If you love iced cold and smooth-tasting coffee, you're bound to love Station Cold Brew coffee. Read on to discover a little bit more about how this local brand came to be.
Fresh City: Hi Steve, tell us a little bit about yourself and how you started Station Cold Brew.
Steve Ballantyne: Hey! I'm Steve Ballantyne, west end Toronto coffee lover and motorcycle enthusiast. I started Station after a trip to Manhattan in 2013 where I drank the sweet brew for the first time. I was so blown away by the experience and came back to Toronto only to find very little cold brew. Seeing an opportunity, I found my 2 business partners and started Canada's first cold brew coffee company, Station Cold Brew. I can honestly say that trip to NYC changed my life!
FC: Could you give us a description of the process to make cold brew and what makes it different from other ways of brewing coffee?
SB: Cold brew uses time, lots of time, instead of heat for coffee extraction. The coffee is placed in cold water for up to 18 hours and the gentle extraction process creates a smooth and flavourful beverage, with all the caffeine.
FC: Is there something Station Cold Brew does in a particular way when you cold brew your coffee?
SB: What we do that's unique is that we add in nitrogen to our packing process. The result is a "Guiness-like" pour that cascades into a creamy head, giving our customers a creamy coffee experience without any dairy!
FC: How does the amount of caffeine differ when you're cold brewing coffee?
SB: The natural result of the cold brewing process is a concentrate. This is very high in caffeine! We dilute ours down to a regular cup of coffee so it's no different that what consumers are used to.
FC: Could you explain how you source your certified organic coffee and your commitment to ethically sourced beans?
SB: We work closely with our roaster, Reunion, to source very high quality "direct trade" beans that have a specific flavour profile. Direct trade means less middle men, so the farmers make more money while we get higher quality coffee.
FC: You also produce Cascara iced tea: tell us how you make it.
SB: Cascara is the superfruit that surrounds the coffee bean. It's loaded with antioxidants and holds slightly sweet, floral tea-like notes. Traditionally discarded by farmers, this superfruit has now become the foundation for this delicious & refreshing iced tea. The Cascara tea is made similar to our cold brew, brewed cold, but instead of nitrogen we add CO2 so it sparkles like a soda.
FC: What has been the most challenging and most rewarding part of running Station Cold Brew?
SB: Being a manufacturer of a delicate, fresh, product and selling into a grocery system set up for mass produced shelf stable (and unhealthy) products has been challenging. However, we would never produce anything we wouldn't feed our own families and friends and staying true to our values of health and wellness is very rewarding.
To discover more of Station Cold Brew's range, take a look at the selection we offer on our website.