The Truth About Snapchilled Coffee

Food and drink tech company Elemental Beverage Company was founded out of a collective desire to invent a better way to chill drinks than the current methods on the market, according to their website. They're inventing new technologies that cool drinks in ways that are better than ice or refrigeration, all while not compromising the natural flavor and aroma of beverages.

One technology the brand has released that has been creating a buzz in the beverage industry is snapchilling. According to Beverage Daily, snapchilling is done with a machine Elemental Beverage Company created that can cool drinks from 140 degrees to 40 degrees in 60 seconds. The founder of Elemental Beverage Company, Dave Dussalt, told the outlet that he felt traditional methods for making iced coffee result in a drink that has lost much of its flavor and freshness. He claims that the snapchilling machine can cool drinks all the way down to -10 degrees, and captures the essence of hot brewed coffee at its peak.

How to buy snapchilled coffee

Elemental Beverage Company's Chief Coffee and Tea Officer, Ryan McDonell, told Food & Wine that the reason snapchilling makes superior coffee to cold brewing or chilling with ice is based in science. When you add ice to hot coffee, the extra water dilutes the flavor, and when you leave it in the fridge to cool, it can oxidize in the air, which he compares to a sliced apple turning brown. 

McDonell asserts that cold brew isn't fantastic either because cold water does not extract as much flavor from coffee beans as hot water does. While the snapchilling machine will run you $6,000, Elemental Beverage Company is also selling canned coffee chilled using the process on their website in three different flavors, each made from a different single-origin bean. 

If you really want a deluxe coffee experience, you can also purchase a 750-milliliter bottle of the exclusive Founder's Select Gesha snapchilled coffee, which Food & Wine says will run you $235.

Is snapchilled coffee really better than traditional cold brew?

The Spoon reviewed the snapchilled coffee, including the upmarket Founder's Select Gesha bottle. They state that a six pack of the cans costs $29.95, and that in a phone call with Elemental Beverage Company, McDonell told them the three basic flavors would change seasonally. The Spoon calls the snapchilling technology a success, saying that they feel the end result is a step up from traditional cold brew. They stated that each origin can has a distinct flavor, and the beverages are all smooth and without the bitterness that accompanies many cups of cold brew. 

On the expensive Founder's Select Gesha bottle, while they felt the price tag was a bit steep, they were told the beans used to make this special brew cost $450 a pound. The bottle comes with two special glasses that are meant to be chilled for drinking the coffee, and it will keep for two months in the fridge unopened — but once it's open, it should be consumed immediately. They say that while the flavor is incredibly good, describing it as light, smooth, and fruity, they would ultimately not be willing to shell out over $200 for the bottle.