Good Trip Coffee Company is a new cold brew line in Denver that specializes in unique flavor infusions and easy home brewing. Each coffee comes in a pouch that is ready to steep in water and is nitro-flushed during production. The results are an interesting and convenient take on a sub-genre in the coffee industry that never seems to stop growing.
After traveling and learning about coffee in Nicaragua, owners/founders Angela and Andrew Oehlerking decided to create a cold brew line that would be approachable for just about any sort of coffee drinker: people looking for fruity and clean cold brews, people looking for something like a dessert, anyone and everyone.
“We want to serve consumers who value sustainable sourcing practices and craftsmanship, but who also enjoy a moment to let their hair [and egos] down and enjoy something lighthearted and refreshing,” says Angela. “We’re certainly not trying to make light of the inequities in the industry that we’re trying to help reverse, but we’re trying to perhaps bring more consumers into specialty coffee and into the human story of coffee by opening the doors to people who might have been previously intimidated by certain aspects of Third Wave coffee culture or the high-octane cold brews out there.”
By attempting to appeal to everyone right out of the gate, Good Trip could potentially run the risk of appealing to nobody in particular. However, the company has a few things going for it that should remove any fears of lacking an audience, including the product itself.
To start, the coffee tastes good. Among the six coffees available, the Rwandan single origin stands out as a fruity and clean coffee aimed at attracting the attention of the specialty coffee crowd, while the spicy Mayan cocoa infusion should please anyone with a sweet tooth. In total, Good Trip offers another single-origin coffee from Nicaragua, organic infusions such as mint and coconut, and a “dirty” chai option.
To further draw upon the human stories of coffee, Good Trip sources exclusively with female farmers and three percent of sales are donated to a Nicaraguan scholarship fund supporting higher education for women-owned co-ops.
The aesthetics and the casual approach of Good Trip is also sure to bring in a few curious coffee drinkers. Rather than opting for intimidating color schemes, mysterious labels, or forcing a philanthropy into a logo, the founders went with informative and eye-catching designs from local artist Josh Holland.
Good Trip’s production facility is part of a shared commissary kitchen in the Thornton area just north of Denver. The setup is simple and practical: a single mixing drum, a Mahlkönig GUA 710 grinder, a dosing machine, a bag press, and a nitro-flushing machine that pulls the oxygen out of each bag prior to seal. It’s an efficient model for the uncommon business of launching a cold brew product without having a roastery or cafe as home base.
Perhaps more than anything else working in Good Trip’s favor is consumer convenience. Each bag gives an effective rundown of brewing recipes, but really, it’s as easy as measuring water, pouring water, and removing bags hours later. It will be difficult to make cold brew at home any easier than this.
In Denver alone, there are probably a half dozen cold brews that someone will swear by, and probably another half dozen being shipped in from out of state. Good Trip is technically competing with all of them but is currently as close to being in a class of its own as it gets. The Oehlerkings may not make a bottled cold brew sitting on a shelf in a store, but they can provide a pitcher of cold brew sitting on a shelf in the fridge in your home.
Ben Wiese is a freelance journalist based in Denver. Read more Ben Wiese on Sprudge.