Here’s the conundrum: without a doubt, the best way to consume coffee is when it’s freshly ground, but “freshly ground” and “canned” don’t exactly mesh all that well. It’s a challenge that Ryan McDonnell was willing to take on. As the chief coffee and tea officer for the new Boston-based company Elemental Beverage Co., McDonnell knows what it’s like when your options are limited to coffees you wouldn’t give your worst enemy. There had to be a way to create a cold coffee that didn’t taste like the can or have a bunch of milk, sugar, and stabilisers in it.
What McDonnell came up with is exactly what you’re looking for. The Single Origin Sampler is a six-can variety pack of coffees chosen from locations around the world. The pack includes specialty coffees sourced from Ethiopia, Burundi, and Colombia. It’s not just the locations that makes this six-pack special.
Unlike other canned coffees that cold brew their beverages, Elemental actually brewed large batches of their coffee in traditional coffee-to-water ratios. The coffee was then sent through Elemental’s proprietary Snapchiller—a machine used in cafes to quickly chill coffee.
Elemental also uses a process that flushes nitrogen through the coffee to remove oxygen, which increases the shelf stability, thus maintaining flavour. And because the coffee brew time is shorter with hot brewing, the coffee comes out less oxidised, which helps contribute to the better flavour.
Each of the coffees in the sampler has its own distinct flavour. The San Alejo, Colombia, coffee offers a flavour that is mellow and sweet with notes of peanut butter, maple syrup, and candied orange. The Kayanza, Burundi, coffee tastes of raspberry preserves with the tartness of lemon candy and a lilac finish. The Kolla Bolcha, Ethiopia, coffee hints at watermelon and lavender, with a raw honey finish. You can pick up the Single Origin Sampler on Elemental’s web site for USD$30 per six-pack.