Backporch Coffee Roasters – Bend, Ore.
Dave Beach is roasting on the 12 Kilo Diedrich when I arrive at Backporch Coffee Roasters, and Tony Querio is brewing a batch of cold brew. It’s hot, so I buy a cold brew and to my surprise it comes in a 325mL bottle. Dave says the idea came from seeing Stumptown bottle it’s brew. Bottled cold brew seems like a product that’s here to stay; I first saw it last summer with Sterling Coffee Roasters filling customers’ growlers with concentrate, and I noticed it more recently when growler sized bottles began to be bottled in Brooklyn with impressive bottle design and great press exposure.
Backporch’s cold brews are made using the Filtron system that’s been modified to use paper filters instead of wool felt. It’s brewed 10 feet from the roaster in the back half of their cafe. The concentrate is cut with water, poured into bottles, and the crown caps are clamped on by hand. Tony Querio created the labels. He runs his own photo and design firm in addition to working at Backporch. I ask him about the cold brew bottle design and how well they’ve been received by customers:
Did you base the bottle design off other beverage designs or did you find inspiration anywhere else?
“The bottle design was based on rough versions of our new packaging. I had a dirrection in mind from other pieces I had done for Backporch, trying to pull all the visual elements together into a uniform package. The key elements of that are the solid white and black horizontal lines. I was going for a modern take on an antique medicine bottle. I’ve seen so much coffee packaging that emphasizes the packaging and the brand. I was looking to highlight the product and coffee itself and build the brand around that. So much packaging is complex, so our well-designed minimalism stands out on the shelf.”
I know you sell the bottles at the farmers market. How do they go over with customers? Do you have many repeat costumers?
“We do sell them at our Farmer’s Market and generally they sell pretty well. The Bend Farmer’s Market we attend is not generally very strong for on sales for any coffee company due to the fact that it starts at 3:00 in the afternoon. We’re there primarily for the exposure and the opportunity to sample our coffee to people who would never make it into our shop.”
What about wholesale?
“There have been customers interested in seeing us sell it on a retail basis, however we are nearly maxing out our current production capabilities. The brew process requires 4 pounds to be soaked for a minimum of 18 hours and then cut with taste and hand bottled, so we literally do the whole process ourselves during shop hours.”
What’s different about your cold brew than from Stumptown’s and others?
“More and more roasteries are entering the cold bottled world, but ours stands out in that it is always made with our Direct Trade El Salvador Fina Las Delicias. We have a far more consistent flavor because of this an are able to tell the story of the Menendez brothers and their farm on the side of the bottle.”
“Also, we reuse our bottles. We started bottling so we would not continually be using a cup, lid, straw, ect. Many customers who take the bottles home, return them for reuse. The label is weatherproof so it can withstand repeat refrigeration and high-temp sanitation.”
“One of our customers, who daily orders an espresso and 2 bottles, owns our favorite restaurant Jackson’s Corner. There’s a cocktail in the works featuring our cold brew called The Cafe Racer.”