Collaborations between coffee companies, especially roasters, and other craft companies, usually booze related, are so, so common. These coming-togethers stem as much from mutual respect for good work as a need for companionship from others who commit monkish devotion to perfecting an arcane process unknowable to all but a few.
Early this year, Portland roaster Coava Coffee teamed up with Gigantic Brewing Company for a fantastic cold brew-infused imperial black saison. There was no surprise, then, when Coava sent us a press release that they’d jumped into another collaboration. We just didn’t expect it to be soap.
Anna Cools, the proprietor of Roots Soap Company, blended a brewed El Salvadoran single origin along with its grounds into an all-natural soap scented with anise. “Aniseed oil is very popular amongst soap-makers because the fresh spicy scent eliminates” odors, Anna writes. “The combination of the brewed coffee and fresh grounds is also an odor absorber.” Coffee has long been used at perfumeries as a sort of olfactory palate cleanser (though the science is dubious), and plenty of soaps have used coffee. This may be the first single-origin soap, though.
This year has been marked by stranger collaborations. In Denmark, Klaus Thomsen of the Coffee Collective is waiting for his coffee cheese to age. Maybe this is a sign of how deeply coffee has settled into our culture—a reflection that it’s constantly in mind and at hand. For sure it shows that coffee collaborations can go beyond coffee stout.
—Cory Eldridge is Fresh Cup’s editor, and he has nothing against coffee stout.