I swung by the 3rd Avenue Stumptown this morning and picked up a bottle of their newly-packaged Cold Brew coffee. I was curious how the bottled version would stand up to fresh cold-water extract (man, I can't wait until the weather necessitates ordering iced coffee again). The difference is pretty minimal. I suppose it makes sense, as the process involves prolonged steeping to begin with; it's not like drinking day-old espresso.
The guy at the counter told me that they've switched from Hairbender to their House Blend. Whatever they're doing is working. There's great body, and a subtle chocolaty aftertaste...it's nothing like the sugary drinks Starbucks sells in gas stations (not that those haven't gotten me through many a road trip...I don't want to seem ungrateful).
When I posted about this earlier in the week, a couple people were taken aback by the price ($3.50 a bottle). Yes, it's a bit expensive, but cold-water extract is always a higher price point than regular drip coffee. When you take into account bottling and distribution—especially when the product has such a relatively short shelf-life—I think it makes sense. It seems comparable to buying an Odwalla or a Kombucha or something. I'll be curious to hear what other people think, but I can definitely foresee these stumpy little bottles coming in handy when it comes time for summer camping trips or river days.