Mercantile ups its cold brew game

Cold brew at Mercantile (Hanna Raskin)

It’s the start of the season for iced coffee in Charleston, which means efficiency-minded cafes are filling pitchers and urns with chilled joe. Unlike people, though, coffee doesn’t respond well to sunlight and fresh air: Brewed coffee starts to deteriorate as soon as it’s exposed to the elements.

To ward off oxidation, Mercantile’s coffee manager Michael Mai has rigged up a sealed system for the summer. Right now, he’s using the plastic tank he devised to store cold-brewed Columbian coffee from Black Tap.

According to Mai, coffee thus protected still tastes fresh after 20 hours on the countertop.

“Other places sometimes keep coffee that long,” he says – but without taking proper storage measures to ensure that customers receive good-tasting coffee.

A house coffee at Mercantile costs $3.