Know any good riffs? The crew at Riff Cold Brewed does — they're riffin' on coffee-centric ideas day in, day out. Riff opened the world's first cold-brew taproom in December, featuring over 10 finely crafted cold-brewed coffees on tap at any given time, in addition to beer and kombucha on their custom-made 30-tap tower—a beautiful sculpture in its own right.
I discovered the joy of cold brew a few years ago. It has lower acidity than coffee brewed with hot water (buh-bye, acid reflux), and the cold brew process brings out delicate notes in coffee beans, often lost when brewing hot coffee. There's nothing standard or classic about Riff's brews—they're always trying new brews and rotating the taps. The Arm in Arm is a popular brew, with notes of red berry and stonefruit. Personally, I like the CBD version, which contains 50 MG of CBD per serving. It takes a little of the edge off the caffeine.
The Alter Ego sparkling coffee fruit tea is something special as well, and the perfect caffeinated refreshment for a summer day on their patio. Coffee fruit, or cascara, is a waste byproduct of coffee harvesting.
One hundred billion pounds is estimated to be wasted this year, left in fields to decompose, says Paul Evers—Riff's co-founder. In addition to not being great for the environment, it's a product from which hard-working farmers aren't making a profit, because the demand for it is so low. Evers is excited about the idea of utilizing this underused fruit to create a new revenue stream for farmers, while highlighting how versatile and colorful in flavor coffee can be.
"It's a tall order to reframe what a coffee establishment is," says Evers. "But for all those people who have been [to the taproom] and experienced it—we get really great feedback and reviews. Then we're also seeing it as an experiment, too—so we're constantly learning and adapting and modifying."