Coffee. It has become a ubiquitous part of our daily lives. For years, the running joke has been that some of us need to have a cup of coffee to even be able to function before noon. There is a bit of truth to that, as a survey by the National Coffee Association indicated that 64% of us have at least a cup of coffee every single day. Really, who doesn’t end up being a bit grumpy if they don’t have their coffee?
The end result is an utterly enormous market for coffee, with coffee shops that are seemingly on every corner, an aisle at your local grocery store, and the ability to buy coffee online from places with names such as “Death Wish Coffee”, who – as an aside – had to recall some of their coffee due to fear that there was bacteria that could kill you in one of their products. Irony, perhaps?
The point is, there is plenty of coffee out there. With that comes literally tons of coffee that isn’t very good. It should be noted that some coffee is obviously going to be terrible, such as the gas station coffee that may or may not be from this decade, but it should also be noted that some of the coffee that should be good…well, it really isn’t.
That’s where InkleDeux comes in.
Photo credit: Brandon Ray for InkleDeux
Founded and run by Brandon Ray and AJ Enfield, InkleDeux is, in the words of Brandon, “a people company who sells coffee to pursue our larger vision”. In part 2, I will explore that vision a bit more.
Brandon first started roasting coffee using a popcorn popper in his kitchen, over time graduating to the two-pound coffee roaster he currently uses, zeroing in on the perfect roast and flavor of the coffee. While I have not had the chance to try their coffee beans, I have tried their cold brew coffee.
Cold brew in itself is an art. The roast needs to be just right, and if it is too overdone, you can taste the bitter, burnt flavor from the first sip, putting a damper on the experience. Brewing it correctly requires patience, waiting for the water to slowly move through the coffee and into the container, hoping that the flavor profile is just right – that the flavors are balanced.
The end result takes time, but it is worth it. The test of a good cold brew, to me, is how smooth, flavorful, and strong it is. InkleDeux has figured out how to make cold brew that checks all of those boxes, and leaves you wanting more.
It also leaves you wide awake, which is incredibly important as well. The latest blend that I had has a chocolaty flavor to it, among more flavors dancing in the cup. It is intense, but not overwhelming. It is strong, but not bitter. It is, in short, everything one hopes for in a cup of coffee. The best part is the valve. The cold brew is sold in bottles that started life off holding wine. There is a cork in the bottle, which helps protect the coffee from the air, keeping the oxidation process at bay and allowing storage of the bottle in your fridge for a week or so. How long it lasts once you open it is up to your consumption speed, but I highly recommend that you do not drink the whole thing in one sitting. After all, there is a fine line between being wide awake and jittering worse than the time you took a shortcut on that dirt road.
For a limited time, there is a seasonal bottle as well. Priced at $14, it is brewed with maple syrup and pumpkin spices. The flavors are incredibly well-balanced, with the pumpkin spices showing up at the beginning and staying for the aftertaste. The maple syrup could be considered the bow on this gift, tying together the flavors and enhancing the experience. In an era where we throw pumpkin spice into everything, including Spam (yes, really), it is refreshing to find something where the flavor is controlled, where all of the elements can be enjoyed and savored.
Photo credit: Brandon Ray for InkleDeux
Cold brew coffee and coffee beans can be found at http://www.InkleDeux.com and starting on Saturday, November 2nd, InkleDeux will be selling their wares inside Throne Brewing (Formerly Dubina Brewing) from 8 am to noon as a pop-up shop. Throne Brewing is located at 17035 N 67th Ave #6, Glendale, AZ 85308.
On November 9th. I will be releasing part two. It will be a far more in depth look at InkleDeux, as they truly are far more than just coffee. Don’t miss it!