Chameleon Cold Brew: Espresso Coffee Flavor Review
Chameleon is the most famous brand in the cold brew coffee game at the moment down here in Texas. Although cold brew isn’t a household name yet, ask people who know about cold brew they know the brand Chameleon. They make multiple flavors which we will be reviewing all of them eventually. The one I am reviewing today is their Espresso Coffee Flavor. According to their website the company was founded in 2010 in Austin, Texas. They use 100% organic Arabica beans and Hill Country Water to produce their drink. The beans are procured using fair trade. They actually roast their own beans in house. Chameleon actually use something called air roasting, which apparently brings out the maximum flavor of the beans but keeping them not bitter. On top of that they only roast in small batches which gives them more control of the bean. They steep the coffee for 16 hours and during that 16 hours they are actually agitated constantly. This helps get more flavor out as during the cold brew process the grinds actually settle. When it settles it is harder to pull flavor out as it is compact. This is where the agitation comes in to keep them constantly afloat.
This drink doesn’t have any sugar or creamer in it, so it is just the coffee itself. There is a nice mild coffee smell coming from the bottle it is slightly sour in smell as well. After having the first sip, the taste is very clean cut throughout the drink, meaning that as one flavor leaves the other comes through, there really isn’t any in between areas. It is very smooth and even and the flavors are very cut and dry. The initial flavor that you get is very neutral like you are drinking water, no taste at all. Then the next rush is a sour taste, but this is a slightly different sour taste then what you usually get when a coffee is just down right super acidic. It has slight notes of fruity sweetness. Then afterwards you get the bitterness, the bitterness is a lot stronger than most cold brews I have had so far. It could be a function of the fact it is espresso which is by nature a stronger drink. However if there were the case the sourness would be overbearing too but it’s not. The bitterness doesn’t come alone, it comes with a very strong and nice roast flavor behind it. The coffee flavor is proportional to how bitter the drink is. I think that the espresso in the name is just a higher concentration of coffee grinds per ounce of water. Although I think the bitterness overshadows this. The body of this is quite heavy maybe even one of the heaviest I have had. The flavor is still on my tongue almost 10 mins after my last sip. It just lingers on the tongue giving you that nice roast taste over the next 10-15 mins. The price of a bottle of this coffee is $3.49 for 10 ounces, so per oz it is $0.35. This is about the mean price for cold brew coffee.
This is a very clean drink. What that means is that as it rolls from the front of your tongue to the back there is no mixing of flavors. It is flavorless, stop, sourness, stop, bitterness. This is the first time I have had this type of experience. This may not be for everyone because of the strong bitterness, it is not as smooth of a drink as others, however, if you can stand the bitterness you are rewarded with the heaviest body in a cold brew I have had before.
*Also if you are confused about the name espresso like I originally was, I will explain what espresso means. Espresso has been come to known as the drink you get at Starbucks, which is made under super high heat steam, which would make this not a cold brew. However espresso is also the name of the bean and how they roast it. Espresso is the darkest roast and also draws out the darkest flavor and also the most caffeine (although very slightly more).
Here is a link to learn more about their cold brew: Chameleon Cold Brew: Espresso Coffee Flavor
Price: $3.49 for a 10 oz bottle, $0.35 oz.