by Nic Tracy
When the temperature is in the negatives and that aggressive Wyoming wind rolls through, it's easy for me to forget that coffee doesn't need to be prepared hot - nothing beats a good pour over to keep those hands cozy! However, it doesn't hurt to get prepared well in advance for those summer days to ensure your cold brew game is strong this year; like my mom always says, "proactive planning prevents problems." While cold brew has many benefits beyond stifling the heat in the warmer months (check out this article on its associated health benefits), there is no denying its unique cultural impact during that time. The cold brew market grew as much as 460% from 2015 to 2017, a growth largely stimulated by big coffee companies like Starbucks and Dunkin' Donuts producing a number of marketing campaigns that touted it as a summer beverage. Because of the increased cultural awareness, it became a no-brainer for specialty/third wave coffee shops and roasters to ride the wave and offer small batch, brewed-in-house cold brew that would attract a new segment of consumers who may not have been aware of craft coffee beforehand. Following this rise in popularity, nitro became a much more readily accessible method of serving cold brew, which further advanced the market and attracts still more new people to the specialty coffee scene (looking at you, craft beer fans). I expect this growth trend to continue for the foreseeable future as the general public becomes more aware of both cold brew and third wave coffee.
Part of the growth experienced in the cold brew market segment has been a result of quality improvements. For the longest time, cold brew was seen as a way to getting rid of old and/or over-roasted beans while still monetizing them, rather than just pitching them and taking it as a loss. It was traditionally prepared as a concentrate and cut with water when served. To be clear, I don't discount this process at all; it's a creative and smart way to ensure you're not wasting product or money, which is a must for up-and-coming coffee shops! However, cold brew can be so much more and shouldn't be limited to only being a creative method to dispose of off-beans. A lot of shops have found great success by brewing fresh, lighter-roasted single origin beans in a 1:17 ratio rather than as a concentrate, or creating their own cold brew or nitro-specific blends that emphasize the notes they prefer in their cold brew. In our experience, these are the brews that win cold brew competitions more often than not. Doing this will allow cold brew in your cafe to truly elevate from a functional element to a craft commodity.
Whether you offer cold brew year-round for the health benefits or seasonally to meet demand, our Cold Pro systems solve a lot of the problems experienced by coffee shops everywhere. They have a lift-and-twist draining design so you don't have to hold a mesh bag over your bucket for five minutes (or jury-rig a contraption to do so for you) and a sloped bottom so you don't have to tilt your bucket to get the last of the cold brew out. Additionally, the paper filters make cleanup a breeze and result in a cleaner cup when paired with the outlet filters. With both a 4-gallon unit or a 7-gallon unit, we've got an option for most shops whether you've been cold brewing for forever or are just getting started this year (they are also stackable to save space). If space is also a deterrent from getting into nitro (kegs, fridges and taps can get bulky), we also have the Cold Pro Nitro 2 units that utilize atmospheric nitrogen rather than tanked nitrogen and don't require kegs (but you can still use them with it if you want to).
In conclusion, I encourage you all to start thinking about how you approach cold brew in 2019 if you're not doing so already and to give the Cold Pro brewing systems a shot - they're pretty revolutionary!
Thanks for checking out the blog,