“As of this week, we have been acquired by Peet’s Coffee & Tea. We’re excited about the opportunities this will provide for us as we continue to grow.”
Stumptown goes on to explain how this acquisition will not impact their goals, or how they plan on achieving them. If anything, it appears as though Stumptown is getting a financial boost from Peet’s Coffee & Tea. In addition to the New Orleans location mentioned in the blog post, I would expect more stores to begin to show up across the U.S.
What does all this mean? Well, hopefully, not much. Except a whole lot more Stumptown.
If you hadn’t noticed, cold brew was a big craze this summer – to the point that Starbucks even cashed in on the hype. In many ways, Stumptown pioneered this coffee fad with the introduction of their squat bottles filled with cold brew in 2011. According to the NY Times article about this acquisition, this is around the time that Peet’s started to notice that Stumptown was doing something different.
My call? If anything, this is a great move for Peet’s. While they have been a mainstay in the coffee industry for decades, their image is closer to Starbucks than it is to Stumptown. Not only will this press be good for them, but the money that Stumptown brings in every summer with cold brew – along with their new stores – will make Peet’s tons of money.
Stumptown seems to be pretty solid on the idea that they are staying the same as a company. As a fan of their product, I definitely hope so.
A refreshing blend of cold brew coffee and coconut water in a convenient grab and go bottle
Loco Coco is a unique product that mixes coconut water and cold brew coffee to produce a beverage unlike any you’ll find currently on the market. They’re currently on Kickstarter, and just passed their financial goal. You can find more information about them on their website.
While they certainly don’t advertise it only as a sport’s drink, the concept of using coffee to fuel up before, or after a workout intrigued me greatly. The folks over at Loco Coco provided me with samples of their two flagship products: Original, and Black. Before I get into those, let’s take a look at the two main ingredients.
Coconut water has been touted as a miracle beverage, a great source of hydration, and a tasty post-workout drink by consumers and companies alike. Nearly 4 years ago NPR ran a fairly critical story about it, but that hasn’t stopped it from flying off store shelves.
While coffee is rarely advertised as a sport’s beverage, it shares key characteristics with energy drinks and pre-workout supplements – namely, caffeine. Caffeine is thought to be a dehydrator, yet the Army found that one 6oz cup per day has little impact on how our bodies hold onto water.
So, in theory, these two ingredients could be a killer combo. Most studies and research papers I found (like this one from Vanderbilt) showed that caffeine is one of the best ways to get a boost on physical performance; essentially you’re able to do more while feeling like you’re doing less. This, combined with the potassium, antioxidants, and vitamins found naturally in coconut water is a force to be trifled with. Regardless of your stance on coconut water’s miraculous qualities, the fact remains that it’s quite good for you.
My assessment is that Loco Coco is making a product that has all the markings of something that is as unique as it is healthy. But this is a coffee blog, and I’m all about taste. The next question on my mind: is it any good?
Loco Coco uses cold brew coffee presumably brewed in a Toddy based on their Kickstarter pictures. The only information given on their page refers to the coffee as “organic fair trade” which doesn’t give me much to go off of. This is understandable given that they may have to choose a variety of coffee roasters in order to scale their production to meet demand.
I was sent two versions of their product to review: Loco Coco Original and Loco Coco Black. I’ll be upfront: I liked them both, but I preferred Black. Here’s the breakdown.
Loco Coco Original
Their “original” beverage combines coconut water, cold brew coffee, coconut milk, and a pinch of pure cane sugar. This is a sweet beverage, more akin to something you might find from a big name coffee company appealing to the mass public’s palette. I certainly don’t count this against Loco Coco – after all, their goal is to appeal to a wide variety of consumers.
The coffee itself was heavily masked under the flavors of coconut water and coconut milk – but it was still present. I enjoyed the way all three flowed together to make something completely new, yet distinctly recognizable at the same time. The only thing I can compare this taste fusion to is caramel – sweet, rich, and slightly heavy. I didn’t hate it, but the coffee-lover in me wanted more. Thankfully, Loco Coco rose to the occasion in their other offering.
Loco Coco Black
I really enjoyed Black. It had the best parts of Loco Coco Original, and none of the drawbacks. The taste of fresh cold brew coffee shown through brightly, while at the same time accented with the crisp taste of coconut water. The coffee itself was somewhere between a light and medium roast, though the origins were hard to place.
Each sip made me nod in agreement with my taste buds, and when the bottle was finished I wanted another almost immediately. The aftertaste was bittersweet, yet with a soft edge that had to be the coconut water. I would far prefer this to something like Red Bull or Monster for a pre-workout beverage.
Loco Coco has already reached their $10,000 goal on Kickstarter, but I decided to back them anyways (if nothing else I’ll get some sweet gear!) It was an easy choice for me – I love coffee, and I enjoy coconut water. Loco Coco Black offers the best of each, and it’s a product I would really enjoy seeing on store shelves someday soon.
If you’re more into sweet things, you’ll love Loco Coco Original. According to their information page, Loco Coco is developing recipes for other sweet variations as well: Vanilla Chai, Cinnamon Bun, Mocha, and Chocolate Raspberry.
As of this writing their Kickstarter has a little more than two days until it’s complete. If you head over that way now, you can score a 4-pack of Coco Loco plus custom sunglasses for $50 – a small price to pay if you want to support some entrepreneurs who have developed a legitimately delicious product. Shipments start in October.
Can coffee and coconut water combine to make a sport’s drink? I think so. And if there’s anybody to tackle that question, it’s Loco Coco. Lord knows that they’ve made something tasty.
In this 4th installment of The BoiseCoffee Podcast I talk about cold brew coffee – what it is, how you make it, and why it’s suddenly become a cultural phenomenon this summer. For a quick guide on brewing, check out this post from earlier this summer.
I recommend using the Toddy Cold Brew system, available on Amazon here. Alternatively, you can use the French Press method or simply a mason jar with cheese cloth.