We typically think of winter as the time to huddle down, snuggle in, and sip a warming beverage while watching the snow gently fall. As the wonderland of winter plays out around us, we read, we build, we plan, and we continue to work.
February is the Frozen/Cold Beverage issue of CoffeeTalk, and with this year being the strongest El Nino on record in 18 years; the irony of cold drinks when it is, well, really cold, greatly appeals to me. It also happens that right now, some of the hottest trends in coffee are developing within the Frozen/Cold Beverage sector of coffee. Often seen as the ancillary segment of coffee, frozen and/or cold beverages have become, dare I say it: cool.
Three stronger trends to emerge have gained significant momentum of late, in part due to our continuing desire to be in better health, our commitment to innovation as an industry, and our love of beer?
Nitro Cold Brew Coffee
I am not a beer drinker, but I married one—an avid one. We call him “the beer snob” at home. He collects growlers like my grandmother collected blue and white porcelain willow-patterned china. His two favorite beverages are coffee and beer with an equally discerning palette for both.
Imagine how thrilled he is that terminology like keg, tap, growler, and cold brew have now made their way into the world of coffee. His favorite pint glasses are now filling up with a soft stout-like flowing dark roasted coffee that cascades down, filling his pint to perfection.
Large-batch brewed cold coffee has gained popularity over the last five to six years, but nitro cold brew coffee is something different. Nitro cold brew coffee is cold brew treated with nitrogen and/or carbon dioxide under pressure and then chilled in a keg. It is served on tap, pulled into a glass and has a lot of similarities in taste to high quality micro-brew beer.
Living in the Northwest, we are particularly suited for the emergence of the nitro cold brew trend, given our heritage as the “birth place of American espresso” and the fact that Washington and Oregon’s micro brew industry has exploded. One field offers the technology and equipment to see the rise and development of the other.
In this month’s Connecting the Dots, there are some great opportunities to try out nitro cold brew and see for yourself why the blending of micro brew techniques with cold coffee created the nirvana of new beverages. Please leave bacon out of this—too much of a good thing.
Better Beverages, Better Health
Throughout the U.S. and many parts of the world, we are looking for healthier foods, more natural options, and traceability in what we consume. That is no different in the coffee industry. In fact, many are understanding the full health benefits of using all of the coffee, specifically, the coffee fruit. The antioxidant level in the coffee cherry is extremely high and offers tremendous health benefits.
While smoothies themselves are not new to the cold beverage scene, we are seeing the importance of boosting our smoothie drinks with supplements that are non-GMO, gluten free, vegetarian and help us maintain our healthier lifestyle.
Check out the upcoming coffee-flavored inspired drinks, drinks made from the coffee cherry and powdered, flavorless supplements that boost your day all in their own way.
Tools of the Trade
With the rise in popularity of cold beverages and smoothies, it is no wonder that companies like Follet and Vitamix are continuing to develop machinery that makes it easier for coffee shops to cater to the specific flavor profiles of their customers, helping diversify the industry and grow the frozen/cold beverage segment of the coffee industry.
Whether it is a cold brew, flavored smoothie, or a health drink, we raise a glass and wish good health to all.
By Kelle Vandenberg
The Quiet One®
by Vita-Mix Corporation
vitamix.com | (800) 437-4654
The Quiet One is our quietest machine, offering noise-reduction technology, six optimized programs, and an Advance container for large batch sizes.
JoeTap Nitro Cold Brew System
joetap.com | (800) 325-5893
Nitro cold brew is among the hottest trends in coffee today and JoeTap is the world’s first and only on-demand nitro solution. From the portable JoeTap standalone model to customized solutions, JoeTap can turn your cold brew coffee into nitro cold brew instantly. Brew, Tap, Pour!
Add a Scoop Pea Protein
by Add a Scoop Supplements
addascoop.com | (415) 382-6535
Pea Protein, the new kid on the block, is the protein of choice for people with specific food allergies or sensitivities. Although soy protein has traditionally been the choice for non-dairy protein, the flavorless Add a Scoop Pea Protein boost is now available as well. Vegan, Kosher & Halal certified.
by KonaRed Corp
konared.com | (808) 212-1553
KonaRed sources its coffee fruit solely from the Big Island of Hawaii. We meticulously developed our coffee fruit extract and believe that being true to the ingredient is the key to producing a product that not only tastes great but is also functional and brings real benefits to our customers.
Bona Fide Craft Draft Nitro Coffee
by Caribbean Coffee Company
CaribbeanCoffee.com | (800) 932-5282
Say hello to the Best tasting NITRO coffee available. FairTrade, Organic, Cold Coffee goodness served “On Tap”. Craft Draft is a spectacle to behold as the nitrogen cascades. We Roast and Brew and Deliver Kegs to your door with a 90 day freshness guarantee refrigerated. Enjoy!
Follett 15 Series Ice and Water Dispenser
by Follett Corporation
follettice.com | (800) 523-9361
The 15 Series is perfect for an ice coffee program. Producing 125 pounds per day of ice in only 15” of width, it fits neatly on a coffee bar and provides sanitary dispensing of ice. The drainless design also gives retailers flexibility in where to locate their ice.
costellinis.com | (877) 889-1866
Finely powdered for easy dissolving , unsurpassed flavorful white chocolate with a smooth clean creamy mouth finish… So your premium coffee bean stands alone…have your own unique flavor.
The Frozen Bean coming to Barista Pro Shop
by Barista Pro Shop
BaristaProShop.com | (866) 776-5288
The Frozen Bean blended beverage mixes are coming to the Barista Pro Shop online catalog this February. Discover unique and authentic flavors sure to shake-up your cold beverage offerings. Call (866) 766-5288 today to learn more about The Frozen Bean at Barista Pro Shop.