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Saltwinds Coffee Company brings a taste of history to life in Fredericton

In a shed just outside Fredericton, Saltwinds Coffee Company is working on recreating the flavour of Maritime coffee from the 1800s.

"Until today, that has been lost. We haven't known how that coffee tasted but we decided to recreate it,” said Laura Richard, Saltwinds Coffee Company co-owner.

It started off as an experiment of sorts for PhD chemist Laura Richard, bringing coffee back to its origin travel story arriving in the Maritimes on the high seas.

"You may have heard the old wives talk about putting a sprinkle of salt in your filter basket before brewing coffee,” said Richard. “The origins of that probably trace back to the way it used to taste when it came here on sailing ships.”

But that time travelling in barrels on ships gave the coffee something we don't get today.

"The voyage itself changed the coffee,” said Richard. “Imagine a month in a ship's hold, in that salty warm environment, the coffee changed chemically and became better actually. It got sweeter, less bitter and developed unique flavours reminiscent of the ocean and that journey.”

"When it switched over to the steel hull ships, that flavour was lost and people wanted it back but it never came back,” added Saltwinds Coffee Company co-owner Brad Rideout.

But Saltwinds worked out the science and infused historic flavour in their beans.

"We've got our own process that reinfuses the ocean air back into the coffee beans,” Richard said. “We’re trying to recreate those conditions on the ship, we're trying to recreate that moist sailing environment and bring that back into the coffee bean.”

While scouting beans in El Salvador -- a coffee Mecca -- they jumped into a cold brew coffee competition and took third place with a secret New Brunswick ingredient.

"We prepared it for them in a way that spoke about New Brunswick and our traditions,” said Richard. “All we did was take the coffee, a little bit of dulse, and then we added some maple syrup.”

Now they're working on a new challenge -- moving to a new facility ten times their current size.

"We have a brand new roaster that just arrived yesterday and so we're in the process of commissioning that but it's going to be great to have space to actually move around,” Rideout said.

With their new 2,000 square foot warehouse facility, they’re brewing up the next story of Maritime coffee.

"You get a coffee that's truly unique, and truly Maritime,” said Richard. Top Stories

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