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July 21, 2017

Hey, coffee lovers: Wawa's got cold brew now

Business Wawa
Wawa Cold Brew Patricia Madej/PhillyVoice Staff

Wawa has its roots in South Jersey.

Coffee fanatic? Good news. Wawa has joined in the national cold brew trend.

The convenience store born in Delaware County that has expanded to have a cult-like following along much of the East Coast announced this week that cold brewed coffee officially has joined Wawa' s hand-crafted specialty beverage roster. They now are available to order at the store's touchscreen kiosks across all 750-something locations.

Wawa's newest drinks come in two options: black cold brew, or "sweet cream." Not familiar with what a cold brew is, exactly?

It's different from any regular iced drink. Cold brew coffee is made by slowly steeping and soaking coffee grounds in cold or room temperature water for hours to bring out a smoother and fuller-body flavor. The process makes the drink much less bitter, too.

Still confused? Last September, PhillyVoice spoke to Ross Nickerson, the mechanical-engineer-turned-coffeemaker responsible for the Italian Market's Function Coffee Labs about the difference.

"Cold brew is a completely different thing," Nickerson said, "The coffee beans are generally ground very coarsely, and brewed in a full immersion method, like a French press, for 16 to 24 hours. The brewing water is cold, not hot."

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Nickerson continued to say that the cold brewing process does not capitalize on coffee's complex flavor molecules that are insoluble at the lower brewing temperature, however, chocolate and caramel flavors that are appealing to most palettes do emerge.

\Mike Sherlock, Wawa's chief fresh food and beverage officer, said in the company's news release that adding cold brew coffee to the menu was a natural fit.

“Providing our customers with their morning cup of coffee or afternoon pick-me-up has been part of Wawa’s heritage for many years ... " Sherlock said. "Keeping up with consumer trends and customer demand has been part of Wawa’s culture since the very beginning."

Cold brew coffees are available in 16 and 24-ounce containers and cost about $3.