafe
660 Linton Blvd., Delray Beach. Call 561-330-4693, or visit thebeatcupcafe.com.
The Beat Cup in Delray Beach isn't your average coffee shop or café. Walking in, you're not quite sure what it is. An art gallery? Consignment shop? Bookstore? But that's the point. After opening in May 2011, the Beat Cup has undergone many changes. Today, it is what can only be described as a quiet artists enclave that also just so happens to serve some pretty good coffee. The shop is well-known for two things: its specialty handmade empanadas and a family recipe for savory corn pancakes, stuffed with vegetables or chicken. And what started with a single espresso machine grew to a menu that today serves a variety of coffee drinks all created with Panther coffee from Miami, from a regular cup of coffee, to cold-brew iced coffee, iced yerba mate tea, and lattes. Our favorite: the frozen coffee made from cold brew and blended with milk, ice, and your choice of vanilla, caramel, or chocolate.
7. Brew Urban Cafe Next Door
537 NW First Ave., Fort Lauderdale. Call 954-357-3934, or visit facebook.com/brewnextdoor.
Tucked into an almost clandestine location inside Fort Lauderdale's C&I Studios, Brew Urban Cafe Next door originated as an offshoot of the first Brew Urban located in downtown Himmarshee Village (now closed). Next Door took off, however, a large open space that resembles a library but serves some of the best coffee around. For all its coffee drinks — both hot and cold — Brew uses locally roasted Wells Coffee. But cold brew gets its own brew method — two, to be exact. In addition to Wells, baristas also use various single origin coffees, primarily from Colombia and Honduras, to make their house cold brew in small batches steeped for 18 hours and using the toddy brew method. For East African coffees, a yama cold brew dripper is employed. Talk about fancy.
509 Northwood Rd., West Palm Beach. Call 561-833-6366, or visit haroldscoffee.com.
Coffee snobs looking for an artsy hang and Intelligentsia-brand beans, this is your spot. This eclectic coffeehouse plays the perfect host for painting exhibits and photographer meetups, and it's great for just hanging out. It's also on top of the latest coffee trends. Special-order a siphon brew that results in a beautifully mild cup of coffee. Or be all made-to-order cool with a hand-pour java. And you can always keep it simple with a plain ol' cup of espresso. Get a coffee education while you're here: The well-informed staffers will tell you how a French press creates a unique flavor or how to detect notes of floral, caramel, or toast in your roast. This specialty shop uses the Blue Bottle Kyoto-style cold-brewing system, a fancy-looking and somewhat costly setup composed of tall, fragile, glass drip towers, traditionally called an Oji machine in Japan. Drip by drip — 48 drips per minute, to be exact — the Oji produces a six-cup batch after around seven hours. If this sounds highly specialized, that's because it is. Small batches with extremely high caffeine content means the drink is typically prepared by pouring four ounces over ice for an exceptionally deep, smoky, and light-bodied coffee experience.
5. Warsaw Coffee Company
815 NE 13th St., Fort Lauderdale. Call 954-990-4189, or visit warsawcoffee.com.
Fort Lauderdale, you've been caffeinated — thanks to Warsaw Coffee Co., which opened earlier this year. The 3,800-square-foot space has indoor and outdoor lounge spaces, an onsite pastry kitchen, walk-up and drive-through barista bars, and rentable office "flex" space. Inside, pastry phenom and partner Jason Morale creates from-scratch delicacies: cookies, pop pastries, muffins, and cakes to name a few. But don't forget the coffee, a full menu of hot and cold beverages featuring nearby Fort Lauderdale roasters, Argyle Coffee Roasting. Try the affogato, a coffee-based beverage typically made with ice cream or gelato and a shot of hot espresso. The drink menu includes espresso shots and the standard selections like Americanos, macchiatos, cappuccino, and lattes. If you're looking for fresh-brewed offerings, take your pick of various pour-over methods including French press and Kalita. On a hot day, the cold brew is where it's at, a special blend roasted just for steeping cold. It's even available by the bottle to take home.
4. Oceana Coffee
221 Old Dixie Hwy., Tequesta. Call 561-401-2453, or visit oceanacoffee.com.
The trick to any and all consumables (aside from liquor and wine, at least) is that the fresher the product, the stronger the flavor. When it comes to coffee, the faster the beans make it from roaster to cup, the better the product. The first roaster to open up shop in Broward and Palm Beach counties combined, this Jupiter spot offers the freshest cold brew found within the area's confines. It uses a sealed Toddy system to produce a smooth, low-acid concoction from one of its many medium blends. For customers looking to try their hand at brewing their own, the store sells everything needed, from equipment to beans.
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509 Clematis St., West Palm Beach. Call 561-318-5142, or visit subculturecoffee.com.
Former Habatat Coffee founder Sean Scott and restaurateur Rodney Mayo paired up to open Subculture — West Palm Beach's first coffee roasting facility. Today, their downtown shop is one of the best places in Broward and Palm Beach to grab a cup. It even won New Times' pick for Best Coffee Shop Fort Lauderdale and Palm Beach - 2014. Set right on Clematis Street, it's the real deal. Mayo and Scott actually roast the beans onsite. Small batches are then cold-brewed in a Japanese-style Oji machine, which creates a rich and flavorful liquid. And it's one of just a few places in the area to use the elaborate process. Since then, they've opened a second shop in Delray Beach, and are looking to grow the brand throughout South Florida. For now, you can find their fresh-roasted coffee and homemade home brew at both the West Palm Beach and Delray Beach shops.
2. Sip Java Co.
638 N. Federal Hwy., Fort Lauderdale. Call 954-990-5597, or visit sipjavaco.com.
Six-month-old Sip Java Co. opened in the shopping plaza off Federal Highway in December, and has since been serving up a variety of hot and cold coffee drinks. The team here uses a specialty blend from Anodyne Coffee to make their cold brew, which is course ground and brewed using an old-fashioned toddy system, then steeped for 24 hours. The result is a smooth, balanced cup of cold brew available by the glass or in take home bottles for $6.40 (return the bottle and refills are $5.40).
1. The Alchemist
2430 NE 13th Ave., Wilton Manors. Call 515-981-6165, or visit thealchemistcoffee.com.
The Alchemist may very well be one of South Florida's most adorable hidden gems, a homey coffee shop at the end of a quiet street. Behind a tall wood fence you'll find a garden-like grotto patio area where patrons eat and drink in quiet conversation. Inside, order from a menu of hot and cold coffees, including syphon — the house method of brewing. Of course, there's also a killer cold brew. The beans are roasted on site and cold-steeped for 24 hours. From there, the resulting cold brew is mixed with brown sugar and sweetened condensed milk for a rich, creamy flavor and poured into a giant glass dispenser where it infuses further. Order up a cold brew and one of the baristas will hand-shake the brew with coffee ice cubes before serving in a glass mason jar with a rather unique handle.
Nicole Danna is a food writer covering Broward and Palm Beach counties. To get the latest in food and drink news in South Florida, follow her @SoFloNicole or find her latest food pics on the BPB New Times Food & Drink Instagram.