CHICAGO (WLS) -- You've heard of iced coffee but how about cold brew? What about cold brew on tap? Several new coffee bars are offering their cold brews on draft this summer, just like your favorite beer.
They are the accessories of summer, especially next to laptops and on patios. Cold brewed coffee - made by letting room temperature water sit in contact with roughly-ground beans for at least 12 hours before filtering - it's higher in caffeine, lower in acid and made from any number of roasters at places like Werewolf Coffee Bar, which sits, hidden, in an office complex near the Kennedy Expressway.
"We're constantly changing that up, so we have Dark Matter, Stumptown, Metropolis, Passion House, Metric. We like to support local as well as small batch people from all over the country," said McKenzie Gilliam, the Manager at Werewolf.
But like a lot of 3rd Wave coffeehouses, they also have a keg (or more) of cold brew, allowing them to carry award winners like Hellion Cold Brew from Metric or Nitro from Stumptown.
"I just think it's more refreshing, it stays chilled the whole time, it stays better longer, and it's just super easy to drink," she said.
In Bucktown, at one of its two locations, Fairgrounds is also a cafe where choice is king. They have an extensive draft system, including taps from Metropolis, Dark Matter and Stumptown.
"Similar to a draft system for beer, we've incorporated that for tea and coffee as well," said owner Michael Schultz.
Schultz says the flavor really comes from how the beans are roasted or what they're infused with, but having a draft system gives his baristas - and customers - more options.
"What we can do with keg products is infuse different items into it like nitrogen; as an example, our Stumptown nitro is cold brew coffee with nitrogen so that it comes out creamy, but it doesn't have the addition of milk or anything else," he said.
You're going to be seeing a lot more than just coffee on tap around Chicago in the months and years to come, because here at Fairgrounds, they're already experimenting with things like sparkling organic teas and kombucha.
In this week's extra course, Steve talks about the unique matcha tea drinks and kombucha, or fermented tea, from behind the counter at Fairgrounds.
Werewolf Coffee Bar
1765 N Elston Ave.
Fairgrounds Coffee & Tea
1620 N Milwaukee Ave.
Also inside Chicago Athletic Association Hotel
12 S. Michigan Ave.
Cold brew coffee on tap at Fairgrounds, Werewolf, and others
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