Review: Commonwealth Cold Brew
Covers Products: Beantown Blend, Festivus
Commonwealth Cold Brew is a line of micro-roasted cold brew coffees that come in a ready-to-drink format. Made in the Boston area and launching with a regional focus, the product is focused on delivering the highest quality, smoothest flavor possible.
To do this, they’ve employed specialty coffee roaster Hogan Brothers Coffee to roast the beans, which are then brewed in cold, filtered water for 24 hours. It’s a process that sounds relatively similar to what other high-end cold brew coffee purveyors follow -- and the high-quality liquid that they’ve created can definitely hold its own.
There are currently two flavors being offered: Beantown Blend and Festivus. Beantown Blend is their flagship and it offers an extremely smooth but bold blend of Colombian coffee. It has slightly nutty and chocolate notes, but its smooth, low-acid flavor is really what is most impressive. Festivus, which is a seasonal offering for Winter 2016, is infused with chocolate and vanilla during the brewing process. Flavoring it during the brewing process, rather than after, makes for something that seems pretty unique and more integrated into the flavor of the product. There’s a really nice vanilla aroma to it -- and you can definitely taste the flavor of the chocolate and vanilla in the liquid. Both of these flavors are really quite enjoyable and are a nice starting point for the brand.
Packaging is an 8 oz. apothecary-style bottle. They’ve given it a clean, illustrated label, which definitely looks the part of the category. However, we wish the Commonwealth logo stood out more. In its current form, which has rather thin lettering that blends in with the background, it’s easy to miss. As a result, it’s a nice looking product, but it doesn’t visually connect in a way that it stands out or is overly memorable. Also, the smallish opening is a little awkward to drink out of. We’re honestly not sure if this is something that will be an issue or if it’s something that we will all just get used to.All in all, Commonwealth Cold Brew is a nice regional offering in the cold brew coffee category. We’d be hard pressed to say that this product is adding anything new to the category from an innovation perspective, but it’s definitely a worthy offering that will please anyone who buys it. It’s hard to say if this product has enough to go beyond the New England market, but as a local & artisanal offering, we think it can succeed on its home turf.