Station Cold Brew
Station Cold Brew has been brewing up cold coffee since last summer , and if you still haven't heard of it, you'll want to check it out. They've primarily stuck to a wholesale distribution model, but lucky for coffee lovers, have also opened a bottle shop to make their product that much more accessible.
I visited their retail space and brewery in the Junction Triangle , knocking on the glass garage door where I was greeted by coffee enthusiast and marketing manager, Mitch Stern. It's an interesting way to enter a retail shop, but appears to be a good conversation starter.
The space lends itself well to the coffee lover, and if the aroma doesn't entice you on entrance, the product will. The front space has a very typical bar setup, with a keg and tap on the left and brewing functionality in the back, but don't let its appearance fool you. It's still a spot for caffeine lovers.
Station Cold Brew is Canada's first coffee brewery. Brewmaster Mike Roy informs me it's a modification on traditional steeping processes, using equipment specifically designed for cold brewing coffee on a mass scale. "We're lucky to be the first and only people in Canada using it. It's not yet available to the American market," Roy comments.
Roy continues, "the process involves steeping fresh ground coffee in cold water for 18 hours and straining it through a special woven cotton blended filter to produce an over-extracted, rich and naturally sweet concentrate. The brew is then distilled to our spec, creating our signature ready-to-drink product."
The result? A unique, non-acidic, cold coffee that I'm pleasantly surprised by. Mitch pours me a nitro brew in a plastic cup, and the traditional bar banter among bartender and customer ensues, this time chatting about coffee rather than beer.
The coffee itself pours similar to a Guinness - creamy, dark brown and takes a few moments to settle in the cup. I drink it black and must say, as a coffee lover, I really enjoy it.
They currently use coffee from Social Coffee & Tea Co. based in Richmond Hill, with beans sourced directly from Africa and South America. The beans were chosen for a variety of reasons, one being their direct trade platform and consistent and quality coffee.
Owner Steve Ballantyne informs me he was inspired by cold coffee brewing while visiting New York City for work. He thought if he loved it, others would too. He was right. Station Cold Brew ships kegs to Bar Hop and major offices around Toronto.
Interested in trying their product without leaving your house? Station Cold Brew is available via Hurrier (within a 4km radius from 300 Campbell Avenue), Good Foot Delivery , and Uber Eats on Friday's.
Aside from their nitro brew and stubbies, the product is also available in growlers (64oz), bag in a box (5L), and their 30L kegs. A unique way to indulge in their product is also via their 32oz bottles of concentrate (2 bottles for $36), allowing the coffee to be used as a base for an americano, a base for a cocktail, or an ingredient for baking, such as in Urban Acorn's pear and coffee caramel spread.
They also have merchandise including t-shirts and great stocking stuffers such as an all natural coffee scrub ($16) made by Bohemia Babe down the street, who uses Station Cold Brew coffee grinds and all natural ingredients, which is great for your skin.
While it may be a newer model for coffee lovers, it's an interesting way to think about coffee and healthier alternatives to grab while looking for that much needed jolt of caffeine.
Photos by Hector Vasquez.