• The Difference Coffeehouse

Crystal balls and cold, dark summers

If the US market is anything to go by, SA is facing an invasion of cold brewed coffee. Starbucks and Dunkin Donuts report that 24% of sales are now Cold and Nitro Brew Coffee and, while they may drink a hot cup of Joe at home, Americans prefer to go out for a cold coffee.

Our very own Captain Cold Brew, Luke, has taken the Ricca team on a chilled journey through our entire range of roasted coffee. We've been surprised and often pleased with the distinctive flavours produced in each batch.

...but is cold brew a fad or the new normal?

Research published by Mintel last year shows that refrigerated cold brew sales grew 460 percent to $US38.1 million between 2015 and 2017. And the report notes that, ‘Cold brew and iced coffee is seen by consumers as an occasional treat and they prefer to buy at coffee shops.’

For the record, our go-to bean for cold brew is PNG AAK Co-op A/X. We find that a light filter roast performs best and we dose at around 110 grams per litre. Grind is for french press, up to a couple of notches finer. We brew at room temperature for a maximum of 22 hours.

The result is a rich chocolatey coffee with a sweet treacle aroma. The PNG produces a satisfying body, while most other coffees are light bodied than is our preference.

I'd love to try it in a nitro brew but I'm not keen to fork out thousands for a machine that won't produce a return on investment.

In the end, I prefer incremental change so we'll review sales at the end of summer and plot a strategy for 2018/19 after that.

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