Coffee Couture

Forget everything you think you know about flavoured coffee. Fresh Cup Roastery Café’s new infused beans promise a unique taste experience for coffee lovers.

Inspired by recent trends in craft beers, boutique spirits and culinary fusions, the roaster is infusing green coffee beans with carefully chosen ingredients such as bourbon, amber rum and honey-mead wine. The beans are then aged and conditioned in bourbon casks before being roasted in small batches.

“As coffee innovators, we’re not only looking at the technology side, we’re looking at the consumer side. How can we make coffee interesting for people?” says Fresh Cup president Jim Townley.

“I don’t want to call them flavours. Flavouring coffee is what happened back in the ’80s when they chemically added hazelnut or whatever after the coffee was roasted. We’re infusing with real ingredients, prior to roasting, and that’s a key part of it. And because our Roastaire roasting process is a little more gentle, we don’t roast off all the elements that are found in the infusion.”

The first cask-conditioned series, available just before Christmas, was sold in reusable mini-growler bottles, as Fresh Cup was looking for a reusable method of delivery so customers could bring bottles back and get deposit refunds.

“It’s common to see vodka or beer infused with coffee. However, infusing coffee beans with spirits, beer or wine is something completely new,” says Townley.

“Just like the craft beer industry comes up with seasonal beers,” he adds, “we’ll be putting out three seasonal infusions each season. The next series, out in March, will be Apple Whiskey, Bourbon and a Cabernet Sauvignon.”