If you need caffeine, but can’t stomach the thought of quaffing a hot cup of joe, try a cold brew — a strong yet smooth drink steeped cold or at room temperature — or an iced coffee, made the traditional way and served on the rocks. Here are 8 places with unique offerings that’ll help you chill out and wake up during this sweltering Steel City summer.
One of De Fer’s customer favorites is the espresso tonic. Colloquially known as the Sproton, it’s an espresso with house-made vanilla-lavender syrup and fresh lemon. The company, which has three locations in Pittsburgh, is about to release a cocktail version of the drink featuring Maggie’s Farm Coffee Rum, a syrup made from a Dancing Gnome Double IPA, tonic and a lemon peel garnish. Cheers to the DIPA Sproton!
With a wide selection of coffee and ice cream, The Black Canary can warm you up and cool you off during the same visit. Springdale’s newest business offers a Citrus Rose Latte that includes house-made citrus rose syrup, espresso and milk. Another popular order is the Affogato, a double shot of espresso poured over a scoop of ice cream.
Keep tabs on the whereabouts of Curbside Coffee, a camper transformed into a mobile café, so barista Heather Schrecengost can pour you a cold one. Choose from unique flavors, including white chocolate peanut butter, vanilla sweet cream and (the fan favorite) cookies and cream. Either way, you’ll be a happy camper.
Black Forge’s décor may be devilish, but the company has a sweet side. The specialty drink menu features six iced beverages — all priced at $6.66 — that double as desserts. Ritual Rites is espresso, vanilla, honey, cinnamon and cream served over ice. The Hellhound, another frosty, espresso-based treat, combines dark chocolate, cinnamon, chili and cream. Drink up, heathens.
Mechanic’s roasting team, experts on specialty coffee equipment for nearly 20 years, developed a canned Nitro Cold Brew to bring out subtle notes of chocolate, fruit and nuts and give it a creamy mouthfeel and a sweet finish. After shaking it up, sip straight from the can or quickly pour it into a glass so you can watch the hypnotic cascading effect. Six-packs of the stuff are shipping throughout the contiguous U.S.
Tonic, one of Pittsburgh’s newest cafes, has got the cure for what ails you … even if it’s heatstroke. If you need an espresso, but don’t want to feel the burn, try a chilled shot with espresso-strength flash brew concentrate with hints of agave and orange.
Redhawk is flying high these days. The Oakland-based company recently opened a Sharpsburg location, is debuting a spot inside Trace Brewing in Bloomfield on July 12, and is reopening its Downtown site — which temporarily closed due to Covid — on Sept. 1. Why is Redhawk so popular? Find out by trying a Vietnamese cold brew, an iced mocha made with Brunton Dairy chocolate milk with a double shot of espresso, or a Spro tonic that combines Red Ribbon tonic water topped with a double dose of espresso.
Cold brew coffee and freshly pressed pineapple juice? It’s a thing. With help from the Illinois-based branding firm Fresh Factory and guidance from The Pittsburgh Juice Company, Adda is now bottling and selling a variation on its most popular drink, the Shadyside Sunrise, which debuted at the company’s original cafe on South Highland Avenue, as an espresso and pineapple juice.