What makes STIR Cold Brew Coffee so darn good? - See the wheel!

All coffee utilized to produce our STIR Cold Brew Coffee products is ultra-fresh and locally roasted to perfection by Quarrymen Coffee Roasting Company. Quarrymen Coffee specifically roasts all of our coffee in the medium range as seen in the wheel below. Notice the different ranges from light, to medium, to dark roasts. Continue reading below the image to see why we prefer this "medium roast" range of coffee for our products. Another key to great tasting coffee comes from careful selection of your water source and water-to-coffee ratios. We only use clean, fresh, and great-tasting filtered water to cold-brew our coffee products. After months of testing, our secret water-to-coffee ratio creates a perfectly balanced ready-to-drink cold brew coffee with excellent quality control and utmost consistency with our products that we brew in small batches and then bottle by hand locally.

Coffee Taster's Flavor Wheel: Specialty Coffee Association of America

Coffee Taster's Flavor Wheel: Specialty Coffee Association of America


The Aromas and Tastes

THE ALWAYS GOOD: When looking at the wheel you may notice that in the middle are the words "Sugar Browning" on the aroma side. This is the medium-roast range of coffee and in that section of the wheel, all of those aromas are associated with excellent smells and tastes to the human palate. Nutty, carmelly, chocolaty, and all of the sub descriptors of the aroma profile in this range are wonderful in a cup of coffee. Taste wise, medium roasts land right in the middle of salty and sweet which provides a delicious and rewarding experience for consumers.

And with the cold-brewing process, we remove 60-65% of the acidity so you get a very smooth, delicate, yet bold and sweet coffee bursting with flavors and aromas of dark chocolate, toasted nut, and caramel from the Nicaraguan beans, hints of berry-fruit from the Ethiopian beans, and hints of spicy clove and pepper from the Sumatra Mandheling beans in our special STIR Cold Brew Coffee Blend. While we use hints of tastes and aromas from light and dark-roasting levels, the basis for our blend is mostly within the medium-roasting range to provide the most enjoyable coffee products possible that will appeal to the widest range of palates.

THE POTENTIALLY BAD: Looking at the top of the wheel at the light-roasted, or "Enzymatic" part of the spectrum, this has some nice aromas, but some not so nice ones too. Fruity and floral are great aromas and tastes, but frequently with these you can also get bad ones such as onion or garlic, or even cucumber. Not something most people associate with a cup of coffee. A true light-roasted coffee has these tangy, sour, bitter, highly acidic, and almost weird characteristics. This is due to the sugars in the coffee beans being under-developed by light-roasting, or roasting for a shorter amount of time. The sugars don't caramelize and the oils in the beans don't secrete out of the beans leaving a very "green" and earthy taste and aroma. The one benefit of light-roasted coffee is a higher caffeine content due to shorter roasting times as the caffeine isn't "cooked out" of the beans as much with medium to dark-roasting levels.

THE POTENTIALLY UGLY: The bottom-tier of the wheel is dark-roast, or "Dry Distillation" and I'll be the first to admit that I myself do really enjoy a dark-roasted cup of coffee. But there are definitely aromas and tastes that can be quite ugly in your cup of coffee if the beans are roasted too long. These off-putting aromas and tastes that can be common in dark-roasted coffees are burnt, charred, ashy, and smoky which yield an extremely harsh and sharp coffee. This is due to burning the coffee beans and dark-roasting is one of the hardest levels to roast in. If you look at the wheel, much like light-roasts, there are some great aromas and tastes in the dark-roast range of coffee, but some non-desirable ones as well. Ashy, burnt, and tarry are some examples of flavors you don't want in dark-roasted coffee, but these can unfortunately appear more frequently than consumers think. Dark-roasted coffee is very popular, but it takes a skilled roaster to craft a coffee in this roasting range with the best notes of flavor and aromas without burning the beans.

Written and posted by: Alexander Rubin, STIR Mobile Coffee, Co-Owner