What's on Tap

What's on Tap

Cold-brew coffee business takes off in Raleigh

Posted June 10, 2015

— Jenny Bonchak launched Slingshot Coffee Company and introduced Raleigh to cold-brew coffee in the summer of 2012. Three years later, her small-batch, cold-brew coffee and cascara tea can be found in over two dozen stores around the Triangle, Whole Foods markets across the southeas, and in bottle shops and stores from New York to Florida.

The coffee beans Slingshot uses vary by the season and come from Durham-based local roaster Counter Culture Coffee. Cold-brew coffee is different from iced coffee. Cold-brew coffee is made by soaking ground coffee in water for a prolonged period of time, anywhere from 12 to 18 hours. This process of “cold brewing” the coffee results in a coffee with a different flavor profile that is sweeter in nature because it has less acidity than coffee that is brewed using hot water. Slingshot also sells cascara tea which is tea brewed from dried coffee cherries.

When Bonchak first started out, she brewed and bottled Slingshot cold brew out of a kitchen in a friend’s restaurant in downtown Raleigh late at night. She quickly outgrew that space and moved operations to nearby Oak City Cycling, but demand continued to grow and she outgrew this space as well. In 2014, Slingshot moved their brewing and bottling facility to their current location, a 1,000-square-foot space off Brookside Drive in downtown Raleigh.

In February 2014, Jenny quit her “day job” to focus full time on Slingshot, and the team continues to grow today. There are now two part-time employees helping to brew, bottle and ship to customers, and Jenny’s husband, Jonathan, joined the team full time this past month after four years working with Counter Culture Coffee.

Last summer the two decided to start a weekend coffee bar at their new location appropriately called “Weekend." Customers can stop by Slingshot’s front lobby on Saturdays and Sundays between 8 a.m. and 2 p.m. and order a glass of cold-brew coffee or cascara tea both served on tap or hot, pour-over coffees made by the cup. They also offer select baked goods from nearby Yellow Dog Bread Company, like homemade pop tarts.

In addition to the great coffee, the highlight of any visit to Slingshot is the awesome patio seating. The space offers with several chairs and tables beneath a canopy of trees adjacent to a small stream. It's the perfect tranquil environment to enjoy your coffee and relax.

To commemorate their third anniversary, Slingshot is holding a pop-up market and celebration on Saturday from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. at their headquarters located at 1420 Brookside Drive. They’ve invited 10 of their favorite makers from around area to set up in the parking and will also have some "slingshot inspired" pastries from Andrew Ullom, pastry chef for AC Restaurants. There will be free affogatos, the new Two Roosters ice cream truck and a few special drinks on the menu. The celebration is free and open to the public and kids are welcome. They will also raffle off a package of goods from several vendors that will be worth more than $500. All proceeds from the raffle will benefit the Raleigh Food Corridor.


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