Published in June 2017
Five years ago we approached Taylors of Harrogate to see about buying some coffee from them to help enhance the flavour of our coffee porter – Londinium. We were pleasantly surprised when they invited us to their tasting room to try various different beans and roasts in order to ensure we got the right coffee to complement the beer. We’ve also developed High Tea, our jasmine green tea IPA that’s now brewed as annual special, having worked very closely with Taylors’ tea buying team. The relationship between the two companies has continued to develop and various conversations have taken place over the years, with different ideas bounced around.
Back in November 2016 we once again spent some time in Taylors tasting room to try various teas and coffees in order to see what else we can come up with. A couple of ideas using two particular teas were discussed and will be trialled later in the year and maybe into next, given how quickly time seems to be passing at the moment, but one particular idea involving a very interesting and unique coffee stood out.
The beer in question has been brewed with a Rainforest Alliance Arabica coffee from Kenya that displays notes of grapefruit, hints of lemon and orange and a honeyed sweetness. Over the past six months, having brewed three trials and tasted each one with members of the Taylors team in order to get the balance of what we’ve set out to achieve just right, we are now in a position to launch Wake-Up Call, which is a limited edition 6.5% black coffee IPA.
One of the people who we’ve worked closely with on Wake-Up Call is Jamie Bell, Taylors of Harrogate Coffee Innovation Manager. This is what Jamie had to say about the coffee used:
“This exceptional coffee grows on the slopes of Mount Kenya, north of Nairobi, where they have plentiful rainfall and rich red soils – the co-operatives we source from are named Mutira, Mwirua, Ndumberi. Bursting with delicious citrus fruit flavours and bright, crisp acidity, balanced with a pleasant honeyed sweetness. We use a medium roast to bring out the best of the complexity and intense flavours. The Kenyan highlands offer excellent conditions for growing coffee. Grown between 5000-6000 feet there are moderate year round temperatures, and deep, rich volcanic soils. Combined with well distributed rainfall the coffee cherries grow slowly and gently, resulting in the lively cup described. Kenyan coffee is now recognised by many as the best in the world.”
The resulting beer gives the illusion of having a dark roasted malt flavour, but what’s actually delivered is a smooth and slightly sweet caramel character, with a layered hop bitterness, leading to a coffee finish. The citrus notes of the coffee have been enhanced by the use of Cascade, Centennial, Chinook and Waimea hops, which in turn impart floral, citrus and piney characteristics to the beer.
Wake-Up Call will be available in cask, keg and can for a limited time only from July 17th, with pre-orders now being taken.