Australians can be rather smug about coffee. But for all the cafes serving topnotch espresso and batch brew, we’re really lagging when it comes to products ready to drink. In Japan and the US, high-quality iced lattes and cold brew made by small-batch coffee roasters have long been staples in supermarkets and convenience stores.
Now, two years after introducing its cold filter cask (a four-litre goon bag filled with coffee), seminal Melbourne roaster Seven Seeds has debuted a canned coffee. (It’s only available online and at Seven Seeds’ four Melbourne cafes for the time being.)
“We’ve spent a few years working on it, so we’re pretty excited to have it ready for release before Christmas and before summer,” says co-owner Bridget Amor. “We love the great outdoors. We love to go camping, we love to go away.”
The initial batch of 10,000 200-millilitre cans is being sold in packs of four ($16) or 16 ($60). Inside is a well-rounded coffee from Los Rosales, a small cooperative in western Colombia. The team at Seeds selected this origin for its broad appeal – it’s not too acidic and not too fruity. The tasting notes mention “berry notes with carameled finish”. It can be drunk as is, or with ice, milk, tonic water, lemonade or sliced fruit. Whatever you like, really.
Like the cold filter casks, Seven Seeds canned coffee is brewed using a method called “flash brew” or “snap chill”, whereby grounds are steeped in hot water to begin extraction of oils and acids, then rapidly chilled to capture the coffee at its best. This process is emerging as a more popular alternative to the simpler cold brew, which has limited extraction potential and tends to result in incredibly smooth yet flat and inexpressive coffees.