While most of the coffee I drink is specialty coffee roasted by small companies, I do like to try the larger brand options occasionally to compare. STōk is sold across the country and everywhere from Aldi to Target, so I thought it would be a good cold brew to try to compare to some of the other options I’ve tried already this summer.
To start, the main benefit to a coffee like STōk is price. For $4-5 you can get a 48 oz container of STōk cold brew (compared to a 8-12 oz can of other specialty cold brew for the same price). At the end of the day though, I found you get what you pay for.
The coffee is incredibly smooth and easy to drink; I tasted notes of chocolate and almonds. Its body was too thin though and it tasted almost watered down in my opinion. There was very little complexity to the flavor or evolution from beginning to end of sip. I also don’t like that there is no transparency with what coffee they use to make it. I looked all over their site and wrote them on Instagram to get some details, but never heard back about details of origin, souring, etc. I do like that in this unsweetened version there is not added sweetness or other additives (though the “natural flavors” in the ingredients is a bit suspect).
While outside of price I don’t think this coffee can compete with the other specialty cold brew and cold coffee I’ve tried recently, I do think it has some nice use cases:
- While a bit too thin for my preference, it is incredibly smooth and easy to drink. It could be a great drink to bring on a summer outing when you plan to share with a group.
- I haven’t tried yet, but I imagine it could be a nice mixer in mixed drinks or cocktails if you want a little coffee taste, but not something overpowering. The thinner body and more watered down taste may work to your advantage there.