Monday, 6 October 2014

Review: Sandows Cold Brew Coffee

Sandows cold brew coffee has been everywhere recently, with seemingly everyone on my instagram feed posting pictures of it, either because they love to drink it or because just the packaging has wooed them enough to make it photo-worthy.

As a big iced coffee fan myself, I thought it was about time I gave it a try, so I was thrilled when the guys behind it (Luke Suddards and Hugh Duffie - they're lovely) offered to send me one to try.

Firstly - yes, the packaging is utterly gorgeous. It's tremendous to have a bottle in the fridge at all times just to ogle it every time you open the door.

The design is inspired by Victorian strongman Eugene Sandow (hence the name), and is probably part of the reason why Sandows has already made its way into most of the trendiest coffee shops in London, as well as Fortnum and Mason!

So... is it just cold coffee then? 

Eh... no. No it isn't.

Rather than just adding ice cubes to regular coffee (a la Costa) this is top quality ground coffee beans which are steeped in coldish water for up to 18 hours before being strained and bottled - and the boys handwrite the beans' origin and the brew date on each and every bottle.

This way of making coffee means you get cold coffee without losing the intensity and flavour of the regular hot stuff.

So what's it like?

The lads suggest serving Sandows over ice, and it really is an enormous treat to drink this way.

It's far more refreshing than regular iced coffee, with a purity of flavour that I've never experienced with any other coffee, and a sort of natural sweetness that made this uniquely tasty (FYI, I never put sugar in my coffee, so don't worry that it will be too sweet for you - it's not.) I found it almost fruity in flavour, and incredibly balanced too.

It's a joy to sip a glass of this during the morning whilst working, but it's also the sort of thing I'd love as an after-dinner treat, so I'll definitely be stocking up on Sandows for future drinking...

If you want to try it in a cocktail, you can always try using it in an espresso martini.

Where can I get some?

If you're London-based, you'll find Sandows in a variety of independent wine shops, coffee bars and deli-type places - check out their stockists page for more info - but it's available for UK-wide delivery too.

You can buy individual bottles (which give two servings) for £3.95 at Fortnum and Mason, or you can buy direct from Sandows - an 8-bottle case is £30 with £4.95 delivery. That works out at about £1.87 per serving - much less than a fancy Starbucks affair - so it's well worth it.

I'm really excited to have found Sandows, and I think they're doing an extremely good thing, and doing it well. I'm pretty sure this stuff is going to be a pretty regular fixture in my fridge from now on...

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