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Allen Pierleoni /

Cold coffee drinks help keep the heat away at poolside.

High Brew coffee drinks go to the taste test

Published: Thursday, May. 22, 2014 - 10:35 am

For lovers of coffee drinks who are looking for low-calorie (50 to 60) options, High Brew is sold for $2.49 per eight-ounce can at specialty stores, including Whole Foods. It’s available in four flavors — Double Espresso, Mexican Vanilla, Dark Chocolate Mocha and Salted Caramel.

The coffee drinks are “born in Austin, Texas,” says the promotional literature, adding, “Made from fair trade Arabica coffee beans and brewed with zero heat to preserve flavor and antioxidants, High Brew... is the perfect ‘guilt-free’ pick-me-up.”

We like the convenience of the slim-profile cans, and put the flavors to a taste test. Here are excerpts from what the tasters had to say:

Double Espresso: “A bit of bitter aftertaste...I like the burned, charred taste...A little watered-down...Not sweet enough...Would like it stronger...Smooth and mild. ”

Mexican Vanilla: “Nice cinnamon taste...Hoping for some chile heat…Not overly sweet, but sweet enough to dilute the coffee flavor…I could use a stronger coffee taste….Overly sweet….Cinnamon is a nice surprise…. Where is the vanilla?...Pour it over ice on a hot day and it would be perfect.”

Dark Chocolate Mocha: “It’s like drinking chocolate milk….Bitter and too sweet…The flavor misses the mark….Overly sweet and over-chocolately…. Is that an aftertaste of cherry?”

Salted Caramel: “Tastes like a chemical…. Mild caramel flavor in the background….Not a flattering combination of caramel and sea salt… About four times too sweet...Could use more salt.”

Call The Bee’s Allen Pierleoni, (916) 321-1128. Follow him on Twitter @apierleonisacbe.

Read more articles by Allen Pierleoni

About Appetizers

Chris Macias has served as The Sacramento Bee's Food & Wine writer since 2008. His writing adventures have ranged from the kitchen at French Laundry to helping pick 10 tons of zinfandel grapes with migrant farm workers in Lodi. Chris also judges regularly at food, wine and cocktail competitions around Northern California. His profile of a former gangbanger-turned-pastry-chef was included in Da Capo's "Best Food Writing 2012."

Read his Wine Buzz columns here
(916) 321-1253
Twitter: @chris_macias

Allen Pierleoni writes about casual lunchtime restaurants in The Sacramento Bee's weekly "Counter Culture" column. He covers a broad range of topics, including food, travel, books and authors. In addition to writing the weekly column "Between the Lines," he oversees the Sacramento Bee Book Club, in which well-known authors give free presentations to the public.

Read his Counter Culture reviews here
(916) 321-1128
Twitter: @apierleonisacbe

Blair Anthony Robertson is The Sacramento Bee's food critic.

Read his restaurant reviews here
(916) 321-1099
Twitter: @Blarob

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