Barista Magazine

OCT-NOV 2018

Serving People Serving Coffee Since 2005

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Page 19 of 115

Coffee soda gets fizzy with it You know when you taste a coffee so good it seems to sparkle in your mouth? Thanks to several new ready-to-drink coffee sodas hitting the market, you can enjoy that refreshing sparkle anytime, anywhere—no brewing required. Carbonated coffee drinks have been popping up on café menus all over in the past few years, drawing inspiration from competition signature beverages and bubbly cocktails, and helping to keep things interesting behind the bar. "We began experimenting with coffee soda in 2014," says Slingshot Coffee owner Jenny Bonchak, whose North Carolina bottled-cold-brew company just released a line of tongue-tingling canned coffee sodas inspired by soda fountain classics cherry cola and cream soda, made with cold brew and just a handful of other ingredients. "We use a beautiful certified-organic coffee, and sweeten with real fruit juice and just a hint of natural cane sugar," Jenny says. Matchless Coffee Soda in Nashville, Tenn., follows the same less-is-more philosophy, flash-chilling the coffee base and blending it with select ingredients before carbonating the whole shebang for a "fizzy, unique flavor that is as hard to describe as it is to put down," according to managing partner Savannah Packard. Next time you want something cold, caffeinated, and carbonated, forget about that bright-red can and pick one of these cool coffee concoctions. Full-inclusion is the new full-immersion in coffee competitions Over the past few years of coffee competitions, the conversations have turned over and over again to the question of why so few competitors on the national and international circuits are women, people of color, gender- nonconforming or nonbinary people, LGBTQ+ folx, or baristas with disabilities. Is it that the professional coffee community skews more white, male, straight, cisgender, and able-bodied? Are those folks "naturally more competitive," as the argument is often made? Or is there a larger systemic obstacle to creating diversity in competitive coffee—not to mention in the coffee industry in general? In August, Cafe Imports hosted a regional AeroPress competition in Minneapolis, as part of the World AeroPress Championships cycle. The event, which was a qualifier for the U.S. finals, was guaranteed to fill up fast with competitors eager to 'Press their best—but Cafe Imports decided to try to level the playing field. "We set aside more than half of the available competitor slots on an early-bird basis specifically to welcome a more diverse panel of participants," says Meister, Cafe Imports' editorial manager. "We wanted to attract women, POC, queer, and other underrepresented folks, and to make it clear that this is a safe and inclusive space where anyone can make amazing, prize-winning coffee." While only a few of the reserved competitor spots were claimed before the remainder was opened to the general public, one of those competitors, Kathie Hillberg, took top prize. We hope that other companies and competition hosts will follow suit and prioritize inclusion and diversity in every event throughout the specialty-coffee world, by any means necessary. Is CBD-infused coffee the hot new upper/downer combo? Sure, coffee can get your blood pumping and your mind racing—that's part of why we love it so much, right? On the other hand, many folks who want to calm their racing minds turn to cannabidiol, or CBD: a compound of cannabis that is becoming more widely (and legally) available as an extract used for its purported medical benefits such as a treatment for epilepsy, multiple sclerosis, and PTSD, as well as relief from pain, inflammation, and stress. Unlike THC, the drug compound found in marijuana that is illegal in the United States, CBD is a non-high-producing compound that is currently on the market in oils, beauty products, vaporizers, and consumables like—yup, you guessed it—coffee. Several coffee-crazed U.S. cities on the front lines of the "Legalize It" movement, like Portland, Ore., and Denver, are seeing an uptick in CBD-infused beans and brews, as are 27 other states in which CBD products are fully legal. Sträva Craft Coffee in Colorado offers whole-bean coffee infused with CBD oil in different amounts, ostensibly for various results. (The coffee bags bear the mark of "Focus," Restore," or "Elevate.") Portland, meanwhile, just saw its first CBD-coffee café, Grön, open this past June. While not all marijuana advocates are thrilled about the combo of coffee and cannabidiol (High Times magazine recently called it the "dumbest of all coffee trends"), there's no question that momentum is growing as fast as if it were under an LED lamp. What are you taking away from our awesome coffee world right now? Let us know about cool trends, fun gear, killer drinks, events, places, people—you get the idea! Email 20 barista magazine

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