Article contributed by Micro Matic
Today, the hottest brews in town are actually the coolest. Restaurants, cafes and coffee chains have fresh options when it comes to feeding customers’ cold brew coffee needs. Out with pitchers of hot coffee and in with Cold Brew Coffee on Tap!
Just look at the numbers. Sales of traditional hot coffee have been declining (down 3% between 2012 and 2016) and fast food giants like McDonald’s are seeing their hot coffee sales drop dramatically while their cold frappes soar (an average of 80 per store daily). Starbucks also sees cold coffee drinks as the future of their business. “We are relentlessly focused to innovate in all things cold coffee,” says Sharon Rothstein, Global Chief Marketing Officer. “And that starts with cold brew.” The coffee giant forecasts that by the year 2021, nearly 50% of its beverage mix will be in cold, up 35% since 2013.
While cold coffee drinks are not exactly a new concept, its’ explosive growth is relatively new. In years past, cold brew coffee was kept in covered pitchers or gallon jugs in the refrigerator. Dispensing it was a matter of pouring from a pitcher, jug or urn. Not too difficult, but inefficient and not necessarily the most appealing.
It’s far easier and more attractive to the customer to dispense cold brew coffee from a tap, especially when it’s nitro cold brew coffee! So, how do you get cold brew coffee on tap pouring in your establishment? It’s easy…
Options for Serving Nitro Cold Brew on Tap
Fresh, cold brew coffee on tap is efficient and fresh. What may not be clear are the options you have for serving it within your establishment, courtesy of Micro Matic.
Ready to Drink (RTD) Coffee
Single servings of cold brew are available packaged in your choice of cans or bottles. Think “on draft” similar to keg packaging but filled with cold brew coffee. You can brew your own signature blend or purchase kegs from a brewer and a few select coffee keg distributors.
If you’re into artisanal, hand-crafted coffee blends and want to manage every step of the brewing process – you can! Brew the coffee cold at ambient temp for 8 to 16 hours. When it’s ready, simply pour it into what’s called a Corny Keg (traditionally used for craft soda or craft beer). The standard size for a Corny Keg is 5 gallons, but can also be found in 2.5 and 3 gallon sizes. Many roasters are producing cold brew and packaging it in kegs. There are local distributors throughout the United States that carry a number of different brands to choose from.
Bag-in-Box (BiB) Coffee
Perhaps you’re in a large volume setting and need to serve multiple cups in an institution, convenience store or entertainment venue setting. Allow us to introduce you to Bag-in-Box (BIB) cold brew coffee concentrate to solve the operational challenges and enable any foodservice operator to deliver cold specialty coffee beverages in volume.
The concentrates typically range from 4:1 up to 15:1 with even higher concentrates available. The industry norms are 5:1 and 7:1 (water-to-concentrate) in 1 gallon BIBs. The volume calculation is simple: take the BIB size and look at the ratio, a 7:1 ratio is 7 gallons of water to 1 gallon of concentrate = 8 gallons of cold brew. A higher concentrate can produce even more product from the same gallon BIB (a 15:1 can produce 16 gallons of finished product).
This package delivers coffee shop quality cold brew with no labor or waste. Products are shipped fresh and offer longer shelf life and a lower cost per serving than kegged coffee alternatives. BIB producers offer a large variety of standard brews/flavors and many will custom produce runs to your specifications.
Once you have the BIB concentrate, simply pop it into a BIB cold brew coffee dispenser, connect a filtered water source to the unit and serve fresh-poured cold brew. The concentrate is mixed on demand with the filtered cold water. Many dispensers offer the option of both still and nitro infused coffee. When the bag empties, it only takes a minute to disconnect the empty BIB and connect a new BIB – and you are pouring again. Even the cleaning process utilizes a BIB cleaning solution to simplify the process.
How to Serve and Dispense Cold Brew Coffee from a Keg
Dispensing from a keg is easy, simply “tap” the keg using a coupler that engages with the valve. The coupler allows nitrogen to enter the keg and pushes the coffee out. The nitrogen used to dispense the cold brew coffee on tap is usually low pressure (10-15 psi). When finished with the keg there are several options: stainless steel will be returned to the producer, if it’s your own container with your own cold brew simply rinse out and refill with a fresh batch, and if using a plastic keg, go ahead and recycle.
One thing to consider is whether the cold brew is “shelf stable” or needs to be refrigerated. A shelf stable product can sit out in ambient temperature and not require refrigeration. However, most cold brews in the market require refrigeration for both storage and dispensing. Confirm with your distributor and ask about “shelf stability”.
Don’t Miss Out on the Cold Brew Coffee (on Tap) Revolution
Help meet the demand and introduce customers to new and exciting flavor experiences in this ever-growing beverage category. Cold brew coffee on tap and nitro brew coffee can offer a point of difference for your business. BIB concentrates are considered premium (who would make a concentrate from a bad brew?) and people expect to pay more for a better brew. Whereas a shop may sell an iced coffee for $3.50, it’s not unusual to charge $5.50 for a cold or nitro brew, providing enormous return on investment.
Coffee lovers swear by it. Smooth, cold-brewed coffee on-tap infused with nitrogen to feature a thick, creamy head and beautiful cascade effect when poured. Now you can offer your customers choice – cold brew or nitro brew – depending on the mood. Micro Matic is proud to offer our world-renowned dispense technology so you can deliver a consistent pour each and every time. Brew your own or utilize a convenient Bag-in-Box (BiB). Whether you’re a multi-chain enterprise or local, independent artisanal shop, nitro cold brew coffee is the generational drink that your business needs.
Micro Matic has a variety of nitro cold brew coffee dispensing equipment suitable for your café, bar or restaurant needs. Each of our machines can dispense regular or nitrogenized cold brew coffee at the pull of a tap with no downtime between pulls. Unlike other systems that want you to shake the keg to distribute the nitrogen or may become over-pressurized by the end of the keg, our complete line of dispensers create the perfect pour. Contact a member of our sales team today at micromatic.com/contact to learn more.