by Kasey Caminiti | August 22, 2016 5:00 pm
During his time as chef de cuisine at Bouley, Craig Shelton—who has a degree in molecular biochemistry and biophysics from Yale—ran into an intriguing issue: finding the perfect cup of coffee no matter where he is in the world. He made it his responsibility to find that immaculate balance and tasted over 280 samples from all across the globe. Using his expertise in science and understanding of the palette, Shelton created King’s Row Coffee, the world’s first destination coffee blend.
“To me, the whole idea of creating the world’s first lifestyle coffees is all about the orientation of lifestyle. This whole idea of life that we live. Life fully experienced,” explains Shelton. “And so, to me, it’s this whole idea that until now no one has really paid attention to the fact that everyone on earth has sipped that awful coffee on billions of flights and no one ever said, ‘but, why?’”
To find java that jet-setters crave, we asked the ultimate coffee connoisseur for his personal recommendations for each continent.
North America – The Shelton Signature
“The Shelton Signature is richly complex, and stirs the serene contemplation needed to enjoy a cross-country bicycle trip across North America. The Signature puts the traveler in an appreciative state of mind, making all of the sights along the way that much more enjoyable. Slow down in order to catch up and appreciate the here and now.”
South America – The Mountain Blend
“With countless high-end ski resorts and high-altitude destinations to choose from, South America is the perfect fit for the Mountain Blend, the only coffee designed to brew properly at altitude. Since the boiling temperature of water drops 2°F for each 1,000 feet of elevation, coffee brewed at higher altitudes suffers tremendously. The cooler water temperature under-extracts the oils, which contribute the desirable flavors, and over-extract the alkaloids, which are bitter. The result is weak, bitter cup of coffee. It took King’s Row Coffee two years to find a coffee that extracted the oils at a lower than normal brewing temperature, and when we finally perfected it, the Mountain Blend extracted a full-bodied, flavorful cup of coffee at high-altitudes.”
Australia – The Coastal Blend
“For a continent surrounded by ocean, the Coastal Blend is a must-have for a trip to Australia, and especially for yachting and sailing enthusiasts. The salt ions in the ocean-air deaden the palate, resulting in flat coffee, regardless of quality. The Coastal Blend is engineered to overcome the deleterious effects of the briny are on the palate, resulting in a flawless cup of coffee. No more do ocean-lovers have to settle for unsatisfactory coffee.”
Europe – The Espresso Blend
“The Espresso Blend is crafted in the European-style; that is, with the beautiful flavors preserved and no burnt aftertaste. This is a true representation of European elegance, and the perfect coffee to accompany you to Europe’s boundless regal destinations.”
Africa – The Sportsman’s Blend
“The Sportsman’s Blend is the perfect accompaniment to a photographic African Safari. Arguably our boldest coffee, The Sportsman’s Blend is engineered to be resilient to powerful and distortive terrestrial aromas one would experience in the African plains. This coffee is built for the outdoor adventurers.”
Asia – The Bonbon Blend
“Asia offers a myriad of lavish destinations for the jet-setting coffee lover. In addition to the spectacular sights, it boasts some of the most diverse and delicious delicacies. There is no immediate environment that more greatly affects our coffee experience than the food that we eat. Since our palate measures all taste on a relative scale, we crafted the Bonbon Blend so that it reaches peak taste profile when paired with powerful foods that offset the palate. It is the ideal accompaniment to all Asian cooking styles, from Japanese and Chinese, to Vietnamese and Indian.”
Antarctica – The Monday Grind
“For the daring jet setter willing to brave the cold of Antarctica, The Monday Grind is the only choice. This no-nonsense dark roast has one purpose: to power you through adversity. This is expertly roasted liquid-motivation that will maintain your adventurous spirit and keep you warm throughout.”
Bonus: For your travels between continents – The Aviation Blend
“Since cabins are pressurized to 8,000 feet, water boils at 196 degrees Fahrenheit instead of 212 degrees Fahrenheit . A lower boiling point weakens desirable acidity, under-extracts beautiful flavors, and over-extracts the bitter alkaloids. The Aviation Blend, like the Mountain, is designed to extract at lower than normal brewing temperatures resulting in a fully flavored, complex coffee experience. It is a must-have pick-me-up for jet-setters flying from one adventure to the next.”
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