La Colombe Cold Brew: jet fuel in a beer bottle

My hosts at last night's signing at Philadelphia's Indy Hall co-working space did a lot to make me welcome, but most of all, they supplied me with rocket-fuel. The fuel took the form of a bottle of La Colombe Pure Black Cold Brew, a deceptively smooth, dark, chocolately cold-brew coffee that comes in a 12oz beer bottle. Deceptively smooth because this stuff is, as noted, pure rocket-fuel. They gave me a bottle for the road that I cracked in my hotel room this morning before heading to DC, and it practically had me plastered to the ceiling, despite its mellow flavor, and in a very good way.

I drink a lot of cold-brew on the road (I use the radical hotel-room coffee independence method to make cold-brew in breast-milk bags that I put in the minibar fridge overnight) but La Colombe was a cut above even the excellent stuff I make myself.

Pure Black Cold Brew


    1. It does not. I kept a 4-pack in my office for about a month and threw them in the fridge as needed and didn’t notice any taste irregularities.

  1. Is there a good way to heat cold-brew coffee without ruining the flavour or adding a lot of milk?

    I’m intrigued to try it, but I need a cup of something hot in the morning, especially heading into winter.

    1. If you can find (or make) a cold brew concentrate, you can just heat water in a tea kettle and add it, typically at a 1:2 or 3 ratio of coffee to water. Been doing the concentrate thing for about a year now, and it’s ruined me for regular coffee

  2. Not to be a pedant, but it’s ‘La Colombe’ ;)

    It’s really awful that I’ve developed an acute intolerance to caffeine: I miss that buzz.

    1. Agree about the caffeine intolerance.  Mine is not horrible, but a steady intake of caffeine and I get the jitters and all kinds of other issues (even if it’s just a cup of coffee or soda a day.)  I think mine probably stems from the steady intake of Mt. Dew and sweet tea starting around age 5.

      1. I first get an exaggerated version of typical caffeine effect (super hyper, speech sounds like Quentin Tarantino’s, even colours and sounds seem too intense and distracting…) then I crash. That’s what’s very unpleasant: strong jitters, feeling like I’m going to pass-out, palpitations, headache. I’m a wreck for a few hours. These effects happen with rather little intake (a cup of caffeinated tea will do it).

        I didn’t use to drink ridiculous amounts of caffeine, some green tea daily and an occasional cup of coffee or energy drink. The switch happened overnight (dammit).

        1. sorry to be so probing, ignore if wanted..  any past heavy stimulant use?  adhd medications, diet pills, or illicits?
          i have a (non-scientific) theory that this use can influence far future caffeine effects. 

          1. bummer.  i feel for you.  i get some non-optimal effects if i take too much.  i’m probably just getting old(er)

        2. I get similar strange effects…actually a cup of coffee drunk, say, at 9 AM, will hit me a second time in the middle of the night, around 3-4 AM, when I’ll wake up with a strong caffeine effect, unable to return to sleep.  It doesn’t seem to have this effect if I do a lot of physical exercise after drinking the coffee, but if I’m merely doing problem sets or online work, the “second onslaught” of coffee effects happens consistently.  I’ve been unable to determine why this might happen, since most of the caffeine should have been degraded after this time period. 

  3. Just to get the brand its proper recognition and further googling, it’s spelled “La Colombe.” They’re amazing roasters that supply a great number of the coffee shops here in Philly, and they have very talented baristas at their shops. Glad you enjoyed it!

    1. Wasn’t that the elixer Jack drank in Big Trouble in Little China right before they went into Lo Pan’s place?

      And Cory, the link to your cold press method is going to change my life.

      1.  BBOTE is what was in the underground river. “Hey Egg, what is that?” Black Blood of the Earth.” “What, you mean like oil?” “No, I mean Black Blood of the Earth!”
        I don’t htink the elixer had a name (could be way wrong), though I think it came out of a Six Demon bag.

        P.S. — Oh yeah, cold-brew is awesome. We (calgary’s oldest roaster, the Roasterie) do 12-24 hour drips. Currently sippin’ on a french roasted Congolese, Kivu estate.

  4. anyone ever try the stumptown coldbrew?  it’s also available in beer-type bottles (more like a sessions bottle).  i have it often in the summer.  it’s a bit bitter for my taste, but damn is it strong.  i’m not really a coldbrew expert though.

    1. Yes. Love the stuff. Haven’t had it lately because I haven’t been near there lately. I’ll be stopping there tomorrow though. I always mix my coffee with half & half, so even if a brew is somewhat bitter it really mellows it out.

  5. Any one know the nutrition info on this?  Pure coffee = good.  Coffee with added carbs = bad.  :)

  6. Coffee in beer bottles. That’s going to get some people pulled over when they swig it on their morning commute.

    Seriously, though — I adore cold-brewed coffee, but all the straining can get annoying, especially since I can’t make more than a few days’ worth of concentrate at a time or it will spoil (even in the fridge). Bottled cold-brewed coffee is a brilliant idea.

  7. I got to try this before it came out and i have been a fan since. I normally take my coffee with cream and sugar however there is no need with this drink. It tastes like it has a sweetener but it doesn’t, just coffee.

  8. There’s a couple of La Colombe’s in NYC as well.  One right near my friends house.  They do have the best coffee there and I always get a few pounds to bring back to Maine.  This stuff looks terrifying but intriguing.  I will have to investigate.

  9. Oh. My brain is throbbing with a need for this. How would this take to milk / how does this interact with the tummy? (I used to drink my coffee black but had to stop several years ago as the acid was causing me stomachaches. Milk seems to alleviate that.)

    1. Find a coffee shop/type of bean that has a lower acidity.

      I had to stop going to the coffeeshop near my house when they got a new barrista. I think they just put it through the machine slightly hotter or something and the acidity would give me serious heartburn. Thankfully a new coffee shop opened up and I ended up working there. Now it’s only when I get to about 6 shots of espresso in a day do I start getting problems… 

      Although right at the moment I’m in Toronto for a few months where good espresso is hard to find. 

Comments are closed.