Saus is New On the Shelf

Seamus Dixon on his new Saus line of hot sauces, cooking with coffee and sampling 100 hot sauces.

by | Jan 10, 2021 | New On The Shelf

Bottle of Saus surrounded by chicken wings and cauliflower.

Photo | Abby Wiseman

The world is divided between those who can tolerate spice and those who can’t. Seamus Dixon is in the “can’t” category, so spending the summer sampling over 100 hot sauces nearly killed him, but it was all in the name of research for his new line of hot sauces – Saus.

Dixon has a long history in restaurants and founded Smak Healthy Healthy Fast Food and Abbotsford’s BRGR BRGR. He also worked with Simons, opening six of their restaurants. When the pandemic hit, disrupting his primary source of income, he decided to pursue a dream that been percolating for some time.  

“I had some extra time to experiment with the sauces I’ve been working on for the last decade,” said Dixon. “Ultimately, it was the catalyst I needed to focus on launching the business I had been dreaming up for years.”

In his exploration, Seamus discovered that most hot sauces out there are either incredibly spicy or overly vinegary. In general, he found that most lack depth – they don’t have that certain “je ne sais quoi.” 

Seamus Dixon. Photo | Courtesy of Saus

Dixon launched Saus with his Coffee Hot Sauce, a variation from a well-worn coffee-based bbq sauce he concocted years ago. He created it using a combination of cold brew coffee and unique spices.

At first, Dixon experimented with ghost pepper, which was far too hot for everyday consumption. He then switched to cayenne, which is in familiar favourites like Frank’s and Tobasco. He then incorporated his own dry harissa mix – a spice combination with origins in Tunisia. Last, he added a Turkish spice called urfa biber.

“I like urfa biber is because it has a roasted tobacco flavour to it, and coffee, tobacco and chocolate are like a magical trio when used together,” said Dixon. 

Cooking with coffee is not new for Dixon. For a long time, he experimented with beer, but after receiving feedback from Alcoholics Anonymous members who did not want to consume food made with alcohol, even if it’s cooked off, he decided to experiment with different ingredients. Coffee, he discovered, was a perfect alternative.

“The main reason I use coffee is that it adds ten ingredients worth of flavour in one ingredient, and I can choose different coffees for different flavour,” said Dixon. “It gives such a depth of flavour to things that I would have to add so many other elements to try and replicate.”

The cold brew Dixon uses in the sauce has a dark chocolate flavour, which brings out leathery notes of rich caramel, cocoa, and a hint of garlic that lingers. Those high vinegar notes are kept to a minimum, making for a hot sauce with a low and slow burn. 

The Coffee Hot Sauce is just the beginning, says Dixon. He has plans to grow the line to 15 different sauces, starting with a plant-based creamy Thai and a white BBQ sauce. He also hinted at releasing a ketchup that we are dying to try.

Saus retails for $19 and can be ordered online here

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Excellent work. Well done you. Bravo.

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