Listen to Austin 360 Radio

Love Chameleon Cold-Brew? It’s time to get addicted to their new whole-bean coffee line

Arianna Auber
You can now brew your morning cup of coffee from one of Chameleon's whole-bean coffee bags, which the company released in addition to its flourishing brand of cold-brew bottles.

Chameleon Cold-Brew Coffee has been just one of many companies making it very easy to get our jolt of caffeine while on the go, with its ever-growing line of bottled cold-brew. Now, the Austin-based brand is hoping we’ll slow down a little and take the time to brew a pot of coffee with its new whole-bean line.

Last month, Chameleon released three varieties of organic whole-bean coffee: Day Breaker, a light roast with flavors of ripe fruit; Single Origin, a middle-of-the-road option featuring beans from the Chiapas region of Mexico; and Dark, Black & Bold, full of the earthy, bittersweet notes of dark chocolate. They’re all very different, in the hopes of appealing to a wide array of coffee drinkers.

“We’re going on eight years with the cold-brew,” Matt Swenson, Chameleon’s director of coffee, said. “After getting so many requests from consumers for whole-bean coffee, we decided it was time to take the plunge. I think we’ve got three very radical coffee offerings here.”

Swenson is one of a few certified q-graders in Austin, out of about 4,000 in the world. Q-graders are the equivalent of a wine sommelier or a beer cicerone: people who are crazy good, after a whole bunch of studying, at discerning aromas and flavors in their cup of coffee and can tell the quality it’s in to boot. He used these skills to develop the whole-bean line.

Not sure which bag of the three Chameleon coffee varieties is for you? He recommends the Single Origin as your reliable, everyday cup. Try the Day Breaker if you’re in the mood to pick out nuanced flavors— and whatever you do, don’t mix it with milk and sugar, as they will drown out its complexities.

The Dark, Black & Bold, a dark roast, basically tastes exactly as it sounds: for the person with a sweet tooth who prefers their coffee to taste like a heaping portion of liquid dark chocolate. Make it with a French press. (Each coffee has its own preferred brew method, which you can check out on the Chameleon website.)

Each of the bags are available for $14.99 through Chameleon, but you can also purchase them at local retailers like HEB.


This post has been corrected to reflect that HEB carries the Chameleon whole-bean coffee line.