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Meet Eric Johnson of Trident Coffee in Imperial Beach

Today we’d like to introduce you to Eric Johnson.

Eric, let’s start with your story. We’d love to hear how you got started and how the journey has been so far.
After traveling around the world, I always saw coffee and tea as two beverages that could connect everyone. No matter what language you speak, what your culture or religion is, I was always able to sit down over coffee and tea and have conversations with people and work together to solve our problems.

We started messing around with a cold brew in my kitchen and working on different recipes and brewing methods. Then that worked up to bigger and bigger batches until we opened our coffee roastery and brewery in Imperial Beach. We wanted to truly embrace being a craft coffee company, so we learned how to roast each coffee to make sure we can showcase the diversity in coffee and how complex it really is.

In 2016, we established our first direct relationship with a coffee producer down in Brazil and sourcing coffee straight from their farm. This provided transparency to our customers about where their coffee is coming from. Lastly, we just added our new canning line to our brewery that allows us to produce 1,000 cans an hour to distribute our cold brew around so everyone can enjoy it.

We’re always bombarded by how great it is to pursue your passion, etc – but we’ve spoken with enough people to know that it’s not always easy. Overall, would you say things have been easy for you?
The biggest obstacle we faced, as we didn’t know what we didn’t know. Neither of us had a background in coffee from a sourcing, roasting or brewing perspective. So we basically went all in started to figure things out via trial and error.

So trying to make up for lack of experience was just the sheer amount of time and energy we put into our craft to learn it faster. I cannot count anymore the times we messed up or got things wrong, but that is all part of the process, we learn, adapt and overcome. Every time we got a new piece of equipment, we had to play with it and learn how to make it work in our ecosystem, we are the first cold brew coffee brewery around, and that takes a lot of time to smooth out all the processes to provide the best possible cold brew to our customers.

So, as you know, we’re impressed with Trident Coffee – tell our readers more, for example what you’re most proud of as a company and what sets you apart from others.
As the first cold brew coffee brewery, we currently have 13 cold brew coffees on tap, and working our way up to 15 in the next month. We do coffee very differently from your typical cafe, we have a holistic approach from “farm to can” philosophy where the entire lifecycle of the coffee is taken into consideration to ensure we get the best quality from each of the coffees we brew.

The typical method for coffee is brewing hot and then serving over ice if someone wants a cold coffee. We brew, package and serve cold, but have the option to heat up our cold brew for those who enjoy a hot coffee.

We are most proud of our cold brew coffee because we are so involved in all aspects of it from the coffee farm to our customer. The craft aspect of coffee is alive and well at Trident Coffee where we can showcase our coffee roaster and our customers can see the process and appreciate how complex coffee is.

We truly believe in the cold brew process and the health benefits it has over regular hot drip or espresso coffee. The more flavor, more caffeine and less acidity are the main distinctions with our coffee, we want people to enjoy black coffee, or if they need to, add less sugar or milk to keep the coffee as healthy as possible.

So, what’s next? Any big plans?
We are currently focused on our production and distribution of the nitro cold brew lines to help get them throughout Southern California. So be on the lookout for our products at stores near you here soon.

Contact Info:

  • Address: 536 13th Street  Suite 6
    Imperial Beach, CA 91932
  • Website:
  • Phone: 619-246-9316
  • Email:
  • Instagram: @tridentcoffee

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