On a sticky summer morning, it’s the rare Houstonian who craves a hot cup of java. Enter the cold brew—specifically, the liquid gold served at Antidote Coffee in the Heights, and its sister shop, Black Hole Coffee House in Montrose.
“It’s all about the beans,” says Sarina Pasha, who oversees the production, bottling and distribution of Black Hole Cold Brew, churning out up to 800 bottles a month during the summer, all by hand. The drink’s a blend of medium-roast, organic, fair-trade beans—rich, cocoa-flavored Ethiopian and bright, floral Bolivian—from Marfa-based Big Bend Coffee Roasters.
After coarsely grinding the beans, Pasha steeps them in cold water for 18 hours at 65 to 85 degrees, then runs the brew through a double filtration system. The result is a deeply fl avored, silky-smooth, chocolaty cup of joe. The concoction’s available by the glass at the coff ee shops themselves and by the bottle ($12.99 for 32 ounces, or eight servings) at Spec’s, the D&Q Beer Station and Whole Foods Market, where it’s been flying off the shelves.
If you pick up a bottle, though, remember: Dilute it. “We sell our straight concentrate,” Pasha emphasizes. In other words, the stuff packs a serious kick. She recommends making your drink with at least half water or milk. “I’ve always been a heavy cream and sugar drinker in my coffee,” Pasha says. “But with this you don’t need it.” Sometimes she takes it with a little coconut syrup.
For a super-smooth treat, try the Black Hole Cold Brew on draft at Town In City Brewing Company, where the Heights taproom pumps the diluted coffee through a specialized nitro line, giving it an even creamier texture. Or try it blended with the brewery’s clean, crisp City Porter for a buzzy summertime boost.