Review: Bowery Coffee Co. Cold Brew

Posted: Oct 17, 2016 at 10:49 AM (Last Updated: Oct 17, 2016 at 11:41 AM)
Bowery Coffee Co. Cold Brew

Covers Products: Cold Brew: Original, Cold Brew: Cacao, Cold Brew: Dirty Chai, Cold Brew: Tahitian Vanilla, Cold Brew: Toasted Caramel

Bowery Coffee Co. is a Los Angeles, Calif.-based company that recently launched a five-flavor line of ready-to-drink cold brew coffee beverages.

These products are all packaged in a 10.5 oz. brown stubby glass bottles. It’s a package that’s pretty synonymous with cold brew coffee, so there certainly won’t be any issues identifying this product as such. The design, which uses white lettering and an accent color that’s unique to each flavor, feels very much like what you’d expect from a small batch coffee company. To that end, the aesthetic that Bowery has created doesn’t really stand out from what’s already out there.

As for the liquid inside the bottle, which Bowery refers to as “Hand Crafted” and “Highest Quality,” the Original offering can certainly stand up to other unsweetened cold-brew coffees that are on the market. From there, the company has decided to go into a host of flavored and sweetened offerings, including Toasted Caramel, Dirty Chai, Tahitian Vanilla, and Cacao. These flavors are all good, but not exceptional, which is, at least for some of the flavors, simply because the pairing of flavors doesn’t work. Furthermore, cold-brew coffee is about simplicity and purity -- offering something as esoteric as Dirty Chai undermines the core value proposition. From our vantage point -- which is on the sidelines watching a nearly endless supply of companies trying to get a piece of the cold-brew coffee category -- we feel as though Bowery should focus on more simple flavors (perhaps the Tahitian Vanilla and Cacao).

Still, there’s an even bigger thing for Bowery to consider: how does it tell a story in such a way that consumers connect with it. The bottles have zero explanatory copy to describe the company, the process, or anything else, and their brand has little equity compared to some of the companies that have rather large head starts. Unless Bowery has broader appeal than we’re aware of, the brand may be relegated to being a commodity player.

All in all, Bowery Coffee Co. is a good entry into the cold brew coffee category, but we’re left feeling as though there is some missed opportunity with this product.

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