How Our Packaging Preserves Flavor and Freshness
When you step into an Apotheos coffeehouse, you can trust that an expert barista will prepare a fresh, handcrafted coffee drink that's perfectly satisfying every time.
But as we've expanded our little community business into a national online store, we've been faced with a challenge: how can we ensure that our fans beyond Metro Atlanta enjoy that coffeehouse experience? How can we be sure that every bag of beans or can of our signature cold brew tastes as delicious and expertly-prepared as it would inside our café?
To address the challenge, we spent months toying with our packaging, figuring out how to contain our one-of-a-kind coffee so that anyone who orders from our online store can enjoy that fresh-from-the-roaster experience. So how do we capture that freshness? Keep reading to learn more.
Part I: Roasted Beans
Maybe you've bought a bag of coffee from the supermarket, and noticed that little pinhole-sized valve on the side. If you're particularly nosy, you may have pushed some air through it to get a good whiff of coffee aroma. (Who can blame you? Fresh-roasted coffee has a magical scent, especially ours).
But that valve is not just for smelling the coffee before you buy it. In fact, that hole is for the one-way transfer of gas. See, once coffee has been roasted, it immediately starts releasing carbon dioxide. Without that valve, the beans would emit so much gas into the bag that it could puff up, and maybe even explode! Trust us, we know from experience.
About a year ago, we needed to rush an order of fresh-roasted Beacon Blend, sealing the beans into bags before allowing them enough time to breathe. Pretty soon, we got a call from the post office, informing us that many of the bags had exploded, flooding the mailroom with sweet-smelling Apotheos coffee beans. It was, well, a bit of a disaster.
But we've learned our lesson. We now let coffee beans sit for at least 24 hours before packing them into our bags, which have a valve on the side. But the valve doesn't just allow carbon dioxide to escape. Our bags are also specifically designed to keep oxygen out.
Oxygen is the number one offender when it comes to spoiling perfectly good coffee. Even a little oxygen can make the coffee taste stale or bland. Never fear. When you order a bag of Apotheos beans, you can bet they'll be as fresh the day you open them as they were when we first roasted them.
Part II: Cold Brew
If you've read our previous posts, you already know that we've been cold-brewing coffee for decades. But only recently we started selling it by the can to be enjoyed at home. That's because we didn't want to make our famous cold brew available for order until we figured out the perfect way to package it. But how could we give our at-home customers that creamy, bubbly mouthfeel they expect from a coffeehouse cold brew?
We're not the first beverage makers to face this challenge. Back in the late 1980s, Guinness beer released its now-famous widget, a tiny hallow ball that swims at the bottom of their cans. The widget is filled with nitrogen gas, and when you crack open a can of Guinness, the ball activates, releasing tiny, smooth nitrogen bubbles into the beer. That's what gives it its texture.
Guinness, however, has been stingy with its patents all these years, preventing other companies from using the technology. But recently, Budweiser figured out another way to infuse nitrogen into their canned beer, and the American company decided to make it available to everyone. That's the technology we use to trap that delicious creamy texture in our cold brew.
Just before sealing our cans, we use a thin needle to infuse the cold brew with a small amount of liquid nitrogen. Once you crack open your can of cold brew, the nitrogen reacts to the change in pressure, sending those tiny, fizzy bubbles throughout the coffee. What results is a textured, creamy, coffeehouse-style cold brew right in the palm of your hand.
From our house to yours
For thirty years, it's been our honor to serve handcrafted coffee drinks to the Atlanta area. But now, with our new roastery and buzzing cold brew operation, we can finally share that joy with the entire country. It is our packaging that helps us do that, capturing the freshness and beauty of our coffee until you're ready to enjoy it from home.