Welcome to Day One of Sprudge’s live coverage of the Roaster’s Village at South by Southwest! We’ve worked behind the scenes for a few months now to curate a lineup of a dozen or so coffee brands from around the world for coffee’s inaugural appearance at SouthBites, the food portion of the weeklong arts, music, tech, and entertainment festival.
Over the course of the next few days, we’ll be taking a closer look at coffee companies that joined us for this, the first-of-its-kind SXSW Roaster’s Village. We’re really excited with how everything has turned out, and we are even more excited to share it with you. So even if you weren’t lucky enough to be down here, basking in the Texas heat with us, slamming all manner of delicious coffee beverages, we’re going to get you so close to the action you can taste it.
Any inaugural Texas coffee event wouldn’t be complete without Tweed Coffee Roasters, the Austin via Dallas-based roasting arm of Houndstooth Coffee. In true Tweed fashion, their booth was simple and well-executed, including two Clever brewed hot coffee options—the washed Red Bourbon Kibuye from Gitega, Burundi and the washed Bourbon, Caturra, and Typica Araguaney from the Aprocassi Coop in Peru—and a flash chilled iced coffee—the Los Romerillos in Ecuador. That flash chilled option was a hot commodity in the South By heat.
Tweed is going to be all over Austin this weekend, being part of some delicious coffee cocktails at all three Houndstooth locations. If you’re willing to wait in the 30-minute line, they’ll make it well worth your wait.
Slingshot Coffee Roasters + Oatly
For the hottest day expected during the three-day SouthBites outdoor pavilion, cold coffee drinks are a must-have. And Slingshot Coffee is probably one of the hottest cold coffee brands out there right now. You’ll be seeing them in grocers on the West Coast very soon, and their East Coast presence is about to receive a major boost now that they will be debuting at Publix. The North Carolina-based RTD maker came armed to the teeth with tasty cold coffee beverages, ready to battle the heat wave.
Along with their classic cascara tea on top (with very cool and maybe a little dangerous slingshot tap handles) and cascara tonic made with Jack Rudy tonic, Slingshot debuted a few new offerings, including a blueberry jasmine cascara drink, made with 100% blueberry juice and dried jasmine flower. They also brought their new Cascarnold, a cascara-based take on the Arnold Palmer and the Slingshotte, a cold brew and Oatly concoction (WOW! No cow!). With all the tasty SouthBy-exclusive cold brew concoctions being whipped up around the Roaster’s Village, I found myself trying to pocket a few bottles of Slingshot for some later time drinking, that may or may not include a little whiskey.
Stumptown Coffee Roasters
While most booths were serving drinks and scooting attendees along, Portland’s Stumptown Coffee invited attendees to come in and take a load off. Their very chill hang out space was just the sort of respite needed when the sun came bearing down. Offering all manner of cold brew—canned, tapped, nitro’d, mocha-fied, you name it—the small little seating section was a great way to enjoy a tasty beverage while perusing city guides from Wildsam, an Austin-based maker of pocket-sized travel hot spots for some of America’s great cities, including Austin (obvz), New Orleans, Los Angeles, and Brooklyn.
And if a nice espresso was what you are looking for, Stumptown also brought a La Marzocco Linea Mini for traditional cafe-type drinks. Of all the booths, this was the closest to an actual coffee shop experience and we are here for it.
Irving Farm Coffee Roasters
Not to be outdone, NYC’s Irving Farm brought a very non-mobile espresso setup, including a two-group La Marzocco GB5 and a Mazzer Major espresso grinder. They brought with them the Los Alisos from producer Sergio Palermo in the Chirinos region, a coffee from Peru that made for a really balanced espresso, sweet but with a really nice body.
But what really stole the show at the Irving Farm booth was their Cold Brew Cola. A take on the Manhattan Special, Irving Farm topped off their tasty cold brew with a cascara syrup foam, peppermint, lavender, and rosemary, finished off with a garnish of Amarena cherries, one of which was dipped in real gold. REAL GOLD! The way it glimmered in the sun made me think twice about eating it. But I still ate it and now the net worth of my body is a little higher than it was before. The Cold Brew Cola was probably the most complex coffee cocktail I had today at the Roaster’s Village; the layers of herby, floral, sweet, effervescent flavors kept me gulping it down, even though it was legitimately my 12th coffee in about a two-hour stretch.
Tune in tomorrow as we bring you four more coffee brands slinging the good stuff at the Sprudge-curated Roaster’s Village here at SouthBites. And make sure you are checking out our Instagram live stories for all the live action as it is happening live.
Sprudge Media Network’s coverage of the Roaster’s Village at SXSW 2018 is sponsored by Falcon Coffees.