Station Cold Brew Coffee Co
By Graham Slaughter

A Daytime Buzz

Billed as Canada’s first coffee brewery, Station Cold Brew Coffee Co. is the epitome of a one-stop shop. Small batches of cold brew coffee are steeped in the backroom before being served front-of-house in this quaint Junction Triangle locale. The shop’s pièces de résistance are its dual taps — similar to a bar — that pour out tall draughts of silky, nitrous-infused coffee. If you close your eyes, the creamy texture can easily be confused for a cool pint of stout.

“We really promote drinking it black because it is such a unique black coffee experience. It’s different. However, we always have sweeteners and milks because we would never force people to change their coffee routine,” says co-owner Mitchell Stern.

Opened in September 2015, the shop serves up stubbies ($4) and growlers ($8 for the bottle, $15 for a refill) filled with its signature blend. The reclaimed wood-clad space also acts as a bottle shop and office space for the rapidly expanding wholesaler, which supplies bottled coffee to Whole Foods, Twitter and Google Canada’s offices in Toronto and Waterloo. “We’ve been getting inquiries from all around the globe about the brand — Dubai, Australia, Ireland, Asia,” says co-owner Steve Ballantyne.

I think you can do business and do good for the world at the same time. - Steve Ballantyne, co-owner
Station Cold Brew Coffee Co. - Station owners in front of their charming Junction Triangle bottle shop
Station Cold Brew Coffee Co. - growler-sized bottles are available for takeaway

Time-Tempered Taste

For the record: cold brew isn’t simply chilled drip. The beans are roasted and ground like a typical coffee, but instead of using heat to extract the beans' flavour, Station Cold Brew Coffee Co. uses time — 18 hours, to be precise — and chilled, filtered water.

“It’s a gentle extraction,” explains Mitch. “It brings out different notes, different flavours, and it actually removes most of the acidity.”

The owners found that the brew pairs particularly well with whiskey, so they teamed up with Jameson at several events to promote a chilled coffee cocktail. Steve jokes that his “evil plan” is to replace the vodka-and-energy drink combo with a more sophisticated alternative.

Station Cold Brew Coffee Co. - draught-poured cold brew coffee has the texture and weight of a cold pint of stout
Station Cold Brew Coffee Co. - a range of bottle sizes are available at the shop

Reduce, Re-brew, Recycle

As part of its guiding ethos, Station Cold Brew Coffee Co. seeks out socially and environmentally responsible approaches to business. Its house brew is an Ethiopian and Columbian blend from Social Coffee and Tea Co., a Richmond Hill-based direct trade roaster that invests in its coffee farmers. In the spirit of conservation, the company makes use of old grinds by “up-cycling” them into skincare products, including a facial scrub and a balm, made in partnership with local beauty brand Bohemia Babe.

As for its bottles, Station Cold Brew Coffee Co. gives discounts to customers who come back to the shop to refill their 64-ounce growlers. As Steve points out, if a customer drinks from a glass or mug, there’s almost zero waste in the entire process. “I've always wanted to be in the green business. I think you can do business and do good for the world at the same time,” he says.

Station Cold Brew Coffee Co. - ethically and sustainably sourced coffee from Social
Station Cold Brew Coffee Co. - coffee-based products and Station-branded swag are also available at the shop
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