FAIRFIELD COUNTY, Conn. -- Ready to cool down with something hot?
This summer, getting caffeinated is all about cold-brew, a centuries-old method that offers Fairfield County residents fresh nuances in flavor, not to mention a bracing antidote to the stifling heat.
Not to be confused with iced-coffee (in which hot or chilled espresso-based coffees are served over ice), cold brew takes coffee grounds steeped in room-temperature water for up to 24 hours to produce a concentrated coffee essence which is then diluted with water, usually by 50 percent.
Prized for its lack of acidity, innate complexity and marked smoothness, cold brew is popping up everywhere -- even at select Dunkin' Donuts. We found it at the following locales but feel free to add any we've missed by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org.
Lorca , Stamford: This coffee shop is a virtual ode to cold brews with varieties that include Lorchata (cold brew coffee concentrate with horchata), Tres Leches Iced Coffee (cold brew iced coffee with our tres leches creamer), the Cold Brewser (cold brew concentrate with milk and in-house chocolate syrup), and the Cold Brew Concentrate (concentrate in a bottle that people can take home for use in baking, cocktails, smoothies, or beer home-brewing). Get Caffeinated: 125 Bedford St., (203) 504-2847.
Molten Java, Bethel: Cold brew is on tap at this community-minded cafe where any kind of Italian syrup can be added for additional flavor. Get Caffeinated: 213 Greenwood Ave., Bethel, (203) 739-0313.
Neat , Darien and Westport: Coffee is their "thing" here so expect a meticulously prepared cold brew that's rich in flavor and color. Options include the "not so neat," signature cold brew iced latte and the nitrogenated cold brew on tap. Get Caffeinated: 6 Wilton Rd., Westport, (203) 557-8955; 20 Grove St., Darien, (203) 202-7215.
Cold Roman, Raus Coffee , Farmer's Markets in New Canaan and Westport: Cold Roma isn't cold brew but it is the first and only multi-serve espresso served hot or cold in a bottle and so ranks up there on the refreshing scale. Stamford resident and Founder Donny Raus said coffee, for him, is a romance that includes everything from selecting the raw beans to assigning a roast profile to brewing the product. Each bottle of his features 16 shots per bottle and drinks like a dessert. You can find it at multiple retailers throughout the County (see website for details). Get Caffeinated: Westport Farmer’s Market every Thursday at the Imperial Avenue Parking lot from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. and at the New Canaan Farmer’s Market every Saturday at the commuter parking lot (across from the library) from 10 am. to 2 p.m.
Source Coffeehouse Bridgeport: Source is very much about telling the story behind its ingredients, connecting you with the farmer behind the beans. The cafe uses Passenger Coffee from Lancaster, PA for its cold brew blend turning an everyday morning pick-me-up into something glorious and yes, cool. Get Caffeinated: 2889 Fairfield Ave. Bridgeport, (203) 522-5662.
Tusk & Cup Fine Coffee, Ridgefield, Wilton: Shearwater Coffee is brewed here, as well as the cafe's own cold brew made with locally roasted beans from Redding Roasters, for a jolt of joe ideal for a morning or afternoon pick-me-up. Get Caffeinated: 51 Ethan Allen Hwy., Ridgefield, (203) 544-0800 or 142 Old Ridgefield Rd, Wilton, (203) 762-6230.
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