Breaking Bad at Birch: Cold Brew Brouhaha

We are in love.

Birch Coffee co-owners co-owners Jeremy Lyman (right) and Paul Schlader, play up the deliciously addictive angle of Birch's cold brew in this homage to TV's "Breaking Bad." (Photos by the very talented Dan Johnson)
Birch Coffee co-owners co-owners Jeremy Lyman (right) and Paul Schlader, play up the deliciously addictive angle of Birch’s cold brew in this homage to TV’s “Breaking Bad.” (Photos by the very talented Dan Johnson)

These amazing photos landed in our inbox this morning, and we had to stop everything to gawk at them. Two of our favorite things come together: cold brew coffee and AMC’s “Breaking Bad.” In case you didn’t know, we’re kookoo for the messed-up madness of this addictive TV show, as much as we’re bonkers for quality cold brew come summer.

So when Birch Coffee in New York sent us these photos from their cold-brew-meets-Breaking-Bad photo shoot, we kind of flipped out.

Birch Coffee in NYC has earned a loyal (some might say manic) following for their cold brew coffee, which they offer in growlers as well as regular cup service. As cold brew coffee season is just about upon us, Birch Coffee co-owners Jeremy Lyman and Paul Schlader decided to go all Jesse-and-Walt-in-the-lab-cookin-meth-like in a campaign that easily communicates the involved and distillery-like process Birch Coffee goes through to become the cold brew their customers love.


If you’re reading this in New York City, there’s even more good news: yesterday Birch Coffee launched cold brew jug delivery from its two Manhattan shops, on 27th Street and Fifth Avenue, and on 14th Street and Seventh Avenue. And get this: the delivery fee ”which is pretty low at just $5 ”is being waived altogether from now through April 16! How does the coffee get to you, be you at home or at the office? How about in the coolest way possible: via custom-made Birch Bikes, which are tricycles build to carry 20 jugs of cold brew coffee at a time. Go HERE for details on how to order cold brew delivery from Birch Coffee.

So I wanted to find out more about the story behind the photos… luckily, Jeremy and Paul were happy to answer my questions!

When did you guys make the connection between Breaking Bad and iced coffee? What do you guys love about Breaking Bad, and why is your iced coffee so delicious and addictive?

Jeremy Lyman: After literally watching the first four seasons of “Breaking Bad” non-stop, over the course of a weekend in preparation for season five, the addiction to the show, in and of itself was palpable. Being a coffee shop owner who is as dedicated to his craft as Walter White is to making crystal methamphetamine, I felt an immediate connection. Just in a healthier, and, well, a bit more legal way. Even our Birch Coffee bags have images that look like periodic table elements. Coincidence? I think not.”

Birch Coffee's cold brew bags.
Birch Coffee’s cold brew bags.
Paul Schlader: The steps we take to ensure that our product is perfect to the taste with each brew requires an incredible amount of work and much attention to detail.  It felt, in the beginning, like we simply belonged in a chemistry lab – uninterrupted – while we perfected our product. The coffee we roast for our iced coffee is used solely for iced coffee, nothing else. It took us weeks to perfect the roast and it produces liquid crack, I mean gold, every time.
Jeremy: We didn’t know our iced coffee would be as well-received as it was, until I got a text from a customer at 11 pm frantically telling me she was out and needed coffee for the next morning. Me, being the dedicated business owner and dealer as I am, happily obliged with a midnight delivery.
Paul: The product we serve has to be a true extension of ourselves. By putting the Birch Coffee name on it, our iced coffee – and everything we serve – represents who we are and why we are in this business in the first place.  If someone tries to sell something any less than that, how can they reasonably expect any repeat business? When someone has a positive experience, they’ll maybe tell a person or two.  If someone has a negative experience, they tell everyone. We aim to please as many people as we can, within reason of course.  So, if its not perfect every time, we use it to water our plants.  The coffee plants.  Seriously.  No, just kidding.

We’re also excited to tell you that tomorrow’s Humpday Giveaway Prize will be a little somethin’ somethin’ from Birch Coffee, so be sure to check back here tomorrow for more details!



About Sarah 932 Articles
Sarah Allen (she/her) is co-founder and editor of Barista Magazine, the international trade magazine for coffee professionals. A passionate advocate for baristas, quality, and the coffee community, Sarah has traveled widely to research stories, interact with readers, and present on a variety of topics affecting specialty coffee. She also loves animals, swimming, ice cream, and living in Portland, Oregon.