Coffee entrepreneur Patrick Hieger is committed to solving an admittedly First-World problem: where to find cold brew when Starbucks and Panther Coffee seem too far away. Though brands like Stumptown and Chameleon may stock the shelves at Whole Foods, Miami has long lacked a local alternative in the bottled cold-brew coffee scene. Until now.
A mostly underground enterprise, his fledgling coffee company has been compared to bootleggers selling spirits during Prohibition. The company moniker's nod to moonshine’s nickname — “white lightning” — even seems to hint at this.
The coffees are available in three flavors. Black Lightning has only two ingredients: water and a Guatemalan roast provided by Fort Lauderdale’s Calusa Coffee.
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In the future,
After returning to Miami for several years, he saw a hole in the market this past January. “Living in Miami, hot coffee started to not settle with me," he says. "I started using cold brew and sharing it with my friends, and it just took off.” He saw it as an opportunity to build something new that used local resources. All of the beans used in Black Lightning brews are roasted by Steve Hodel’s two-year-old Broward company, Calusa Coffee, and the distinctive flask-like bottles come from Hialeah.
Considering Panther Coffee got its start as a bicycle cart at Miami food truck roundups,