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How to ship the motherload
April 15, 2014 2:03 PM   Subscribe

Hoping to ship my mom a gift basket including a pint or two of cold brewed iced coffee concentrate... is this possible?

The more I think about it the more impossible/impractical it sounds... but she LOVES iced coffee and she gave birth to me. I've gotten hooked on coffee concentrate (method) and would like to show her the light.

Here are my concerns...

- Shelf stability: while the "brewing" takes place at room temperature, it's then kept in the fridge. Would the concentrate be safe to drink after being at room temperature throughout the shipping process? Could I heat it and seal in a mason jar?

- Container: What kind of sealed container would be best for the concentrate? I tend to keep mine in tupperware but that's not ideal in terms of presentation. Mason jar comes to mind again, but that's certainly not as durable as plastic.

- Carrier: I've never shipped anything more complicated than a flat rate box. Who is most likely to get it there in one piece? Should I overnight it? Any extra special jedi padding techniques? I'm also hoping to include a tumbler, some flavoring syrups, and a couple other goodies, so it may end up being a big package. Cost wise - should i mail the less breakable things separately through a less careful shipping method?

- Giving up: If all else fails, does anyone know a great online or St Louis, MO source for excellent cold brewed coffee? My light googling revealed only $40 options and I'm aware of grocery store refrigerated sweetened products. I've seen (and enjoyed) tazo chai tea concentrates - is there a product similar to that?
posted by rubster to Shopping (5 answers total) 1 user marked this as a favorite
 
Kaldi's apparently has cold-brewed coffee.

Come into any of our cafes and try Toddy cold-brewed coffee. And if you like what you taste, buy your own Toddy and make it at home!
posted by payoto at 2:06 PM on April 15


You're maybe overthinking this. Cold brew the coffee, put it in a Mason jar, wrap it in bubble wrap and stick it in a flat rate box. it will be absolutely fine.
posted by DarlingBri at 2:11 PM on April 15


Shelf stability: while the "brewing" takes place at room temperature, it's then kept in the fridge. Would the concentrate be safe to drink after being at room temperature throughout the shipping process? Could I heat it and seal in a mason jar?

Don't heat it up; this will make it gross. Really gross. Instead of a mason jar, you're best off using a bottle and capper to seal it up and ship it like you would wine or beer; lots of foam and probably in a sealed bladder. Don't ship it in anything less than UPS or Fedex 2 day options. Flat rate box will be destroyed, and regardless I don't believe you're allowed to ship liquids through USPS.

Alternately, you could send her some coffee, and an actual toddy maker. They are a bit more streamlined, and much cleaner than the whole sieve method, and the wool filters work much better than paper ones to work out all the fines, while allowing a fair amount of oiliness through. They make a higher quality concentrate overall. They're really nice, and relatively cheap. Then she can make it at her leisure.
posted by furnace.heart at 2:15 PM on April 15 [1 favorite]


Trader Joe's cold brew concentrate isn't half bad. There are several in the St. Louis area. There's also Kohana which is available at Whole Foods. I think the same company makes both because the shape of the bottles is identical.
posted by zsazsa at 2:41 PM on April 15 [1 favorite]


I called Whole Foods in St Louis and they have it in stock. Alternatively you could buy her a cold press and some coffee (actually, a better solution in my opinion, teach a man to fish etc...)
posted by jcworth at 2:48 PM on April 15 [1 favorite]


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