Eating & Drinking

Ottawa’s Best Cold Brew Coffee

Cold brew is a coffee trend that’s showing some longevity. Bursting onto the scene a few years ago in places like New York and Toronto, it’s been manifesting itself in some decidedly delicious ways in Ottawa as well. And as proof that it’s not just a silly gimmick akin to “unicorn-flavored” anything (no offense to any mythical creatures who may be reading), you’ll find cold brew versions at the big stalwarts like Second Cup and Starbucks as well as many of the smaller local spots throughout the city.

The method of cold brewing coffee has been used for centuries, perhaps as a simple option when heating water simply wasn’t an option (but going without coffee never is) and cold-brewing produces a very different product than your standard iced coffee. The latter is brewed hot, poured over ice, and served cold, while cold brew is made using coarse-ground coffee steeped in room-temperature or cool water for an extended period of time (generally for 12 or more hours), after which the grounds are filtered out.

The result is a generally more concentrated, highly caffeinated coffee that, since it is never heated, is also less acidic — a win-win, in this writer’s opinion. Of course, you can mix with milk, water, and ice to dilute the brew, too, and it’s easy to make at home without fancy equipment. Here are a couple spots around Ottawa who are keeping us cool with tasty cold brew options:

Ministry of Coffee
279 Elgin St. and 1013 Wellington W.

Ministry’s cold brew is infused with nitrogen and then kegged; it’s served on tap, like beer, and when the nitrogen-infused brew is released through the pressurized valve the result is a creamier, smoother mouth feel and crema-like effect on top, almost like a stout

Origin Coffee
111 York St.

Origin is a great introduction to cold brew, using high-quality Single Origin beans that are slow-steeped in cold water for a bold coffee that takes well to cream but doesn’t need it: it’s faintly sweet-tasting on its own, with no acidity or burnt aftertaste. This awesome hangout spot offers beer and wine, too, but that’s for another roundup!

 

Happy Monday! ☕️😴

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Equator Coffee
412 Churchill Ave. N.

Equator’s crisp, balanced cold brew uses beans roasted with a vintage 1950s Probat roaster in their roastery, café, and training centre in Almonte—but you can enjoy their ethically and sustainably sourced blends on the sunny patio at their Westboro location, too.

 

We have Nitro! Creamy, well balanced , and delicious it's back on tap ☕️

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Happy Goat Coffee
35 Laurel St. and 317 Wilbrod St.

This low-key coffee and treats shop cold brews their beans in their Laurel Street location, and the result is a deep, round flavor with chocolately undertones and no bitterness. You can also find their cold brew bottled at some locations around Ottawa, including Pure Kitchen.

Barking Barista

Based in Ottawa, this husband and wife team offer coffee products made with premium beans roasted in small batches, including three unique cold brew options, all cold steeped for 16 hours and nitro-kegged: Sweet Kisses, lightly carbonated and sweetened with root beer syrup; Wet Kisses, a carbonated and unsweetened option; and Hopped Up, which incorporates hops for a different take on your favourite non-alcoholic vice. As for the company name: a portion of their sales go toward charities that help pups in need and support various dog rescue fundraising efforts.

On ice, so nice. Available at the #beechwoodfarmersmarket Saturdays 9-2.

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