Fresh Find: Maple Bacon Coffee from Brown Dog Java
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Brown Dog Java at the Pittsburgh Public Market in the Strip District is not shy when it comes to flavored coffees. Before starting Brown Dog, Steve Moore worked nearly two decades for Arbuckles, where he was the primary flavor developer.
As the Springdale man notes on his website, browndogjava.com, he's tried everything -- from root beer ("it wasn't great") to lemon creme (not a big seller, either, "but when we discontinued it, everyone was surprised at the few fervently loyal followers").
By visiting his new outlet, you can try some wild stuff as he tries it out on customers.
The weekend before last, it was orange tarragon, which he says was "a big hit," though it was named "Orange Spice."
Last Friday, he debuted Maple Bacon Coffee.
That's one he's been working on for six years, ever since he first tasted Vosges chocolate-covered bacon.
"I started trying to work that into a coffee flavor, but never quite got it," he explained. "Tried it with maple and it was great. A little tweaking and voila: Breakfast in a mug."
I emailed him on Day 1 to ask, How's it going?
"Lots of conversation, which is good. A few takers. Reactions are interesting. Some people act like it's their favorite and walk right up and order it. Others consider it and chicken out. Everybody who tasted a sample so far has gotten a cup."
Saturday afternoon, I headed down to meet him and try it for myself.
I only wanted a taste, so I was a bit apprehensive as he poured a full cup. But on first sip, it was subtle and pleasant, with a faint maple-y sweetness; as I sipped some more, I can't say I picked up much of a note of bacon.
Mr. Moore says subtle is on purpose.
But a bit of fear factor seemed to be at play with some of the customers who reacted to the sign while I was there, including one young woman who said she just had to try it.
"Smells like pancakes!" she said with a grin.
Mr. Moore said Maple Bacon sold so well, he'll bring it back later this month. This weekend, he's going to pour a naturally flavored Cinnamon Stick, plus Coconut Creme; next weekend, he'll try out an all-natural Pecan Sticky Bun.
If that doesn't sound like your cup of coffee, well, as he invites on the website: "If there is a flavor you are looking for, just send us an email, and we'll try our best to reproduce it for you."
Have a fresh food find? E-mail firstname.lastname@example.org .
First Published February 9, 2012 12:00 am