You know you love our nitro cold brew oat milk latte, but how much do you know about the coffee behind the nitro? What happens before the coffee gets to you? What goes into that can that makes it so deliciously creamy, curiously complex, and pleasantly sweet?
The answer is: a lot of hard work and effort. We’ve spent a long time getting our coffee to this point, and we’re constantly tweaking the recipe to keep it that way. Coffee should be delicious, and it should also be simple, high quality, and sustainable.
It’s important to recognize the many steps coffee takes on its journey from the trees to your fridge. Today we’re going to look at the coffee part of the RISE Brewing Co. recipe: our sourcing ethos, how we roast, and why your refreshing beverage tastes as good as it does.
Introduction to Coffee:
To begin, let’s zoom out a bit. The coffee we all enjoy, as part of our morning ritual or as an afternoon pick-me-up, is the product of lots of work by scores of people all around the globe. Coffee grows best at high altitudes close to the equator, where rainfall and sunshine are in plentiful supply and where volcanic soil provides the perfect growing conditions.
Coffee is a particularly fragile plant, being susceptible to a range of diseases and pests. It’s also slow-growing, taking up to seven years from planting to produce fruit. This means that coffee producers must take the utmost care when growing their plants in order to reap the rewards.
Once ripe, the coffee cherries must be harvested, either by hand or, in some cases, using machinery. Picking coffee is a skill in itself, as workers must know which berries are perfectly ripe and which need to be left for another day or two. These cherries are then processed to reveal the seed—the part we eventually drink—and dried ready for transport.
Coffee and RISE Brewing Co.
When we first started RISE, experimenting with cold brew in our apartments and garages, we sampled coffee from all over the world in order to find the perfect type. We wanted something bold yet smooth, sweet yet sophisticated. After trying hundreds of samples, we finally found the one we were looking for: a coffee from the Chanchamayo Valley high in the Peruvian mountains.
Six hours from the capital, Lima, the Chanchamayo Valley sits at the edge of the Andes mountain range. The valley is renowned for its spectacular waterfalls, its orchids, and of course its coffee. The high altitude and ideal microclimate creates coffees that are dense and particularly well suited to cold brewing.
An important part of the RISE Brewing Co. philosophy is to brew the best tasting coffee in the world, using the best ingredients possible. To do this, we make sure that our partners work to achieve these same standards, and that includes only buying organic coffee.
All coffee is not created equal. Many big coffee farms use mechanized picking machines and liberal applications of pesticides to cut costs and improve yields. While these farms can produce a lot of coffee for less money, the quality is not guaranteed. At RISE Brewing Co, quality is our number one focus.
That’s why we only use organic-certified coffee in our nitro cold brew. To achieve USDA organic certification, coffee must follow strict regulations at every stage of production. This means no chemicals, no pesticides, no additives and no GMOs. It means that the earth is treated better, and the coffee will taste better too.
Once the coffee is picked, processed, and shipped to us in the United States, it’s time to roast it. Coffee roasting is one of the most important steps in the journey that coffee takes from the tree to your fridge. We take the green bean, small and dense and almost tasteless, and we roast it at temperatures up to 450 degrees. This transforms it into the delicious, aromatic brown coffee bean that we then use to make our nitro cold brew.
Consistency is key to delicious coffee. Repeating the same steps every time is how we make sure your coffee tastes great with each and every sip. At the same time, coffee roasting requires constant evaluation and improvisation. Roasting, therefore, is part science and part art form.
Our skilled team makes sure that every batch is roasted to perfection, to ensure that it blends perfectly with the nitrogen infusion to create our famously creamy cold brew. We roast our coffee medium dark—what’s known as a Full City roast. This brings out the sweet, smooth, chocolatey notes that we want our nitro cold brew to have.
In the beginning the RISE team conducted many experiments to pinpoint the perfect cold brew recipe. The aim was for a full bodied, smooth, sweet and chocolatey beverage that tasted great on its own or combined with milk. After much trial and error, the RISE recipe was developed and perfected.
Part of what makes RISE nitro cold brew stand out is the low acid nature of our coffee. Acidity in coffee, while it can be advantageous in some situations, is undesired in cold brew. We don’t want your delicious, refreshing nitro cold brew to taste sour or bitter, so our recipe was created to avoid this. We brew our coffee in extra cold water to keep the acidity in the coffee grinds and ensure a mellow final brew.
Through our experiments, we discovered that brewing using lower temperatures made the cold brew sweeter and more flavorful. The colder we went, the sweeter the outcome. At our brewing facility we have chillers to ensure the water we use to brew is as cold as possible. That way, we know that every batch of nitro cold brew we produce is going to be as sweet and delicious as it possibly can be.
If there’s one thing everybody knows about coffee, is that it’s full of caffeine. Caffeine, a natural stimulant, makes coffee a popular drink for those who need to stay active and awake. Coffee is consumed throughout the day and night by millions of people around the world. Some drink coffee to wake up in the morning. Some drink coffee to give them the push they need to get through the afternoon. Some drink coffee to fuel a late-night study session.
Because of the way it is brewed, cold brew has significantly more caffeine than standard coffee. It is brewed with a higher coffee-to-water ratio than hot coffee, and is steeped for longer, allowing more caffeine to be released from the beans. If you’re looking for your caffeine fix, cold brew is the way to go.
And at RISE, we take it one step further. We want our nitro cold brew to be bold and full of flavor. We also want our coffee to give you the kick you need to get your day going and keep it going. That’s why we use more coffee in our recipe than the industry standard. We brew with a higher coffee to water ratio, to give you more caffeine per can without sacrificing flavor.
Nitrogen and Coffee:
The final step in the nitro cold brew process is the nitrogen infusion. The tiny nitrogen bubbles that pour into the coffee serve two purposes. They give our nitro cold brew its smooth, creamy, frothy texture, and they also help to keep the coffee fresh. This is achieved by flushing out the oxygen and replacing it with nitrogen, thereby acting as a natural preservative. Aside from the bonus preservative effect, nitrogen’s main job is to infuse Rise nitro cold brew with its tiny bubbles and make it delightfully smooth and creamy.
All these steps, over many months and thousands of miles, finally comes to an end in your hand as you crack open a can of our nitro cold brew, black or with oat milk. Hundreds of people are involved in the process, from growing to harvesting to roasting and brewing. The journey of coffee might be long and complex, but the final taste is deliciously simple and refreshingly smooth.