Drinks

Cold Brew, I'm Just Not That into You

Why this iced coffee trend needs to calm the eff down
Cold Brew vs. Iced Coffee
Photo: Tasting Table

While everyone else is bemoaning the end of summer and saying a long, drawn-out farewell to iced-coffee season, I’d like to propose a silver lining. Fall doesn’t just mark PSL season, but it also relieves you from a coffee trend that’s gotten way out of hand: cold brew.

Yeah, I’ll say it. I’m sick of cold brew, and you probably should be, too.

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I love iced coffee as much as the next guy, and when the temperature climbs above 80, I’ll occasionally splurge on my way to work or for an afternoon jolt. But the thing that ruins my special treat seems to have reached a tipping point this year: We’re in a cold brew epidemic. It’s everywhere. It’s practically inescapable. It’s like when Greek yogurt descended upon grocery stores and you couldn’t find a non-Greek variety in the lot.

I understand objectively that cold-brewing coffee makes for a superior taste compared to cooling down hot-brewed coffee. But I’m sick of paying $5 for a coffee drink I won’t even be able to finish. Sometimes all I want is a light and pleasant pick-me-up, not a shock to my nervous system.

Cold brew isn’t exactly the enemy, but this summer more than any other, it felt unavoidable. I found it nearly impossible to walk into a coffee shop without the following assault occurring on my caffeine-deficient senses:

“Can I have an iced coffee, please?”

“Cold brew OK?”

BLANK STARE.

In mere seconds, a cup of cold brew would slide across the counter, and I’d be handing over my money before I even knew what happened.

Out on the streets of Manhattan, I’d join all the other cold-brew victims, buzzing on caffeine levels unsafe for crowded, high-stress situations, like squeezing into a subway car full of commuters. By the time I’d reach the office, I couldn’t even sit down at my desk. I’d take the second half of my drink to the office fridge and place it alongside all the other half-consumed cold brews, waiting in vain to be remembered by their owners.

Perhaps tomorrow we would remember to drink the other half . . . but only after opening the refrigerator door to deposit our new, freshly purchased cups.  

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