Dairy farmers know early mornings.
When the cows need milking, there’s no way around having to get up and get to work, rain or shine or light or darkness. So it would make sense, then, for the folks at Kalispell Kreamery to develop a delicious seasonal coffee drink to perk up the rest of us.
The dairy’s Cold Brew Coffee with Milk drink graces local grocery stores from May through Sept. 1, a fresh drink with only three ingredients and no preservatives, so it cannot sit on the shelves.
“You know you’re getting a product that came from a cow at most 12 days ago,” said Mary Tuck, who runs the dairy with her husband Jared Tuck. “There’s a huge following; people love it.”
Tuck is the daughter of Bill and Marilyn Hedstrom, who have owned Hedstrom Dairy since 1971. In 2010, the couple, along with the Tucks, opened Kalispell Kreamery 20 feet from the milking barn to produce non-homogenized milk. They added products along the way, including yogurt and chocolate milk, and in 2017, they decided to get into the coffee business.
“We had one of our employees come in — he’s a big coffee drinker — and he started talking about (cold brew) and we thought it was a good opportunity,” Tuck said.
Cold brew isn’t a new creation, but it has gone mainstream in recent years. It is brewed in cold water by steeping coarse-ground coffee for 12 hours or longer, like the coffee version of iced tea in a jar.
Unlike regular coffee, however, cold brew is never exposed to heat to extract the oils, sugars and caffeine. The long steeping time does this instead, creating a smoother, richer flavor with lower levels of acidity. It’s also more concentrated than regularly brewed coffee.
The creamery already had plenty of stainless steel contraptions for making beverages, Tuck said, and they developed their own way of making the coffee drink with the equipment they already had. First, they get their grounds from Montana Coffee Traders, and then steep the coffee for 24 hours.
“It’s really strong,” Tuck said.
Once the coffee is ready, it is mixed with cream-on-top milk that came from the Hedstrom’s cows that very day, along with a little bit of sugar for taste.
Then the drink is bottled into pints at the creamery and sent to refrigerators in grocery stores to be sold individually and in four-packs. People who pick up the freshest deliveries are drinking a confection that’s only a day old, Tuck said, giving it the freshest and fullest taste.
There are no preservatives in the drink, giving it its 12-day sell-by date. It also means it can’t sit on the grocery store shelves like other premade cold brew drinks, such as those from Starbucks or other major chains.
In the Flathead, the cold brew is available until September at Rosauers in Kalispell and Super 1 Foods in Columbia Falls and Whitefish. It’s also at the Rosauers in Missoula.
Tuck said the cold brew has been a “fun adventure,” and that any fans of the drink are welcome to stop by the dairy and meet the cows making their milk.
“We like people to know their farmer and their food,” she said.
For more information on Kalispell Kreamery, visit www.kalispellkreamery.com.