Added 21 August, 2013
In an age when liquor barrels are commonly upcycled to age vinegar, fish sauce, sugar, cocktails and tea, coffee is now getting a boost from oaky maturation. Dark Matter coffee in Chicago is among a few small brands that are putting their beans in bourbon barrels for a week or more before pouring them in the roaster. The result? Mellowed acidity, heightened vanilla and caramel notes, and a burst of grape soda on the nose. And more barrels are on the way: absinthe barrels from Letherbee (to be filled with Ethiopian beans), whiskey barrels from Koval, and a bourbon barrel that recently held Virtue cider.