The coffee industry has gone through major changes over the last decade. From vitamin-infused coffees to pharmaceutical-grade CBD coffee, new coffee trends are popping up every time you hit the refresh button on your internet browser. One such trend is the lost art of barrel aged coffee or also sometimes considered cask coffee.
So what exactly is barrel aged coffee and what does it mean for your average coffee lover?
To start, let's look at an actual coffee bean. Coffee beans are porous by nature and so they easily adopt the aromas and flavors of their surrounding environment. Ever try storing coffee beans in a freezer full of meat? You'll notice that if it's in there long enough, your brew will may have aroma notes of Ribeye and New York Strip. While that may not necessarily be a bad thing in and of itself, coffee that smells like meat isn't very appealing. It's for this reason that many high-end coffee importers go to painstaking lengths to ensure their coffee beans aren't exposed to unwanted aromas during shipping.
This same concept is applied to the idea of barrel aged coffee. Coffee beans are aged in empty barrels that once held Whiskey or Bourbon. Some people wonder whether the coffee beans are soaked in Whiskey and Bourbon to maximize absorption. The answer is no. Given their porous nature, coffee beans would soak up the moisture and be rendered unroastable. For some reason, the combination of coffee with Whiskey or Bourbon makes for an unbelievably delicious cup of coffee whether you actually have a preference for these specific spirits or not. It's one of those things that you have to experience to fully appreciate. Once you've tried it, you'll immediately be able to detect the signature Whisky or Bourbon flare in your coffee.
Interestingly enough, the quality of the Whiskey and Bourbon that was housed in the aging barrels have a big affect on the end product. A barrel that held top shelf alcohol versus bottom shelf will taste different.
Coffee lovers are frequently looking for ways to get the most out of their cup of Joe. Barrel aged coffee offers a truly unique arrangement of distinct flavors that may have you redefining what a good cup of coffee is. A bold statement I know. But there's a reason barrel aged coffee is more than a temporary trend in the coffee industry. It's arguably a revolution no different than the invention of beer-battered foods. Some may not relate to that analogy but as a fan of beer battered anything, it resonates with me.
Interested in trying Barrel Aged Coffee?
For those new to the world of barrel aged coffees, we've assembled a couple of the best barrel aged coffees on the market.
Using a highly meticulous process, Bones Coffee has produced a barrel aged coffee that stands above many of the other competitors in this field. They select the finest oak barrels for aging and maintain a very high standard for what constitutes quality barrel aged coffee. The resulting coffee is a full-flavored coffee bean infused with a subtly sweet and smokey bourbon taste. Bones Bourbon coffee uses 100% Arabica beans to capture this rich Bourbon flavor. This is a medium roast. This coffee is amazingly smooth and punctuated by a clear bourbon finish.
Cooper Cask Coffee offers their signature Barrel Aged series for those looking for a revitalized coffee experience. Cooper Cask ages their coffee in recently emptied barrels for months prior to roasting. This ensures each pore of every coffee bean is filled with potent flavors of Whiskey, Bourbon, or Rum. This process results in a very earthen flavor that couldn't be more different than the syrup-flavored coffees. With many flavored coffees out there, there's an artificial flavor that in my opinion, can mar what would otherwise be authentic coffee flavor. Because of the unique process that Cooper Cask Coffee undergoes, these coffee beans are full of an authentically nature flavor. Cooper Cask Coffee offers a 100% money back guarantee which speaks volumes about the confidence they have in their product.