I tried my very first cold brew coffee one scorching hot day in New York a few years ago, and I’ve been hooked ever since. Unfortunately, when I came back to Ottawa, it was hard, if not impossible, to find. But not anymore!
Ottawa’s coffee scene has been heating up, and cold brew is gaining popularity. It can now be found at many coffee shops around town. Here are some of the best I’ve tried.
But first… what is cold brew?
Cold brew is coffee that is brewed cold, usually for 12 hours or longer. The result is a flavourful coffee with more sweetness, and less acidity and bitterness. I normally add a bit of cream or milk when I drink hot coffee, but cold brew is so smooth I enjoy it black. A word of caution though, while it may go down smooth, there is a lot more caffeine in cold brew than in regular coffee due to the length of time that it steeps. Consume accordingly.
Now back to the best cold brews in Ottawa. Drum roll please….
#3 Equator Coffee Westboro
Equator Coffee in Westboro makes a solid cold brew, in addition to several other good hot and iced drinks. They rotate the beans they use to make the brew, but it’s usually one of their dark roasts. Not only is their cold brew delicious, it also has the lowest price tag of any cold brew I’ve seen. Check out our profile on Equator Coffee from 2015.
# 2 Bar Robo
is the new kid on the block in Chinatown. They make delicious coffee and cocktails of all kinds, and their cold brew is no exception. Bar Robo uses a Mexican medium roast for their cold brew that they roast in collaboration with Ottawa’s .
# 1 The Ministry of Coffee and Social Affairs
No one should be surprised that the folks at the have a fantastic cold brew; they take coffee pretty seriously. Their cold brew is kegged and infused with nitrogen, which gives it a silky smooth mouth feel and creates a beautiful crema-like effect on top. It looks more like a stout than a coffee.
The beans they use for their cold brew changes periodically, but are usually a medium roast, like the Ethiopian Yirgacheffe – Kochere they’ve been brewing with lately. This gets my vote for the best cold brew in town.
Want to show some love to your favourite Ottawa cold brew? Comment below if we missed one of your top picks.