With Summer's arrival here in the Northern Hemisphere, there has been an inevitable influx of cold coffee drinks making their debut in cafés and grocery stores across the country. Of course, cold coffee drinks are great at any time of year, which is probably why La Colombe didn't wait too long to release their Draft Latte to the masses in a convenient ready-to-drink can.
The Draft Latte was conceived as a more convenient way to serve up iced lattes to La Colombe's customers. Traditionally, an iced latte is made by pulling a shot of espresso, steaming milk, and then pouring the combination over ice.
Suffice to say, it isn't a quick process. So La Colombe's CEO, Todd Carmichael, tinkered with a recipe before finally coming up with something that tasted great and could be served on tap at La Colombe cafés.
Well, less than a year after the Draft Latte's in-store release, it was released in ready-to-drink form so that the drink could be distributed to a wider audience, particularly those who don't live near any La Colombe locations (me).
About The Draft Latte
So what is a “Draft Latte”?
You can see an awesome explanation for how the Draft Latte is made here, but I'll provide the short version as well:
- Cold pressed espresso from freshly roasted La Colombe coffee
- Hormone-free milk from grass-fed cows
- 14g of cane sugar
- Unique pressurized can that froths the ingredients when opened
To learn about how I rate ready-to-drink coffee, go here.
The texture of this coffee is great, especially when considering the fact that it comes in a can, where I feel a lot of texture can be lost (see Stumptown's Nitro Cold Brew for an example of this).
The sweetness wasn't overbearing either. If anything, it was more of a creamy sweetness.
To me, the one shortcoming regarding the taste was the coffee itself. In my opinion there simply wasn't enough coffee flavor.
Of course, La Colombe has the difficult job of finding the perfect balance in flavor here, and I actually think this drink appeals more to the masses who don't drink their coffee black.
For first-time buyers, the price is an A+ at only $10 for a 4-pack. You can get free shipping with your first order by signing up for the La Colombe email newsletter found in the footer of their website.
This obviously works out to an unprecedented $2.50/can, which still feels too good to be true.
I hope La Colombe continues to keep prices for the drink this low.
I'm impressed with the ingredients. As they say in the “How It's Made” video I embedded above, this is simply coffee with no bullshit.
Hormone-free, grass-fed cows provide the milk. There is sugar, but at least it's real sugar. And of course, high-quality, freshly roasted coffee sourced directly from top-notch coffee farmers.
I personally think the drink would have been better off with a little bit less sugar and a little bit more coffee, but overall I think La Colombe did a near-perfect job with the ingredients used in the Draft Latte.
At the moment, distribution is pretty limited if you are looking to pick this up at your local grocery store or café. However, this is a non-issue if you shop online and take advantage of the free shipping on your first order (remember, you must sign up for their email list first to receive the promo code).
I imagine that this will become more widely available in the near future, but for now this is really one of the few shortcomings of the Draft Latte.
La Colombe is currently working on three alternative flavors for their already-popular Draft Latte.
According to their webpage, the following drinks are in the works:
- Pure Black & White (cold pressed coffee with frothed milk)
- Draft Mocha (same as Draft Latte, but with Cocoa added too)
- Almond Milk Draft Latte (substitutes the cow milk with almond milk)
I can't wait to try all of these!
Is La Colombe's Draft Latte right for you?
If you like iced lattes, then you should definitely give La Colombe's Draft Latte a shot.
It beats the snot out of many of the iced lattes I've tried directly from cafés in terms of taste, so for that reason alone I think it's worth it.
If however, you don't enjoy cold coffee drinks or coffee drinks with a pretty subdued coffee flavor, you probably won't like the Draft Latte too much.
And while I do consider myself mostly part of this latter camp, I still enjoyed the Draft Latte thoroughly. So hey, maybe you'll like it too?
Tried The Draft Latte?
If you've tried the Draft Latte I'd love to hear your thoughts. Leave a comment or review below. Also, if you have questions about this drink, ask away!