Corner Perk owner, Josh Cooke, said he was just as confused as the next when he first heard about the practice of aging coffee beans.
“I was like why would you age coffee,” Cooke said. “The whole point of coffee is having it fresh?”
With more research, Cooke learned that green beans can be stored for some time, if done properly. It is after the beans are roasted that they should be used within a couple weeks, he said.
Corner Perk, located in Old Town Bluffton, will start selling their first batch of aged coffee for a limited time starting next week, Cooke said.
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About two months ago Cooke sent 120 pounds of coffee beans to Dafuskie Island Rum Company. A Woodford Reserve double oak bourbon barrel was emptied of its rum and the coffee beans went in.
Cooke said the coffee beans soak up the rum left in the barrel. He said all the alcohol content is burned up during the roasting process but the flavor remains.
The barrel was opened on Thursday and the beans roasted for the first time on Saturday, Cooke said.
Heather Watson, a Corner Perk roaster, said she was “pleasantly surprised” with her fist sip of the coffee.
“I have tasted aged coffee before and it tasted like taking a shot,” Watson said. “I thought we were going to have to blend it with something else but I felt like I was sitting on the beach in a hammock after drinking this.”
Instead of a strong rum flavor the coffee has a slight aftertaste, Watson said.
“It is like a rum cake where you get just a little bit of taste and aroma,” Watson said.
The coffee holds a medium body with an almost coconut flavor, Watson said.
Those wanting to try the coffee for themselves can do so starting Tuesday, Cooke said. He said 12 ounce bags of the coffee will be sold for $19.