November 15, 2014

Fermented Carbonated Coffee

Long ago and far away...  it was the spring of 1996.  I was a freshman in college, living in the newest dorm on campus.  On of my friends from High School had preceded me to college, and lived down the hall at the dorm.  He happened to also work at Starbucks. At that time, Starbucks was still a Pacific Northwest phenomenon.  A store didn't arrive in Idaho for several more years.  However, in Salem, Oregon, it was now beginning its domination of the coffee scene.

Starbucks was looking for ways to revolutionize the coffee industry.  Besides launching spacecraft crammed with coffee beans toward the sun, they were trying new and exciting products out on the general populace.  One of their new products was Mazagran.  Mazagran was a carbonated cold coffee beverage.  It was not popular, and as such, my barista friend ended up with a four pack.  It wasn't very good, and many were already prejudiced against cold coffee beverages (excluding espresso beverages, especially the then new blended espresso beverages).

One afternoon, my friend opened a new Mazagran.  He had drank a Mazagran the day before, and this Mazagran would be his second or third.  As my friend was drinking the Mazagran, he remarked, "Every time I drink one of these, they taste more and more like beer."  Puzzled, he shared it with the rest of us, and we agreed.  The Mazagran seemed to transmute into beer.  We took the Mazagran to the resident expert, and we were assured that indeed it had fermented.

A burnt tartness bubbling up to intermix both the properties of caffeine, carbonation, and alcohol.

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