As a Seattle resident, we’re used to passing several coffee shops before we arrive to our destination. We can lookup “local coffee shops” on our Google maps and every single one within a mile radius will all be considered local. That’s something us Seattleites take full pride in – coffee. No one can do it quite like us, and now with the evolution of cold brew coffee, our caffeine image has taken new heights.
That’s why we’re highlighting a very special cold brewer amongst us, Seattle Strong Cold Brew. Born and raised right in the Pacific Northwest, out of the University of Washington’s Entrepreneurship Program. We sat down with Evan Oeflein, who has taken the reigns of the cold brew industry at just the age of 22 and revolutionizing the way companies consume the average liquid caffeine.
Seattle Strong Cold Brew started as a class project by students who knew little to nothing about cold brew, besides the fact that Starbucks was launching its line of cold brew at this time in 2017. Going into the cold brew industry with fresh eyes, the University of Washington students didn’t know what consumers wanted out of the cold brew, but they knew what they wanted to sell. A refreshing, light, smooth, nutty, chocolatey, and less acidic cold brew that everyone could enjoy.
The class project led Evan along with five other students, to full-on run their cold brew business on campus and into select bars while spending any time they had between classes to run the project. Their first corporate office, Facebook supported the local team and gave them a shot as their “Beverage of the Month,” which led them to continue to stock Seattle Strong cold brew. Now business was picking up and things were about to get busy for this small team. During their senior year, all students were busy trying to keep their business thriving by visiting with distributors, retailers and occasionally skipping classes to make it all happen.
Fast forward three years, Oeflein and his business partner, Emileigh Thylin reduced to a team of two are taking over multiple retailers, and businesses in the local Seattle area. They fully manage all departments of their business from operations, marketing, distribution to sales and logistics of their product. Their mentor, Dan Robinett has played a huge role in their business who is also represented as their roaster. He’s been a huge asset to the company helping to develop strategies, educating them about the industry, and putting together their roast profiles to exactly how they imagined. Robinett has been a prominent advisor of the Seattle Strong team since their class project days.
“We’re so glad to be working with the Agora team here locally in Seattle. Our goal is to keep providing great cold brew to great offices all throughout the PNW and to continue to raise the bar for the office cold brew experience. As a cold brewer, we roast our coffee fresh for each cold brew batch and treat our cold brew with the same respect that fellow Seattle roasters treat their fresh-roasted coffee. Coffee is central to the days and lives of so many employees and offices all throughout the world. If we can make that experience just a little bit tastier, have lower daily acidity, require less cream or sugar, and an employee’s overall day better, then we’re doing our job!” says Oeflein.
Seattle Strong’s focus on their product is what has led them to rise to success in a short period of time. Their attention to the consumer market instead of solely on their competition has led them to produce what the people want and worrying less about cold brewers and roasters already on the market.
Amid their success, Oeflein continues to strive for their next move which could mean a bolder flavor to accommodate to those who love a good dark roast. You can find their products all over including Metropolitan Markets, New Seasons in Ballard and Mercer Island, Amazon Go, Wayward Café and more. Of course, if you’re looking for a keg to fulfill your office, then contact us here at Agora!