Barista Magazine

APR-MAY 2019

Serving People Serving Coffee Since 2005

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Page 95 of 119

Every barista can tell you about brewing coffee with cold water in plastic buckets in the back room. The resulting smooth, low-acid cold brew has been popular at cafés since around 2011, when Stumptown debuted its ready-to-drink (RTD) "stubby" bottles of the concentrated elixir. Like so many consumables however, taste preferences in cold brew are subjective, and for some roasters—in- cluding Oakland, Calif.–based Highwire Coffee's cofounder Robert Myers—that kind of cold brew didn't cut it. "When people started getting excited about [cold brew made by steeping grounds in water], I didn't understand it." he says. His search for what he pre- ferred in a cold coffee—and what he hoped his customers would enjoy—continued. Enter fl ash-brew coffee, which is coffee brewed hot, and then immediately chilled and stored cold. Flash-brew coffee has all the fl oridity, elegance, and vibrancy of hot coffee, and a lot of specialty roasters are catching on. With in-house fl ash-chilled coffees taking a permanent place on an increasing number of café menus—Highwire's "Howling Wolf," a fl ash-brewed nitrogenized coffee, has been on the menu since 2014, for example—some innovative roasters began to consider the feasibility of canning the concept. Verve Coffee Roasters of Santa Cruz, Calif., led the charge with the launch of its RTD fl ash brew in a can in November 2018. Verve cofounder Colby Barr is quick to disclose that his dissatis- faction with the generic cold-brew method played no small part in the development of the Verve Nitro Flash Brew RTD. In a come-to-Jesus moment, Colby remembers asking himself, "Why do we as coffee peo- ple measure [coffee] to the tenth of a gram, measure water to a tenth of a degree [for hot coffee], and then we literally make cold brew in buckets in a bathroom by a mop sink with, like, the leftover coffee from the end of the week off the whole-bean shelf?" That moment actually took place back around 2013, when Verve, shall we say, kicked the bucket. That was when Colby and his team started tinkering with their cold-brewing techniques for café service. Flash Brew NEW ADVENTURES IN COLD BREW: Article by Mark Van Streefkerk Photography by Joshua Vasko 96 barista magazine

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