The combination of coffee and weed — odd as it may seem to you — has, to some degree, arrived. It’s on the shelves of your local dispensary. It’s available for order in the murk and mire of the internet. We’re talking about cannabis coffee products. And it’s a thing.
As with any new product, there’s a lot to take in, a lot to absorb before you select which caffeinated form of psychoactive (or not) treat you’ll be sipping on when The Great Weed Wall comes toppling down. To ensure that you’ll have selected the very best method (k-cup, cold brew, etc.), we’ve ranked the options that are currently available to consumers to help guide you as you experiment in the newly awoke world of caffeinated weed products.
(Note: we are discussing methods of intake, not individual products. Yes, we will, on occasion, discuss a particular highlight in terms of each method of coffee/weed consumable, but in general we’re not trying to harsh the buzz of any specific company just trying to get by, we just want you to have the most enjoyable morning cup you can have.)
5. Coffee related treats
We’ve placed the consumption of coffee related treats — candies, drops, chocolates — at the bottom of our list because, well, when one thinks of coffee, they think of a steaming cup of beautiful brewed coffee or an frosty glass of cold brew to sip on to prepare for one’s day, not a candy bar. That said, for those opposed to actually drinking coffee, but are still seeking a method of lightly caffeinating themselves while enjoying a strong blast of psychoactive side-affects – the coffee/weed edible is a pretty good choice. We prefer the original coffee/weed candy – the Kiva Espresso Dark Chocolate Bite – a singular espresso bean dipped in a thin layer of THC-laced coffee. But the Kiva product highlights the main reason why coffee-related edibles are mired at the ground floor of our rankings: they’re extremely potent and the caffeine/coffee value is very low. Sure that lone little coffee bean is going to add a touch of coffee flavor, maybe even a hint of a caffeine buzz, but what you’re really getting is very, very high. You can forget sipping your morning cup of joe as the sun rises over the mesa, and start thinking about if you can actually get up from the couch and go about doing, well, anything.
If you’re a coffee aficionado, Keurig cups (or k-cups) are about the bottom the barrel in terms of actual coffee enjoyment. Yes, you will get a piping hot beverage brewed from actual coffee grounds, but these coffee grounds will be the equivalent of taking the extraneous coffee that’s sat on the roasting floor for weeks on end, grinding it, drying it and then stuffing it into a environmentally damaging package. A k-cup offers a fine experience in terms of actual coffee drinking, but Keurig-style “pods” produce an acrid, watery coffee beverage more akin to instant caffeine, then a robust cup from your local barista. But, snooty flavor profiling aside, will this get you high? Tedd Wetherbee, the owner of Fairwinds Manufacturing in Tacoma, Washington – the producers of the Catapult k-cup – told The Cannabist, that his product was like Red Bull and Vodka – it’ll get your energy up, but it’ll also get you hammered, going further to warn that this isn’t your “ordinary cup of Joe.” So, yes, the k-cup will offer you the increasingly less novel ability to get your stone on while enjoying your morning cup, it just probably taste all that great.
3. Weed tinctures and oils
Up until recently, if you wanted to enjoy a fresh-ground, high-end cup of coffee with a dose of THC or CBD in it, your only option was to purchase your favorite coffee, grind it and then mix it with some form of tincture or oil. On the surface, that seems like an easy compromise if caffeinated stoniness is what you’re seeking. Brew your preferred coffee using your preferred method, add a drop or a smear of oil or tincture, and you’re off to the races with a decent cup of coffee roiling through your body. We leave the combination of tinctures and oils in the middle slot of our rankings though because, seriously, adding oil or tincture or butter or whatever to your four dollar, micro-lotted cup of impeccably sourced Brazilian coffee is going to have some adverse affects in terms of flavor. Mainly, that your adding an oily substance to a water-based beverage, and then convincing yourself that it just tastes like your favorite coffee. That said, for those fitness-oriented, weed-loving, coffee drinkers who enjoy Bulletproof Coffee – grass-fed butter mixed in black coffee – this might be the greatest thing since, well, brewed coffee. For the rest of us slovenly, coffee slurpers, this might take some getting used to.
2. Cold brew
In the world of coffee, cold brew is having it’s moment. The shelves are stocked with every variety of pre-packaged cold coffee, and everyday a handful of new companies toss their milk cartons into the ring. So of course, THC/CBD alternatives are making their way to the market as well. For the moment, cold brew still faces the same issue as just adding an oil or tincture to your brewed coffee – flavor and texture take a strange, and often times unfortunate bent. But with cold brew, and marijuana currently as popular as they are, coffee-minded producers are working their asses off to dial in both the consistency of the weed agent (whatever it is they’re mixing with the coffee) and the deliciousness of the actual coffee, to provide a truly lovely experience. And we believe that cold brew is an almost perfect vessel for weed and caffeine, an easily consumed, pre-packaged product that you can schlep out to a park on a sunny day and enjoy with your friends. And when the flavor catches up to the experience, well, it’ll be something special. Until then, cold brew sits at our number two spot.
1. Whole Bean Coffee
If you are a “coffee person” then you understand that freshly ground, whole bean coffee is the very best way to enjoy a cup of coffee or a shot of espresso. You are maintaining the original state and flavor of your coffee up until the very last moment before you consume it, insuring that you’re getting most accurate depiction of that coffee’s flavor profile. Up until this point, as our rankings explain, the problem of infusing whole coffee beans with THC/CBD has left coffee drinkers with upscale palates, nursing a cup of oily java. Recently though, companies like Steep Fuze in Colorado have worked towards perfecting a method that infuses whole bean coffee with CBD-oil during the post-roasting process. Translation: coffee drinkers are able to freshly grind and brew their coffee with whatever their preferred method is — French press, pour-over, aeropress, Mr. Coffee, etc. — upping the chance that you’ll be consuming a nice cup of coffee, while enjoying the pain-relieving, soothing effects of, in Steep Fuze’s case, CBD. Even better, Steep Fuze’s CBD coffee removes the potentially less savory effects of caffeine – the jitters, the withdrawal headaches, the hyperventilation – meaning you can quaff a considerable amount of coffee and still maintain a calm, soothing affect. But even our highest ranked method has its downsides: currently, from what we’ve found, there are no THC-infused whole bean coffee products on the market. Meaning that, sure, you can enjoy a heady cup of CBD-coffee and all the wonderful, non-psychoactive effects it’ll bring along, but for those looking to enjoy their cup of coffee and get super high, the pickings are slim to non-existent. For now though, as it always is in coffee, CBD-infused, whole bean coffee provides what we believe is the best experience in both flavor and “medication.” And though Steep Fuze may be the only player in the whole bean market for now, it won’t be long before a plethora of new vendors start gleefully diving into the market.