Long Distance Relationship
LONG DISTANCE RELATIONSHIP
Stumptown Coffee Roasters and Slingshot Coffee Co. are proud to announce Long Distance Relationship, a first-of-its-kind bi-coastal collaboration that reunites the coffee bean and the coffee cherry together in one crisp beverage.
SLINGSHOT x STUMPTOWN: A Love Story
Relationships formed around the globe define the world of coffee. Those relationships, as well as the cross-country friendship between Slingshot and Stumptown, inspired the name for a first-of-its-kind collaboration, Long Distance Relationship. Brent Wolczynski, head brewer at Stumptown Cold Brew, was inspired by collaborations in craft beer, something not really seen much in coffee. Slingshot Coffee Co. stood out as a company to partner with because of their exceptional cold brew and generally adventurous spirit.
As fate would have it, Jenny Bonchak, Co-Founder of Slingshot Coffee Co. met Diane Aylsworth, VP of Cold Brew at Stumptown, met the at the Specialty Coffee Association annual conference in April of 2016 and a friendship instantly blossomed. Shortly after it was decided that the two companies would get together, share insights, inspiration and expertise to create a collaborative coffee beverage.
In August, Slingshot made the trek from Raleigh to Portland for a few days of meetings, brainstorming, team building, and consuming copious amounts of local fare. After throwing around a ton of ideas, it was there that the idea of bringing the coffee plant back together that really excited the team. Marrying coffee with cascara felt like the ultimate celebration of collaboration. With each company’s’ respective expertise and a lot of enthusiasm, we rounded the base to the next phase of our collaboration.
LONG DISTANCE PHONE CALLS
The teams embarked on the experimental phase of their relationship. With Slingshot based in Raleigh, NC, and Stumptown in Portland, OR, the teams began to mail samples of coffee and cascara to opposite coasts along with formulas, ideas, stories of failures and little victories. From August to December, the teams at Slingshot and Stumptown experimented with the concept by testing different blend ratios, steep times, levels of sweetness and more — all the while passing back and forth their research and development notes via emails, phone calls, photos and texts. To make sure the pairing was just right, they also experimented with many coffees and varieties of coffee cherries, finally landing on Stumptown’s Rwanda Huye Mountain Cold Brew and Slingshot’s cold brewed Cascara Tea sourced from Aida Batlle’s El Salvador Finca Kilimanjaro — both Direct Trade. As one might expect in a healthy relationship, after all was said and done, we found that the perfect balance of Cold Brew and Cascara Tea was an even 1:1 ratio.
Both companies wanted to be sure that Long Distance Relationship looked lovely for it’s debut into the world. To continue the collaborative spirit, each company’s design teams (Slingshot’s being their friends at Good South) started sending sketches and mock-ups back and forth. After a lot of sketches of telephones and conversations about the color blush, the designers created a wonderfully nostalgic and one-of-a-kind package for our love child.
In March of 2017, the teams came back together in Portland to brew, can, and package Long Distance Relationship. They brewed a batch of Cold Brew in one tank and steeped Cascara in the other before finally uniting them during the canning process. From the design to the formulation to the production, this was a 100 percent collaborative effort. The teams meshed really well, and now have a delicious beverage and great friendships to show for it. After everything was dialed in and the first few cans came off the line, the teams celebrated by joyfully shotgunning (or attempting to shotgun) a few of the first cans off the line.
SEE THE BABY
Long Distance Relationship officially launches on April 20, 2017, and is available at the following locations:
Whole Foods Market (Southeast stores)
New Seasons (PNW)
Stumptown Cafes (Nationwide)
Select Independent Retailers