Cold brew coffee concentrates are blowing up the scene! Every ad I see these days is about a new company coming out with their own cold brew coffee concentrate. It’s no surprise when I discovered 365 Whole Foods Market Vanilla Cold Brew Coffee Concentrate.
When I started making cold brew years ago, there was no such thing as a cold brew concentrate. Come to think of it, the first cold brew concentrate I ever tried was the Starbucks Cold Brew Coffee Concentrate. They have been selling their own cold brew coffee since 2014. Anyhow, 365 Whole Foods has recently come out with their own cold brew coffee concentrate and I wanted to give it a try.
Whole Foods Market Vanilla Cold Brew Coffee Concentrate
What is 365 Whole Foods Market Vanilla Cold Brew?
Cold brew coffee is not actually brewed in a cold environment. It’s more often brewed at room temperature. But, let’s be honest, room temperature brewed coffee doesn’t have the same ring to it. Cold brew coffee is made with a coarse grind of coffee beans. This ensures that the coffee beans don’t get over extracted and create a bitter taste. The coffee grounds are then steeped in water for an extended period of time, usually 12-24 hours. This allows for all of the delicious flavors to be extracted from the coffee beans without any of the acidity. This is exactly how it’s done at your favorite coffee shop.
The resulting concentrate is a super smooth and slightly sweet drink that can be enjoyed straight or diluted with milk or cold water. 365 Whole Foods Market Vanilla Cold Brew Concentrate is made with organic vanilla extract which gives it a lovely flavor profile on top of the smooth coffee taste. You can drink it cold (highly recommended) or you can actually heat it up and make a nice hot coffee. It wasn’t as good as a hot brewed coffee, but I tend to drink straight black coffee without any sweeteners.
What’s in the Bottle?
The bottle I purchased contained 32 ounces of delightful coffee. The concentrate is shelf stable and doesn’t need to be refrigerated until after it’s opened. The concentrated coffee is fresh for at least a week in the fridge, but I doubt it will last that long.
Everything is USDA organic certified, so no pesticides or chemicals were used to make the concentrate. All of the ingredients are non GMO and labeled by weight, not volume. So you know exactly what you’re getting!
This brew is slightly sweetened, so there are a few more calories than plain cold brew, but not many (40 calories per serving). There is real vanilla bean extract used in the bottle as well as a few other natural ingredients that make up the sweet taste of this cold brew concentrate.
There was some sediment in the bottom of the bottle. I took a close look and 365 Whole Foods is definitely using coarsely ground coffee. This is exactly how I create homemade cold brew.
The bottle is a is dark brown which is great because sunlight can actually damage the flavor of cold brew over time. If you don’t plan to open it for a while I still recommend you store it in a dark place.
Flavor: Does it taste good?
Made with 100% Arabica beans, this brew is sweet and smooth. The vanilla flavor is very apparent but not so much that it overpowers the coffee. I love that the sweetener is all natural and doesn’t have that artificial taste to it.
I would definitely recommend this cold brew to anyone that loves a good vanilla flavor profile. It would also be great for people that don’t like black coffee because the vanilla flavor compliments the smooth texture of the cold brew.
The concentrate can be enjoyed straight, but I prefer to add milk to mine. The milk adds an extra level of creaminess that makes it even more enjoyable. If you are used to drinking iced coffee, this cold brew is really going to stand out to you.
Roast: How dark do we get?
I couldn’t determine the roast of level of the beans used to make this cold brew. It tasted more like a medium dark roast. It had a light smokey flavor and was just bold enough to stand out when you add milk. If you are into dark roast cold brew then you might be slightly let down.
The benefit of not being too dark is that you can drink it straight if you want a little more flavor, but it still tastes great when you dilute with cold water. I found I could add a couple of ice cubes and sip on it while I typed away on the keyboard for a while.
Body: Heavy or Smooth?
Once you dilute this concentrate, it has a light body. Cold brew is meant to be smooth and not too heavy, so this concentrate definitely delivers on that. I didn’t feel weighed down after drinking it, which can sometimes be the case with cold brews that are high in caffeine.
The vanilla flavor is light but present and really makes this drink enjoyable. I highly recommend giving it a try if you’re looking for a delicious and smooth cold brew to drink straight or diluted.
Strength: Does it lift?
The label on the bottle says “Contains Caffeine.” This seems quite obvious for any coffee, but I didn’t notice that it had much of a kick. The coffee flavor is not as strong as other concentrated cold brews I have tasted. When I make homemade cold brew coffee, I tend to brew for a full 24 hours at least (sometimes up to 36 hours). So I really like to make a full strength brew. I make sure it’s strong enough to stand out even after I’ve added some milk and simple syrup. My typical serving contains one cup of cold brew coffee concentrate and one cup of cold milk. Then I add a few ice cubes to create the perfect iced coffee.
How Does this Cold Brew Concentrate Compare to Others?
It’s not the strongest cold brew coffee concentrate on the market. It’s similar to Starbucks Cold Brew Coffee Concentrate, but a little bit sweeter. Knowing they are using properly coarse ground coffee is a nice bonus. I wish they would put more information about the origins of their so we could know more about this cold brew concentrate recipe. The taste is great and on par with other lighter brews on the market.
If you want something darker, I would recommend JAVA HOUSE Cold Brew Coffee. The 365 Whole Foods coffee recommends a one to one cold brew concentrate ratio while some others are more concentrated. If you don’t want to make cold brew concentrate at home then there are plenty of options out there to choose from.
Get to Know 365 Whole Foods Market!
365 Whole Foods Market believe their customers should know where the products come from, how they’re grown and what ingredients they contain. From their rigorous Quality Standards to their Sourced for Good program, you can explore all the ways they are helping their customers feel good about what is being put in each basket.
They ban hundreds of ingredients in the food, supplements, body care and cleaning products they provide on every aisle (virtual and real) in their grocery store. They’re committed to serving and supporting their customers, communities and suppliers. Through their community giving programs and foundations that help support commitment to nourishing people, animals, and the planet.
All in all, 365 Whole Foods Market Vanilla Cold Brew Concentrate is a great quality cold brew coffee that has me coming back for more. The flavor is smooth with just the right amount of sweetness from the vanilla extract. I’d definitely recommend giving 365 Whole Foods Market Vanilla Cold Brew Concentrate a try if you get a chance because it’s certainly worth it!