Lake Tahoe sits comfortably atop the border of California and Nevada and is a destination for those seeking rest and relaxation, those looking for adventure, and those who maybe want a little bit of both. No matter what your reason, you'll want to get some coffee, and the folks at Drink Coffee Do Stuff have got you covered. The company has two cafes in the Tahoe area and has just launched a fresh design for their packaging and merch. We spoke to Founder Nick Visconti to find out more.
How've y'all been doing here in 2021?
It’s a wild world, and we’ve been doing our best to stay caffeinated and killing it! Our company is based in Lake Tahoe, CA which happened to be the destination of choice for nearly every “Where Can You Travel To” article published in the last year. We've experienced record surges in tourism from all over the country, overwhelming new interest in the great outdoors, and a die-hard dedication from our local community and visitors alike, for drinking coffee and doing stuff.
Who designed your packaging?
In my pro snowboarding days, I was fortunate enough to work with world-class designers and creatives on hard and soft good products; when we started DRINK COFFEE DO STUFF it was essential to work with someone that lived our brand identity. Since 2017, we’ve worked exclusively with Mammoth Lakes-based designer Nathan Gilreath of Progressive Nature with all our products, including our new packaging.
Describe the look of the bags.
We care just as much what goes into your cup as what happens after it, so our bags tell that story. Our story. Your story. DRINK COFFEE DO STUFF is just as much an outdoor brand as it is a specialty coffee company. It was important to make sure each one of our year-round blends and single origins illustrated an experience that connects coffee to customers; for instance, our Hell Yeah! The blend is a little more rock ’n roll for the adrenaline junkies, while our Party Wave Blend captures the feeling of endless winter or endless summer! We have a multi-layer mountain fade wrapping all the panels, icons, and education that speak to our high altitude roasting, a QR code that connects to our How To Brew videos, and of course a degassing valve to preserve freshness. Specialty coffees are often grown at high elevations, 5200’ and above. As we roast at 6000’ in the Sierra all our coffees are “mountain sourced mountain roasted,” drawing our customers back to origin in an authentic and engaging way.
What are some coffees you're enjoying right now?
Hands down, our El Salvador, Unicorn is out of this world. This natural processed, double fermented Red Bourbon from producer Anny Ruth Pimentel is experimental and exotic. The farm is named Loma La Gloria or “Glory Hill,” and the coffee lives up to its name! I am also digging our long-time partnership coffee with Rutas Del Inca of Cajamarca, Peru. At 7,900’, this very high elevation co-op has 258 members and we’ve grown to work with a substantial percentage of their annual production. Peru Rutas Del Inca is a great example of our long-term commitment to producers and their incredible commitment to exceptional coffee; this year we’re getting notes of brown sugar, molasses, citrus, and unmatched sweetness. But hey, everyone deserves to wake up to a cup of Hell Yeah! It’s our best-seller for a reason and admittedly, I drink it every day.
Is your coffee really sweeter due to altitude roasting?
You’re on it! Cooking at altitude has unique advantages and challenges, so too does roasting at altitude. We have less atmospheric pressure at 6,000’ which is most notably witnessed with water boiling temp—at sea level, water boils at 212 degrees, up here it boils at 200-202. As roasting coffee is an exercise in moisture loss, our roast profiles behave differently up here which lends itself to entering into sugar caramelization earlier in our roasting journey. This helps us maintain desirable acidity and preserve sweetness within our roasting style. We can’t create more sucrose in our coffees, but we do source coffees with impeccable sugar content and pride ourselves on roasting them to maximum sweetness. So yes, all our coffees are more sweet, less bitter in part due to our altitude, sourcing, roasting style, and sure… marketing too :)
We want to come to Lake Tahoe—where should we go? What should we do?
Grab your gear and get out here! They say you come to Lake Tahoe for the winter and stay for the summer. This year, this will be truer than ever with ski resorts staying open all winter and summer outdoor toys being sold out nationwide. A perfect day in Tahoe starts with extraordinary coffee at one of our two North Tahoe/Truckee shops and then ends with extraordinary life. So, pick your poison: skiing, snowboarding, boating, mountain biking, backpacking, skydiving, fly fishing, motorcycle riding, 4x4ing, golf or just getting some R&R at the beach. Do enjoy Happy Hour at Alibi Ale Works and tacos and tequila at Truckee’s Como. Detox, retox, repeat!
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