A few weeks ago, I shared a few of your favorite brewers’ favorite coffees. But there’s no reason brewers should have all the fun.
Northwest spirits producers often work closely with coffee roasters to produce coffee liqueurs or match liquors to coffee for exceptional cocktails. They also frequently enjoy a hot, strong cup on their own time. Here are a few of your favorite Northwest distillers on their favorite Northwest cafés and coffees.
Cory Duffy, Rain City Spirits, Seattle: Rain City won our Best of 2013 issue’s Best Coffee Spirit for their exceptional Drip Coffee Liqueur thanks in part to a close relationship with Caffe Vita. Rain City owner and distiller Duffy says, “One thing I really appreciate about Caffe Vita is their commitment to not only excellence but to artisan roasting.” He also lists locals Café Ladro and Slate among his top picks.
Lisa Simpson, The Liberty Distillery, Vancouver: Simpson’s favorites range all around Vancouver. Among them are Wicked Café which Simpson says is “fair trade coffee that packs a mean punch,” along with Arbutus Coffee, situated inside a heritage house.
Jill Koenig, Koenig Distillery, Caldwell, Ida.: Koenig speaks for her whole distillery in extolling the virtues of Flying M Coffee House for their beans and their ambiance. “Not only do they make the best coffee drinks in the Treasure Valley,” she explains, “they have become a place where everyone is welcome.”
Caitlin Prueitt and Christopher Neumann, Vivacity Spirits, Corvallis, Ore.: The husband-and-wife team behind Vivacity have been putting in long hours turning one of their favorite coffees into a similarly nuanced Turkish Coffee Liqueur. “Dennis and Casey Collett of Oregon Coffee & Tea in downtown Corvallis worked with us,” explain Prueitt and Neumann. “They have supplied us with green beans for home roasting of coffee for years.”
Lea Beckett, Grand Teton Vodka, Teton Valley, Ida.: Grand Teton’s president is looking forward to making a coffee vodka available by the end of the year. In the meantime, she sips Grand Teton Vodka shaken with espresso, Amaretto and chocolate syrup and topped with a float of cream. “We call this an Indulgence Martini—all your favorite things in a martini glass,” Beckett says.
Lórien Schramm, Pemberton Distillery, Pemberton, BC: “We are big fans of Mount Currie Coffee Co. here. It was started by a local coffee connoisseur looking to bring a quality coffee experience to Pemberton,” Schramm says. She says also enjoys Salt Spring Coffee Company, who fresh-roast the coffee for Pemberton’s soon-to-be-released Coffee Liqueur.
Tom Burkleaux, New Deal Distillery, Portland: Distiller and owner Burkleaux loves nearby Portland roasters Water Avenue Coffee and Coava. “Water Ave Coffee has worked with us in custom roasting beans for our coffee liqueurs,” he explains of New Deal’s single-origin coffee spirits. His favorite from the line? An Ethiopian Peaberry variety.