BERGEN COUNTY, N.J. -- Ready to cool down with something hot? This summer, getting caffeinated is all about cold-brew, a centuries-old method that offers Bergen 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 on our Facebook page.
Cool Beans International Coffee & Teas, Oradell: This virtual ode to caffeine steeps its cold brew concoction for 18 to 24 hours to provide a less bitter, better tasting iced coffee that is noticeably different. Get Caffeinated: 304 Kinderkamack Rd., (201) 634-1400.
Erie Coffeeshop & Bakery, Rutherford: Battle grumpiness with some hair of the dog -- Cafe Grumpy beans. At this cozy cafe, known for its small batched baked goods, Owner Renee Faris uses the New York City based company for her cold brew, offering customers a strong, rich blend guaranteed to perk up your day. Get Caffeinated: 10 Franklin Pl, (201) 460-0073.
Ground Connection Coffee, Riverside Square Mall, Hackensack: There is an 18 hour steeping process to get the coffee grounds to really saturate, making for a satisfying cold brew sure to cool you down on a hot summer's day. Get Caffeinated: 390 Hackensack Ave., (201) 342-0051.
Koffeewagon Roasters, Hasbrouck Heights: Cold brew aficionados will enjoy the many flavors here. There is a regular cold brew, a nitro cold brew (think like a Guinness, as it's creamy and rich), an all natural coconut cold brew, as well as a different flavor the staff likes to experiment with. Manager Amy O'Hara said she recently created an orange cold brew for customers to try. Get Caffeinated: 155 NJ-17, (201) 426-0520.
Kudo Society Downtown Cafe, Palisades Park: Talk about serious stuff. According to Owner Cherie Ryu, it takes a full day to create a batch of cold brew at Kudo Society. That's because they use Yama, a Dutch coffee style using the coldest of water. Ryu even offers bottled cold brew to go as well as cold brew iced tea. On a side note the cafe also features frozen coffee cubes instead of ice cubes. Get Caffeinated : 138 W Central Blvd., (201) 242-0001.
Ridgewood Coffee Company, Ridgewood: Looking for a cold jolt of Joe? At this community minded shop you'll find cold brew coffee called Heartbreaker made using espresso beans from Cafe Grumpy. Get Caffeinated: 90 E Ridgewood Ave., (201) 493-1002.
Stray Cat Brew, Maywood: The old Moon Doggie has been transformed by former employee Michael Zier with a playful cat reference. But no worries, folks, the cafe still features the same award-winning coffee including a bracing cold brew option. Because they don't use hot water and paper filters to make it, the oils in the coffee beans aren't being burned off or soaked into the paper and instead add a creamy taste to each serving, explained Zier. "It's smoother," he said. "Many people who usually add cream or sugar to their drink can enjoy this without any additional ingredients." Get Caffeinated: 108 W. Pleasant Ave, Maywood, (201) 682-6306.
Sogno Coffee House, Westwood: Coffee is their "thing" at this coffeehouse and creperie so expect a meticulously prepared cold brew that's saturated in flavor and color using the finest Arabica beans. Get Caffeinated: 425-429 Broadway, (201) 497-3628.