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Secret Squirrel Cold Brew

Creating the ultimate all-American cold brew coffee with Hawaiian beans and LA illustrators

by Julie Wolfson in Food + Drink on 30 May 2013

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Trevor and Rebecca Smith began their love affair with cold brew coffee by experimenting at home. Their adventures with beans, roasting profiles, brew times, filters and recipes led them to launch Secret Squirrel Cold Brew. The duo transforms organic fair-trade coffee into a cold-brewed concentrate, double filtering each batch for 18 to 24 hours. The 16 oz. bottles yield about seven servings (of eight oz. each) of the refreshing brew, and the results have earned Secret Squirrel fans in Los Angeles and beyond.

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Now Secret Squirrel is adding a new, limited edition product to their line of cute squirrel bottles. "While brainstorming on creating a special seasonal summer cold brew we hit upon an idea to create an all-American cold brew," says product manager Trevor Smith. “Hawaiian beans are pretty expensive, up to seven times the cost of premium beans from other countries. Kona is one of the most expensive coffee bean in the world. Other Arabica beans from Hawaii are also very expensive. So we thought we'd crowd-fund the project through Kickstarter," Smith says. With a launch planned for 4 July, the Secret Squirrel crew is inspired for its entirely American-sourced and -produced cold brew.

To make the project a reality, Doug Martin of Forge Coffee will be hand-roasting the premium Hawaiian beans, which the couple will cold-brew and bottle in 32 oz. amber growlers in California. The bottles will be designed by four artists including Ben Blake of Draw Coffee, Chris Piascik, Nicholas Moore and Sara Franklin.

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“We had worked with Chris, Ben and Nick on other projects. Nick is the one that inspired us to create a bottle with a custom design directly on it. Nick was a clerk at Atwater Village Farm at the time. When I arrived at the store to make a delivery one day, he presented me with one of our cold brew bottles that he had painted a design on,” explains Smith. “I immediately began to come up with ways to use the painted bottles for a limited edition bottle." Smith discovered Sara Franklin’s work through The Society of Illustrators of Los Angeles, an organization that unites professional illustrators. “We immediately fell in love with her style and her energy,” Smith says.

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According to Smith, “The growth of Secret Squirrel thus far has been rooted in creativity, design and grassroots community support. Kickstarter provides an opportunity to align with each of those. The bottles of brew will be the incentive, along with special T-shirts, pint glasses, or the ultimate perk: your face on the bottle. Each 32 oz. growler— complete with guitar playing critters, American flags and coffee cup illustrations—will make up to 12 coffee drinks. Get your own growler of Secret Squirrel Cold Brew for $50 and check out their just-launched Kickstarter page for more information.

Images by Vin Sue and courtesy of Secret Squirrel

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