Bow Truss Cold Brew

Image credit: WeGraphics

Bow Truss Cold Brew

Bow Truss Cold BrewToday I decided to take a walk over to the Bow Truss Roasters’ Chicago Loop location to give their Cold Brew a try. Located just a few blocks from where I work, this journey would prove to be an epic undertaking. To understand why, we need to go back to yesterday morning.

As autumn mornings go, Sunday the 26th was pretty amazing in Oswego, IL. Cool, crisp air with ample sun and almost no wind. It really was a perfect day for a running event, and at a little past eight in the morning I was at the Fraidycat 5k waiting for the race to start while my wife ran around volunteering.

Initially I was just going to walk the course, but my ego got the best of me and I decided to run (or what passes for running to me), and today my legs are toast. I’m sure you know the soreness I am talking about.

When your whole body aches, when your legs cry out with each step and when walking down steps leave you feeling like your legs will buckle at any moment. Fun times am I right?

I don’t honestly think I would be this bad of shape today if I hadn’t decided to sprint the final quarter mile (or what felt like sprinting!) to the finish line. Once I rounded that final turn and the finish line came into view, I had a surge of adrenaline and excitement, and all rational thought went out the window.

In my head, I heard the gutteral scream of Leonidas from the movie 300 yelling “This is Sparta!” urging me to give it my all. In my ear buds I heard Axl Rose welcoming me to the jungle and that was all it took.

The Mighty Leonidas from the Movie 300

I ran like Forest Gump. I ran my ass off despite my heart feeling like it was approaching explosion level. I won’t gloat, but let’s just say I passed a few senior citizen during that epic sprint.

Which in hindsight is probably what kept my son who was running the 10k from lapping me which would have been soul crushing.

So in an attempt to work some of the soreness out, I decided to head down to Bow Truss to try their cold brew. Cold brewing is coffee is done by taking coarsely ground coffee and letting it soak in water (room temperature or chilled) for an extended period of time.

Cold brewing is often done as a way to lower the acidity of the coffee and in some cases can give the concentrate a sweeter flavor.

Once ready, the grounds are then filtered and the resulting concentrate is either server over ice or can be diluted with water, milk, etc. It really can give the coffee slightly different nuances that what you experience with traditional brewing.

If you visit the Bow Truss website there is a lot to see, and they have a number of different locations, all of which look way more interesting that the Chicago Loop location which does the best job it can at looking warm and inviting despite all the marble. Ambiance aside, I was there for the coffee.

The Bow Truss Cold brew is made with their Canopy blend. Which according to the website:

This blend of Central and South America coffee is a Bow Truss staple. A great deal of care was spent developing the approachable flavors that make this coffee a perfect fit for those desiring a comforting and delectable cup. While the blend components change seasonally, we roast them to maintain a consistent flavor profile.

According to the website drinkers of the Bow Truss Canopy blend can expect:

Cup Profile: Dark Chocolate, Cherry, Peach
Origin: Varies Seasonally
Process: Pulp & Washed Process

I went into Bow Truss not having read this. I ordered my Cold Brew coffee which came ice cold, sat down in a comfortably leather chair and started to have at it with the intention of capturing the taste.

I took small sips, I took big sips. I took sips where I rolls the coffee completely around my mouth. I took coffee cupping sips when I did high level slurps aimed at aerating the coffee, I inhaled the coffee like wine. And found capturing the experience really, really hard.


Coffee, while it may seem simple, has really complex flavors. I’m not talking about shitty over roasted coffee, I’m talking about really good blends that are roasted to perfection with passion. This cold brew was had really complex flavors that I had a hell of a time putting into words.

So I did what everyone in modern society would do in this situation. I downloaded an App from the App Store called Gastrograph. I was mainly looking for a taste wheel to help me pin down the experience which it had. I’ll review the app in full at a later time, for now, here is the experience I captured:

Bow Truss Cold Brew Review

Try as a I might, I could not detect the chocolate undertones. Before we go any further, a disclaimer. Taste is a highly personal thing. What I experienced, you might might not. While I couldn’t pin down chocolate undertones, to you it might have been easily identifiable.

That being said I found the brew to have a sour after taste that was mildly bitter (astringent), not unpleasantly so but enough that I noticed it.

While not indicated in the image it was highly retro-nasal, that is to say, the aftertaste lingered in my mouth for a long time, all the way back to my office to be honest.

The wetness on the image refers to the amount of salivation caused by the coffee. And the dryness (a product can be both wet and dry), think of how a dry wine makes your mouth feel.

I could detect some underlying fruit tones which I found pleasant. The smell of the coffee was complex, there was a lot going on and my brain kept trying to pluck the individual elements out only to be overloaded by new nuances.

Keep in mind, I was drinking this straight with nothing added to it and I found myself really enjoying it despite what you might think from the image above. I also found myself getting a caffeine jitter which rarely ever happens any more.

Bow Truss Loop Location

I can only imagine how decadent this would task with some half-and-half or my personal favorite, heavy whipping cream and some sweetener. Would I recommend Bow Truss? Whole Heartedly. While my legs would revolt if I tried to walk there again now, I will be returning again soon to enjoy some more of the Bow Truss coffee. That’s all for now, stop reading and get some coffee.

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