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]