Review: King's Brew Nitro Cold Brew
Covers Products: Original Black 12oz, Original Black 7.5oz, Maple Water 12oz, Maple Water 7.5oz, Bourbon & Butter, Decaf Cappuccino, Mushroom Mocha
Hailing from New Hampshire, King’s Brew Nitro Cold Brew is a multi-SKU line of ready-to-drink nitrogen-infused cold brew coffee drinks that are available in both 7.8 and 12 oz. cans.
Naturally, the flavor lineup features a black variety,but also several unique offerings, including Mushroom Mocha, Decaf Cappuccino, Bourbon & Butter, and a maple water-infused flavor (sourced from organic maple water brand DrinkSimple).
From a taste perspective, all of the King’s Brew flavors are well-executed, high quality cold brews. Original Black, which appears to be the base for most of the flavors, is smooth, bold, fresh, and has a nice texture from the nitro. It’s a fine tasting nitro cold brew, although we think it’s a stretch to call it the “best” (as their website does).
When it comes to the flavor offerings, King’s Brew has produced a mixed bag of options whose execution could use some work. Our favorite was Maple Water, which essentially creates a sweetened version of Original Black by using only maple water. Mushroom Mocha, which features chaga and lion’s mane mushrooms as well as “chocolate cream flavor concentrate,” is also nice but we question the marketability of this flavor combo. However things start to fall apart with Bourbon & Butter, which has butter flavor and bourbon extract, and continue with Decaf Cappuccino, which doesn’t have any milk and instead also uses cappuccino flavoring.
Ultimately, we see the extensive use of flavorings as a position at odds with a product that’s trying to be best-in-class. These choices definitely impact the experience and the craft of the underlying coffee.
On the outside, King’s Brew has an aesthetic that’s reminiscent of craft beer. The design is busy, but it’s effective at communicating what the product is and a small batch vibe. Giving the consumer a choice of two can sizes for the Original and Maple Water (the others are only available in the 7.8 oz) is a unique approach, although we would favor the smaller size as it’s closer to a cup of coffee. Otherwise, there’s some fine tuning that could be done but the labels are mostly in a good spot.
Overall, King’s Brew has two things going for it: a tasty core flavor in Original Black and packaging that fits the part of a craft coffee brand. However, we think there’s still some work to do with their flavored SKUs.