Skip to main content

How BBQ inspired Chameleon Cold Brew

chameleon cold brew versatile and oh so taste worthy basil 160201 1301
With the summer heat cranking up, your morning coffee may not be as enticing since it’s hot. Great news: you can get your caffeine fix and stay cool at the same time with some cold brewed coffee.

Chris Campbell, the founder of the Austin, Texas-based Chameleon Cold-Brew Coffee met his business partner, Steve Williams, at a BBQ and they started talking about coffee. Williams has a coffee shop in Austin and said he was producing about 75 gallons of cold brew a week at that time. They also noticed a similar product at Whole Foods flying off the shelf.

“I said to Steve, ‘Why can’t we take what you make, put it in a bottle and sell it at Whole Foods?’ said Campbell.

That question led to formation of the company in September 2010 followed by the first coffee in 2011. They started out with black coffee in two sizes, distributed through one store. Today, they’ve expanded to include 12 different items that are distributed nationally through Whole Foods, Target, some Kroger stores, and other retailers.

Chameleon roaster“We’re roasting, brewing and bottling everything in Austin or within 150 miles,” said Campbell. “It’s all in central Texas and then we ship it wherever it needs to go.”

The coffee concentrates (offered in black, vanilla, and mocha) come in 16 oz or 32 oz bottles. They also have these flavors available in 10 oz. ready to drink bottles, as well as three other flavors: Mexican, Chicory, and Espresso. All of their products are organic and fair trade, which is a key commitment of the company.

“At the end of the day, we sell the most of the black coffee concentrate,” said Campbell. “It’s also our original product. It’s the one everyone knows us for.”

Campbell has a tip for those people living in colder parts of the country. “It’s worth noting,” he said, “the coffee is as good hot as is is cold. It also makes a hell of a good cocktail. You can make ice cubes out of the coffee and pour whiskey over it. It’s really delicious.”

Ready to try a Chameleon-inspired cocktail? Check out these recipes:

Café Julep
1.5 oz Bourbon
1 oz Simple Syrup
2 oz Chameleon Black Coffee Concentrate
12-15 mint leaves
Muddle and served over crushed ice

Bourbon Patriot 
2 oz Bourbon
1/2 oz Lime
1/2 oz Simple Syrup
1/2 oz Rothman & Winter Cherry Liqueur
3/4 oz Chameleon Coffee Concentrate
1 dash Angostura
Shake & strain over ice, garnish with a mint sprig and brandied cherry

People’s Forefather 
2 oz Irish Whiskey
1/2 oz Tia Maria
1/2 oz Chameleon Coffee Concentrate
2 dash Orange Bitters
Stir and garnish with an orange twist

Super Charger

1.5 oz Vodka
1 oz Tia Maria
2 oz. Chameleon Espresso
2 oz Coca-Cola
Stir and garnish with an orange wheel

Recipes created by Erick Castro, mixologist of Possessed by Spirits

Editors' Recommendations

How to reheat tamales: Learn the secret to every method
Enjoy tamales just as much the second time around
Our Place tamales.

Tamales are one of the tastiest and most popular dishes for a night out on the town, complete with a few frosty margaritas. A traditional Mesoamerican dish, tamales are stuffed with meats or beans and cheese and wrapped in a banana leaf or a corn husk. Steamed and served with pico de gallo and rice, they make for a delightful dish that's easy to make and packed with flavor and spice.

Tamales are easy to prepare and a great option to make ahead of time and reheat for a quick meal on the go. Whether homemade or store-bought, there are a few tips you'll want to know when reheating them so that you can savor all the goodness these little flavor pouches have to offer. Whether you want to use a steamer, microwave, stove, oven, or air fryer, here are the best ways to make sure you get the perfect hot tamale.

Read more
Corned beef and cabbage: Learn how to make this St. Patrick’s Day classic
It isn't St. Patrick's Day without a cold pint and a big plate of corned beef and cabbage
best corned beef and cabbage recipe 2

As St. Patrick's Day rolls around again, many of us will dutifully trudge to the grocery store, pick up our corned beef from the bulk display, head home and boil that piece of meat to death in the name of 'tradition.' Many of us are guilty of going through the motions of culinary traditions without giving a second thought to whether or not they actually taste good (we're looking at you, fruitcake). But in the case of corned beef, this is a real travesty, because this is a dish that, when done properly, is exquisitely delicious. One so good, in fact, that, if we knew better, would be on a weekly rotation, and not just an annual one.

Many corned beef and cabbage recipes out there call for a braise, which makes sense. Corned beef is most often a brisket cut, which requires low and slow cooking to ensure a tender result. Too often, though, those braises turn out flabby, lifeless, flavorless pieces of meat that we only feel obligated to eat because St. Patrick told us to. Let's put an end to that here and now. This is how to cook corned beef and cabbage the right way.

Read more
The best Irish whiskeys come in these 12 bottles
Looking for a great Irish whiskey to try? Start with this proper list of a dozen best bets.
whiskey bar

Ireland knows a thing or two about whiskey. After all, it's home to the oldest commercial whiskey distillery in the world, dating back to 1608. But with such a rich heritage and plethora of options, where should you direct your glass?

Well, Irish whiskey is actually a pretty manageable category, unlike the endless seas of, say, Napa Valley Cabernet Sauvignon or Scotch. Despite its massive popularity, Ireland hosts a relatively small amount of distilleries. But there's plenty of variation and quality within that span and we have our favorites.

Read more