August is basically over and the sun is gone by 8, which is why it's a bit odd that Starbucks is just now jumping on the summer cold-brew train. Grub Street reports that the world's pre-eminent coffee chain is testing cold brew coffee—which is stronger and arguably tastes better than hot coffee dumped over ice—in select Starbucks stores throughout New England.
Starbucks is trying to stay relevant with caffeine junkies whose taste buds are increasingly gravitating toward a new generation of third-wave roasters, like Chicago-based Intelligentsia and Blue Bottle in the Bay. Fancy espresso slushies are out, meticulous brew methods like pour-overs and vacuum pumps are in, and suddenly the Seattle-based chain is the incumbent whose perch is threatened.
Better late than never, I guess? Unless everyone moves onto Kyoto iced coffee next.
[h/t: Grub Street]
[Image: Flickr user Joshua Kirby]