The Beginning of DMC's Barrel Aging Program

A little throwback to the first article featuring our barrel aging program. While we never claimed to invent the process, we have definitely perfected the art of barrel aging coffee. This is only possible because of the support that all of you have provided us over the past three years. Without it, we wouldn't be able to push forward, exploring and creating exciting coffees. THANK YOU!! 

Tasting Table 

DRINKS Booze Brews Dark Matter's new barrel-aged coffee

BY HEATHER SPERLING 8/19/13

"This isn't innovative," insists Jesse Diaz, as he stands amidst coffee-filled bourbon barrels at Dark Matter Coffee's Ukrainian Village headquarters. "This is Old World." In an age when booze barrels are regularly repurposed to age vinegar, fish sauce, sugar, cocktails and tea, Diaz claims that the inspiration for his newest line of coffee isn't trend. It's the Dutch East India Company's historic, 17th-century method of shipping green (unroasted) coffee: in barrels, often those previously used for pickles or salt. Dark Matter's current batch of green beans is spending a week in Heaven Hill bourbon barrels. Once roasted and brewed, the time in oak manifests as mellowed acidity, heightened vanilla and caramel notes, and a burst of grape soda on the nose. The coffee is sold by the bag ($25 for 12 oz.) or brewed and bottled ($9 for 250 ml). Served over ice, the bourbon scent is especially apparent. The flavor of the bottle we brought home--from natural-processed Mexican beans, dried with the coffee cherry intact--was pure vanilla, caramel and banana, but the nose was all whiskey. More barrels are on the way: absinthe barrels from Letherbee (to be filled with Ethiopian beans), whiskey barrels from Koval, and a bourbon barrel that recently held Virtue cider. Now this is a morning cocktail we can get behind.

Nitro Black Splash Extravaganza!

We have been experimenting with nitrogenated coffee, which provides a creamier body and a visible head for an extended period with a cascading effect similar to a Guinness pour.

We have accumulated enough to release a  very limited amount of nitro'd Black Splash to all our retail locations. The pours will be sold for ONLY $5 dollars per pour, served in a special glass the customer can take home. The schedule is below, there are only five gallons per store so it's very limited.
 
There are plans to have future Black Splash Nitro releases but nothing is currently scheduled so stay tuned! 
Saturday
Country: El Salvador
Farm: Condor
Cultivar: Bourbon
Process: Washed
This exceptional brewery teamed up with Longman & Eagle, the Michelin award winning restaurant in Chicago, to produced a two Manhattan inspired strong ales for their restaurant, one barrel aged, one regular. Brewed with cherries and bitters, the ale is an easy drinking choice for this hot summer. We jumped into the collaboration circle by aging our El Condor beans inside this Rittenhouse Rye barrel, with a coffee that mirrors the refreshing and fruity characteristic of the ales. Notes: White Peach, Vanilla, Coconut 
Country: El Salvador
Farm: El Rosario
Cultivar: Bourbon
Process: Pulped Natural
 What happens when you take an already super funky and fun coffee and let it party inside a Basil Hayden barrel? You guessed it, a coffee that bursts with the brightness of a Green Apple, rich peanut butter and  the sweetness of turbinado sugar. (A partially refined light brown cane sugar.) 
Sunday
Star Lounge
Barrel: Pipeworks Elijah's Revival Barrel 
Country: Ethiopia 
Coop: Reko
Cultivar: Typica
Process: Natural
This barrel release has a great story, one that's worth telling over and over again. Let's start with the three main items, our Ethiopian Reko coffee, a 30 year old Heaven Hill bourbon barrel and our barley pop brothers at Pipeworks Brewing. We thought that would get your attention, now let's go.  

This barrel started out with the glorious tasting Heaven Hill bourbon, then went to Pipeworks Brewing to age the first of two beers, Imperial Jones Dog, 
for 10 months. This imperial milk stout brewed with cacao nibs and vanilla beans came out of the barrel with wonderful notes of oak, vanilla, coconut, dark fruits and dark chocolate, winning the FOBAB Gold Medal in 2015

To make things even more delicious, the barrel was then used to age their Elijah's Revival Wheat Wine Ale, an orange, citrus hops and spiced wheat ale. Finally, this flavorful barrel made its way to Dark Matter Coffee, where we placed our Ethiopian Reko inside at the tail end of winter to hibernate peacefully until spring. 

Our Ethiopian Reko is a mixed cultivar, natural processed coffee with notes of lemon candy, pineapple and cocoa. When combined with the flavor-packed barrel, new sweet and fruity tastes emerged. These flavors instantly reminded us of spring but also gives flashbacks to childhood summer flavors - cherry lime-aid, passion fruit and vanilla bean.