Stumptown Coffee Roasters Launches New Sparkling Cold Brew in a Can
Coffee in America has gone through several massive upgrades in the years since it’s humble, vacuum sealed, “instant” beginnings. And much that transformation owes its roots to the Pacific Northwest’s passionate coffee culture.
So what comes after coffee’s third wave you may ask, as you mindfully appreciate your chemex brewed, perfectly curated Ethiopian Yirgacheffe? Well, what if we told you it was carbonated, came in a can and was surprising refreshing on hot bluebird days?
Portland-based Stumptown Coffee Roasters recently introduced a creative addition to their Cold Brew family. Best described as a sparkling cold brewed citrusy mixer in a can, it stands to expand the definition of “iced coffee” for thousands of thirsty sippers everywhere. But Stumptown didn’t rest on innovating just one drink – they brought three of these crisp, sparkling coffee drinks to bear: Original, Ginger Citrus, and Honey Lemon. Let that sink in for a second…
The inspiration for Sparkling Cold Brew was born out of the company’s retail cafe innovations. For the past year, Stumptown has been mixing up fresh seasonal Cold Brew sodas in their cafes, ﬁrst debuting in the New Orleans location that opened last April, and later extending nationwide. In order to make these refreshing and popular Cold Brew concoctions more accessible to the rest of the country, they’ve worked up a few new recipes and added them to the canning line.
“Sparkling Cold Brew creates a new way to enjoy coffee,” says Stumptown President Joth Ricci. “It is a bright and refreshing coffee beverage that is perfect for drinking in the afternoons.”
Sparkling Cold Brew has about half the caffeine of original Cold Brew and keeps a competitive calorie count – weighing at about 100. The Original is a nod to classic old world coffee sodas, made with carbonated cold brewed coffee, natural cane sugar and a hint of lemon. Ginger Citrus was inspired by ginger beer, delivering a recognizable and hearty ginger kick along with a bit of sugar and citrus to balance it all out. Lastly, Honey Lemon came from an old partnership with Stumptown’s Portland neighbors and honey-makers, Bee Local. The Honey Lemon Cold Brew evokes the experience of a classic Arnold Palmer-type refresher.
Basin & Range Magazine’s Field Test
First off, let me state right off the front that I’m a sucker for carbonated beverages – fermented or otherwise. So when I first heard about fizzy coffees in 2015 – my interest was immediately piqued. Since then, i’ve come across a decent variety of nitro cold brews – but had a hard time tracking down the genuine carbonated coffee beverage.
Imagine my excitement when the generous folks at Stumptown sent a few of their Sparkling Cold Brews over for a thorough product testing. In typical B&R fashion – we did our best to review the goods in a variety of strenuous conditions… with a sleepy Monday afternoon in a dimly lit office being the harshest of those environments.
The first thing you notice when picking up the can is the packaging. With a simple, clean appearance and smooth as paint finish, you’re clued into the fact that this is not your average can of soda. Once you crack the can open, you’re faced with an aggressively foamy head – so be prepared for a quick sip to quell the foam. The carbonation settles down once you’re past the initial opening and upon taking the first taste you’re immediately faced with more citrus flavor than you were probably prepared for. It’s far from unpleasant, just unexpected until you become familiar with it. Once the initial citrus washes past, a clean and clear coffee flavor comes prominently forward. From that moment forward – I found myself pulled back to the can again and again, savoring each sip and noticing each flavor’s unique complexity.
It wasn’t long before we found that each version managed to find their staunch advocate. I personally preferred The Original – with a flavor that was slightly more coffee centered than the others. in any case, it’s easy to imagine these quickly becoming a summer-time staple to campers, hikers, climbers, and road trippers all across the west. Just pull up to your favorite trailhead, drop in any mountain stream, chill, and enjoy.