THE CRUSH Brent Wolczynski, head brewer of Cold Brew at Stumptown, was inspired by the collaborations often seen among craft beer breweries. It's not common in coffee, so he proposed the idea of a coffee coupling with Slingshot Coffee Co. -- a company that stood out as a great partner because of their exceptional cold brew and generally adventurous spirit.

THE CRUSH

Brent Wolczynski, head brewer of Cold Brew at Stumptown, was inspired by the collaborations often seen among craft beer breweries. It's not common in coffee, so he proposed the idea of a coffee coupling with Slingshot Coffee Co. -- a company that stood out as a great partner because of their exceptional cold brew and generally adventurous spirit.

THE MEETING As fate would have it, Jenny Bonchak, Co-Founder of Slingshot Coffee Co. and Diane Aylsworth, VP of Cold Brew at Stumptown, met the at the Specialty Coffee Association annual conference in April of 2016 and a friendship instantly blossomed between the two. Shortly after, they decided that the two companies would get together, share insights, inspiration and expertise to create a collaborative coffee beverage.

THE MEETING

As fate would have it, Jenny Bonchak, Co-Founder of Slingshot Coffee Co. and Diane Aylsworth, VP of Cold Brew at Stumptown, met the at the Specialty Coffee Association annual conference in April of 2016 and a friendship instantly blossomed between the two. Shortly after, they decided that the two companies would get together, share insights, inspiration and expertise to create a collaborative coffee beverage.

FIRST DATE In August, Slingshot made the trek from Raleigh to Portland for a few days of meetings, brainstorming, team building and consuming copious amounts of local fare. After throwing around a ton of ideas, it was there that the idea of bringing the coffee plant back together that really excited our teams. Marrying coffee with cascara felt like the ultimate celebration of collaboration. With each company's’ respective expertise and a lot of enthusiasm, the base was rounded out for the next phase of the collaboration.

FIRST DATE

In August, Slingshot made the trek from Raleigh to Portland for a few days of meetings, brainstorming, team building and consuming copious amounts of local fare. After throwing around a ton of ideas, it was there that the idea of bringing the coffee plant back together that really excited our teams. Marrying coffee with cascara felt like the ultimate celebration of collaboration. With each company's’ respective expertise and a lot of enthusiasm, the base was rounded out for the next phase of the collaboration.

LONG DISTANCE PHONE CALLS The teams embarked on the experimental phase of their relationship. With Slingshot based in Raleigh, NC and Stumptown in Portland, OR, the teams began to mail samples of coffee and cascara to opposite coasts along with formulas, ideas, stories of failures, and little victories. From August to December, the teams at Slingshot and Stumptown experimented with the concept by testing different blend ratios, steep times, levels of sweetness and more — all the while passing back and forth their research and development notes via emails, phone calls, photos and texts. To make sure the pairing was just right, we also experimented with many coffees and varieties of coffee cherries, finally landing on Stumptown’s Rwanda Huye Mountain Cold Brew and Slingshot's cold brewed cascara tea from Aida Batlle’s El Salvador Finca Kilimanjaro — both Direct Trade. As one might expect in a healthy relationship, after all was said and done, we found that the perfect balance of Cold Brew and cascara tea was an even 1:1 ratio.

LONG DISTANCE PHONE CALLS

The teams embarked on the experimental phase of their relationship. With Slingshot based in Raleigh, NC and Stumptown in Portland, OR, the teams began to mail samples of coffee and cascara to opposite coasts along with formulas, ideas, stories of failures, and little victories. From August to December, the teams at Slingshot and Stumptown experimented with the concept by testing different blend ratios, steep times, levels of sweetness and more — all the while passing back and forth their research and development notes via emails, phone calls, photos and texts. To make sure the pairing was just right, we also experimented with many coffees and varieties of coffee cherries, finally landing on Stumptown’s Rwanda Huye Mountain Cold Brew and Slingshot's cold brewed cascara tea from Aida Batlle’s El Salvador Finca Kilimanjaro — both Direct Trade. As one might expect in a healthy relationship, after all was said and done, we found that the perfect balance of Cold Brew and cascara tea was an even 1:1 ratio.

PASSING NOTES Both companies wanted to be sure that Long Distance Relationship looked lovely for it’s debut into the world. To continue the collaborative spirit, the two design teams started sending sketches and mock-ups back and forth. After a lot of sketches of telephones and conversations about the color blush, the designers created a wonderfully nostalgic and one-of-a-kind package for our love child.

PASSING NOTES

Both companies wanted to be sure that Long Distance Relationship looked lovely for it’s debut into the world. To continue the collaborative spirit, the two design teams started sending sketches and mock-ups back and forth. After a lot of sketches of telephones and conversations about the color blush, the designers created a wonderfully nostalgic and one-of-a-kind package for our love child.

THE LOVECHILD In March of 2017, the teams came back together in Portland to brew, can, and package Long Distance Relationship. We brewed a batch of Cold Brew in one tank and steeped cascara in the other before finally uniting them during the canning process. From the design to the formulation to the production, this was a 100 percent collaborative effort. Our teams meshed really well, and we have a delicious beverage and great friendships to show for it. After everything was dialed and the first few cans came off the line, our teams celebrated by joyfully shotgunning (or attempting to shotgun) a few of the first cans off the line.

THE LOVECHILD

In March of 2017, the teams came back together in Portland to brew, can, and package Long Distance Relationship. We brewed a batch of Cold Brew in one tank and steeped cascara in the other before finally uniting them during the canning process. From the design to the formulation to the production, this was a 100 percent collaborative effort. Our teams meshed really well, and we have a delicious beverage and great friendships to show for it. After everything was dialed and the first few cans came off the line, our teams celebrated by joyfully shotgunning (or attempting to shotgun) a few of the first cans off the line.

GET YOURS If you’d like to try this crisp and balanced bevvie, it is now available locally in Raleigh at Yellow Dog Bread and Videri Chocolate. You can also get your hands on a can at all Whole Foods locations in the Southeast, Stumptown cafes nationwide and New Seasons grocery stores. For more information contact info@slingshotcoffeecompany.com.

GET YOURS

If you’d like to try this crisp and balanced bevvie, it is now available locally in Raleigh at Yellow Dog Bread and Videri Chocolate. You can also get your hands on a can at all Whole Foods locations in the Southeast, Stumptown cafes nationwide and New Seasons grocery stores. For more information contact info@slingshotcoffeecompany.com.