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 brews needs. How do you get cold brew coffee on tap pouring in your establishment? It’s easy, read on…
Out with the Pitchers and Hot Coffee, In with the Cold Brew Coffee on Tap from Kegerators
Sales of the traditional “hot cup of joe” have been declining (down 3% between 2012 and 2016), and fast food giants like McDonald’s are seeing their hot coffee sales plummet 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 from 35% since 2013.
And while cold coffee drinks are not exactly a new concept, its explosive growth is relatively new. History Fact: Mazagran, described as “the original iced coffee,” originated in Algeria around 1840.
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 kind of clunky.
It’s far easier and better looking to dispense cold brew coffee from a tap, especially when it is nitro cold brew coffee. And nothing beats the freshness of draft.
How to Dispense Your Cold Brew on Tap
Fresh cold brew coffee on tap is efficient and fresh—that is clear. What may not be clear are the options you have for serving it within your establishment. Consider what options are viable to keep coffee in your business while moving forward with new innovations.
Ready to Drink (RTD) Coffee
Single servings of cold brew are available packaged in cans or bottles. But for this blog we’re think “on draft” which means we’re talking Kegs. Think draft beer and you’re going in the right direction, but instead of beer; the keg is filled with cold brew coffee.
Within this package category you can either brew your own, or purchase kegs from a brewer or a few select coffee keg distributors.
If you’re into artisanal, hand-crafted and want to manage every step of the brewing process – you can! Brew the coffee cold at ambient temp for 8-16 hrs. When it’s ready simply pour it into what’s called a Corny keg (traditionally used for craft soda or craft beer). Standard size for a Corny keg is 5 gallons, but can be found in 3 ad 2.5 gal sizes as well. Many roasters are producing cold brew and packaging it in kegs. There are local distributors throughout the U.S. that carry a number of different brands.
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 options: stainless steel will be returned to the producer; if its your own container with your own cold brew - rinse out and re-fill with a fresh batch, a plastic keg will be recycled.
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, not being refrigerated. However, most cold brews in the market require refrigeration for both storage and dispensing. Confirm with your distributor and ask about “shelf stability”.
Bag-in-a-Box (BiB) Coffee
Maybe you’re in a volume setting and need to serve multiple cups in a convenience store or entertainment venue setting. Most foodservice operators are not participating in this ever-growing cold brew category due to the operational complexity and number of servings they need for a large audience. 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 can range from 4-to-1 up to 15-to-1 concentrates and even higher concentrates are available. The industry norms are 5:1 and 7:1 (water-to-concentrate) in 1 gallon BIB’s. 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). Mind blowing to say the least.
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.
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.
With the weather warming up, there’s no better time to get in on the cold and nitro brew business. Micro Matic, the global leader in draft dispensers, and JoeTap®, the inventor of the Post-Mix Nitrogenated Coffee System, have teamed up to bring you a range of cold brew countertop units perfect for BIB coffee. Whether you’re a large chain, or a small independent shop, we have you covered. Contact a member of our sales team today to learn more.