Photos by Ike Percifield @canonike

Photos by Ike Percifield @canonike

A little Q & A with Tricia Howerzyl, Owner, Kettle Coffee & Tea.

Kettle Coffee & Tea has been operating for 4 years in the heart of downtown Escondido. Recently, they participated in the inaugural Cold Brew City tasting event where they placed Second in the original cold brew category. We stopped in to follow up with them at their shoppe, and caught Gian Caballero, modeling Hedley & Bennett aprons awarded for Kettle's cold brew prowess (retail value $98 each).

SDCN: What first got you into specialty coffee?

Howerzyl: I've wanted to own a coffee shop since I was in high school, but visiting San Francisco's Four Barrel, Ritual and Blue Bottle made me fall in love with the new aesthetic of coffee. San Francisco revealed such a high level of quality and a thoughtful approach to design that it inspired me to pursue coffee as a career.

SDCN: How do you cold brew?

Howerzyl: At Kettle, we currently brew with a Yama dripper (Kyoto style) and 24 hour Toddy Immersion. I always try to experiment with coffees that show through in the cold brewing process, that demonstrate a coffees characteristics. I am more experimental using the Kyoto and I often use Ethiopian naturals, Kenya, or brighter Colombians because the flavor notes pop using that method. For our Toddy, we try to find a flavor profile that will appeal to a wide variety of people, while still using lighter roasted, single-origin coffees. We are currently experimenting with Nitrogen Cavitation, which speeds up the cold brewing process, decreasing the amount of oxidation. Oxidation is one of the down sides of cold brewing, so we're excited to explore this option.

SDCN: Why do you think your original cold brew resonated with so many at Cold Brew City 2016?

Howerzyl: We served a well processed natural Ethiopian from Klatch Coffee using a Yama dripper (Kyoto) that had a very strong blueberry/chocolate flavor profile with some soft acidity. We received comments that our cold brew stood out as being different. Cold Brew has been marketed as a "low acid" alternative to hot coffee over the years and I think the tendency is for cold brew to lack any interesting flavor notes for the sake of "smoothness." I love a balanced acidity and sweetness, so I'm more interested in highlighting this in cold brew. Maybe those who attended enjoyed that approach.

Stay tuned as we share more about the winners of Cold Brew City over the next few weeks. Better yet, stop into their shoppes and taste what all the buzz is about. Take home a growler of cold brew to enjoy hot or cold in the comfort of home. Be on the look out for Swell Coffee Co., Second Place in the signature cold brew category, and Mostra Coffee, who took First Place in both the original and signature categories.