Thursday, October 25, 2012

Stumptown Cold Brew

I love coffee. Only slightly less so than beer, but apparently it isn't socially acceptable to bring a mug of porter into the office each morning. That withstanding, I still really love coffee.

A perfect weekend for me involves rolling out of bed whenever I want, strolling into the living room, grinding some coffee beans, and drinking an entire French press. Living in Portland is especially advantageous for this as we're graced with a multitude of local roasters who never cease to amaze my taste buds.

One such roaster, Stumptown Coffee Roasters, is iconic of Portland coffee roasters. Founded in 1999, Stumptown essentially revolutionized what it meant to serve quality coffee while infusing ethical purchasing principles. Since then, dozens of others have popped up around Portland with only few considered rivals. I'm a huge fan of what they typically purchase from Latin American countries, but they source from all around the world.

Witch such world-renown beans, I guess the next logical step was to brew the stuff ahead of time, put it in a stubby bottle, and serve it cold? I've been known to enjoy an iced coffee from time to time, but I have to admit I've never seen a "classy" approach to the style. Most of the time you just end up with yesterday's leftover coffee poured over ice. Knowing Stumptown, I'm assuming they have foregone this strategy in lieu of full-on cold brewing their stuff chemistry-style. As a mildly-respected online beverage journalist with $3.50(!) to spare, I pretty much have to give this stuff a shot. From Stumptown:
Stumptown Coffee Roasters is gearing up for iced coffee season with the release of its first-ever bottled coffee. Cold-brewed from the roastery's house blend and bottled at Portland’s House Spirits Distillery, these bottles of cold-brew goodness are full of rich, chocolaty aromas, tangy fruit flavors and earthy undertones.
Before I do so, however, let me take a moment to point out the stubby bottle. What was once a fairly common bottling method for beers has since become the iconic bottle of choice for Session and Red Stripe Beers. Hooray beer! Is it the best bottling method for coffee? I have no idea, but it certainly stands out when placed next to the fifty other bottled iced coffee drinks.

When first popped (and I say popped because I didn't realize the cap was a twist-off), you're initially greeted with subtle hues of chocolate and the typical aura of coffee. The first sip is a bit surprising as I have to admit I'm not used to my coffee "glugging" as I sip it. That said, my first reaction was not incredibly positive as it comes off really bitter. When that subsides, the taste is actually quite pleasant with plenty of chocolate, toffee, and nuttiness hues. Subsequent sips are similar with an odd bitter/tea type first reaction and the aftertaste actually being a better experience. After getting through a third of the bottle, I've decided this isn't exactly the drink for me.

That aside, this is definitely a unique beverage that I would suggest trying if you have the opportunity. It's unconventional, unique, and a little strage; just like the city Stumptown calls home. And the best part about this drink? You can responsibly drink as many as you'd like. Hooray responsibility!


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