200 years before Starbucks was a twinkle in the founder’s eyes, New Orleans had its own coffee culture.
The port of choice for Latin American coffee bean growers for most of the 18th and 19th centuries, the Crescent City has been home to coffee brands, roasters, and distributors for decades. The beginning of the ubiquitous New Orleans coffee shop can be traced to the early 19th century, when Rose Nicaud set up the first portable coffee stand near New Orleans’s iconic French Market.
One of the secrets to the great coffee served in NOLA has always been a cold-dripped process; the method uses no heat to extract the most flavorful brews from freshly-roasted coffee beans, and produces a very rich concentrated coffee.
The methodology had always been completed in very small batches, until 1989, when the late pharmacist and innovator Phillip McCrory invented an innovative cold filtration process that could be implemented on a much larger scale than previous attempts. Freshly roasted coffee beans are brewed very slowly using only cold water, and acids generally found in hot-brewed coffee are removed organically in the process.
The process perfected, McCrory began a quest for unique packaging, that would be both a brand identifier and the most efficient way to store and serve his unique brew.
Finalizing the design of a unique, double-necked bottled, to preserve freshness by limited air contact with the coffee, the New Orleans Coffee Company launched CoolBrew in 1989 with local gourmet grocery Dorignac’s as the first retail outlet. Shortly after the launch, the original Whole Foods Market, which was also located in New Orleans, took on the brew, along with other local markets.
Now celebrating its 25th anniversary, and still family owned and operated in New Orleans, CoolBrew not only prides itself on being an iconic Louisiana brand, but also is a huge promoter of sustainability in its business operation.
Their plastic bottles are recyclable, and coffee grounds are donated to local landscaping companies to make rich compost.
Available in a variety of flavors, to celebrate the company’s 25th anniversary, they have launched a special, limited time flavor of Chocolate Almond, with a deep essence of rich chocolate combined with the full-flavored nuttiness of almonds.
To make a fresh cup of hot coffee, or a tall glass of iced coffee, open the bottle, squeeze an ounce into 9 ounces of hot or cold water, add milk and or sugar if you like, and enjoy.
I’m loving the Chocolate Almond, and I’ve always been a fan of CoolBrew’s French Roast, especially as an iced Cafe au Lait style beverage.
CoolBrew is so rich and flavorful, you can enjoy it as an ingredient in your favorite recipes as well as a beverage. Some idea recipes for specialty beverages, desserts and sauces can be found on the CoolBrew website.
To find a CoolBrew retailer near you, use the company’s online locator tool; to get it sent to your home, directly, order online. If you’re heading to Mardi Gras this weekend, of course you can tote home a suitcase full!
(Editors note: CoolBrew furnished samples for this taste test).