This post is part of our 'This Is Fire' series, where our editors and writers tell you about the products they can't live without in the kitchen.
I need a lot of coffee—like a lot. You see: I have a bustling writing career and four kids under the age of four. To say I am always on the go, bouncing from one thing to another, is an understatement.
To fuel this lifestyle, I lean on flavored coffee. But I don’t have time to head to a shop every morning (do you know what it takes to buckle four toddlers and babies into car seats?!), plus my budget doesn’t support daily barista-made brew anyway. So for years, I settled for less-than-stellar mass-made French vanilla coffee from the grocery store.
When a friend posted an expose she wrote on flavored coffee, I politely scrolled right on by. I didn’t want to know, because it seemed like my only option. (Spoiler alert: In flavored coffee, synthetic flavors and oils disguise beans past their prime.) You know what they say: Ignorance is bliss.
Thankfully, I don’t have to turn a blind eye anymore, because I recently discovered what I’m sure is to coffee what Spindrift is to seltzer. Read: All natural—and so, so delicious.
High-quality Vietnamese coffee
Makes pour-over coffee easy
Comes in delicious flavors
More expensive than store-bought
Copper Cow Coffee is high-quality Vietnamese coffee—a sweet, strong, dark brew—that provides the base for cafe-caliber lattes at home. The company, founded by Debbie Wei Mullin, a Vietnamese-American entrepreneur, has two products: pour-over coffee (the original offering) and ground coffee. Both products are made with a ground coffee blend of 70 percent Robusta beans and 30 percent Arabica beans.
If you opt for the ground coffee, you can proceed with whatever brewing method you normally gravitate towards, but I’m partial to the pour-over, which mimics the traditional way Vietnamese coffee is brewed—just simplifies the process.
I’ve always thought of pour-over as a complex process—certainly not a method for bleary-eyed me—but it couldn’t be simpler. This product comes in two parts—one packet contains the brand’s ground coffee blend housed in a disposable mesh filter; the other contains sweetened condensed milk. When you’re ready to brew, grab a mug and hot water, then tear open the filter, use the paper flaps on the side to anchor it over your mug, and pour the hot watch over the coffee grounds inside of the filter.
I’ve always thought of pour-over as a complex process—certainly not a method for bleary-eyed me—but it couldn’t be simpler
The brand provides clear instructions for brewing whatever strikes your fancy most—espresso, Vietnamese-style, or American-style coffee. They also explain how to make lattes, iced coffee, and cold brew. Each one differs solely by how much water and how much sweetener you use, so you can master it all relatively quickly. You can even purchase a mug from the company that has all of the measurements clearly labeled, much like a traditional glass measuring cup does.
Perhaps even better than ease of use, is the resulting product. The coffee is bold and offers a powerful punch of caffeine. According to the brand, a cup of Copper Cow Coffee has 120 milligrams of caffeine, which is nearly two times as much as a typical cup at your local coffee shop or chain. (Sign me up for that!) And, as mentioned, the ingredients—even in the flavored offerings—are all natural. The coffee, which comes in flavors like salted caramel, churro, vanilla, lavender (the only one I don’t like, but others swear by it!), and more, doesn’t contain any synthetic flavorings, essences, or artificial ingredients. Instead, real herbs and spices are ground right in with the coffee. And the creamers, which come in flavors like the classic milk and sugar, hazelnut, mocha, and more, are sweetened with nothing but real sugar.
You can feel good about where Copper Cow’s coffee is coming from, too. Its Vietnamese coffee is grown right where it should be—in Vietnam—and is sourced from sustainable farms where farmers are paid above-market rates for their product.
If there’s any downside, it’s that the coffee is a bit more expensive than what you might normally pluck off of a supermarket shelf. The ground coffee retails for $14 per bag, while a pack of eight pour-overs sell for $14. Still, you can save a bit by opting for a subscription. Plus, when you break down the cost per cup, it’s still well below what you’d spend at a coffee shop.
Servings Per Box: 5-8 coffees | Coffee Flavors: Classic, vanilla, churro, salted caramel, lavender | Creamer Flavors: Classic, mocha, hazelnut | Latte Flavors: Classic, mocha, churro, vanilla, peppermint, peppermint mocha, salted caramel, chai, rosemary, lavender | Tea Flavors: Matcha, chai, Thai iced tea
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Brigitt Earley is a freelance lifestyle writer who covers food and kitchen-related content for The Spruce Eats. She is a former RealSimple.com editor whose work has also appeared on Oprah Daily, Good Housekeeping, Apartment Therapy, Reviewed, and more. She also holds a certificate in culinary arts from the French Culinary Institute (now the Institute of Culinary Education).