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Small Pleasures: Canned Coffee From Carrier Roasting


Published January 8, 2021 at 12:39 p.m.
Updated December 15, 2020 at 11:08 a.m.

Carrier Roasting's Ethiopia Nano Genji #9 Snapchilled™ Coffee - JORDAN BARRY ©️ SEVEN DAYS
  • Jordan Barry ©️ Seven Days
  • Carrier Roasting's Ethiopia Nano Genji #9 Snapchilled™ Coffee
I hate making my own coffee. Working as a barista for nearly a decade fully exhausted my interest in pulling espresso shots or brewing a perfect pour-over. Now, I find no small pleasure greater than a great cup of coffee made by someone else.

Or, in this case, a great can of coffee. I recently picked up Carrier Roasting's Ethiopia Nano Genji #9 Snapchilled™ Coffee at the Mad River Taste Place in Waitsfield. I drink iced coffee year-round, and find that many of the canned coffees — often cold brew — taste muddy and flat. Carrier's canned coffee was the opposite, surprising me with a bouquet of delicate floral and fruit notes. I chugged it.

Later, I called Carrier's founding partner Ross Evans to find out how the Northfield-based roaster — which also has a coffee bar in Burlington's Old North End — is able to capture such nuanced flavors in a cold, canned coffee.

The secret, it turns out, is in Massachusetts-based Elemental Beverage's proprietary "Snapchill" process. Carrier teamed up with Elemental last year to produce its ready-to-drink cans, launching its first run in August 2020. Carrier sends its whole-bean coffee to Elemental. There, it's brewed hot, quickly cold-crashed to just above freezing, and filled into nitrogen-flushed, pressurized cans, Evans explained.

"That process of brewing locks in all of the great flavors we're used to in coffees that are really sweet and balanced and bright," he said. "It lets the coffee express its full potential."

The Ethiopian Nano Genji "embodies everything we like about the process," Evans said, with bright flavors of mango, rose, kumquat and candied ginger. The cans are available directly from Carrier in Burlington and Northfield ($5 for 12 ounces) and at several markets around the state. They have a shelf life of a few months, so I'm planning to stock up and avoid brewing my own coffee all winter long.

Small Pleasures is an occasional column that features delicious and distinctive Vermont-made snacks or drinks that pack a punch. Send us your favorite little bites or sips with big payoff at