The Experiment: Trade espresso-based iced coffee for Trader Joe's Cold Brew Coffee Concentrate
While on a cold winter's day I love nothing more than wrapping my hands around a ceramic mug of hot coffee, on a summer morning iced coffee is just the perfect way to start the day. Typically, I use Larry's Nespresso machine to make an Americano but last week I discovered Trader Joe's new Cold Brew Coffee Concentrate. At $7.99 it's a steep price point but then you realize that this 32 ounce bottle actually makes 96 ounces of coffee when you mix it with water. It's kind of like the adult version of Kool-Aid with a wicked caffeine kick.
Since Monday morning I've substituted my espresso shots with TJ's Coffee Concentrate and it's been a successful experiment so far. The iced coffee doesn't have that depth of taste that you can only get from espresso because it's cold brewed, low in acid and fairly mild. The good thing is that you can make this your own. I like strong iced coffee so I added less water. The suggested preparation is 1 part coffee concentrate with 2 parts water or milk. I used equal parts coffee concentrate + water over ice with 1 tablespoon of creamer. It was delicious and REALLY powerful caffeine-wise. After just a few sips, I can already feel the caffeine hitting my system. If you're sensitive to caffeine, this is not the brew for you.
This is a great option if you're in an office or dorm that doesn't have a great coffee machine and you like a strong iced coffee. (This also makes traditional hot coffee. Just mix with water and microwave.) It does need to be refrigerated after opening and used within 30 days.
Experiment results: Trader Joe's Cold Brew Coffee Concentrate is a happy thing, an amped up, eye-opening happy thing.