While most coffee roasters making a first-time product launch of canned, bottled or cartoned cold brew turn to blends that can be replicated season to season, San Diego’s Bird Rock Coffee Roasters made its first RTD cold brew launch this month with singular focus, down to the microlot.
Created in collaboration with Philadelphia-based cold brew systems manufacturer BKON — Bird Rock says it’s the first BKON cold brew collab on the West Coast — Bird Rock has made the limited release of a canned cold brew featuring coffee from Café Granja Las Esperanza‘s Las Margaritas farm in Colombia.
The release makes sense in that, since the company’s inception, Bird Rock has been an outspoken proponent of “direct trade” relationships with coffee producers, and of single-origin traceability.
The specific microlot coffee used is a red Bourbon variety that was honey-processed before being shipped to Bird Rock, roasted, then subjected to BKON’s “reverse atmospheric infusion process” in the latter company’s Storm brewing system for commercial cold brew.
“We have been wanting to do a cold brew option for a while, and we are thrilled to have found the partner that retains the excellence of our beans,” Jeff Taylor, co-owner of Bird Rock Coffee Roasters, said in an announcement of the launch. “Our goal is to expand the opportunities to provide the world’s greatest coffee to our customers, and when searching for partners in innovation that could bring us to that next level, BKON offered not only the most outstanding technology, but a love for bringing the best flavors out of their ingredients that rivals our own love for coffee.”
Bird Rock’s parent company since last year, Topeka, Kansas-based PT’s Coffee, has made similarly splashy cold brew releases in the past, while offering guests home cold brewing guides and even bags of beans roasted specifically for cold brew applications. Yet despite dipping their toes in the expanding oceanic cold brew category, neither brand currently has a widely available packaged cold brew product outside of their retail cafes.
Nick Brown is the editor of Daily Coffee News by Roast Magazine.