In the US, over a five year period between 2011 and 2016, cold brew coffee consumption soared by more than 500 percent – and now it’s growing rapidly across Europe. Tapping into the cold-brew coffee trend, which is tipped to be even bigger this year, is France-based cold concentrations expert Ederna.
The company – which specializes in engineered osmosis development for the food and beverage market – is offering cold-brew coffee concentrates with exceptional flavor, produced using its new evapEOs process.
The key characteristics of COFFEOS are its intensity and “fidelity” to the original flavor of the coffee beans, according to Ederna. The roasted grounds are steeped in cold water for more than 12 hours, which means the coffee essence is then concentrated up to 60 percent dissolved solids – depending on the customer’s target - using Ederna’s pioneering proprietary engineered osmosis technology, evapEOs.
It has an intense flavor profile which is also less sour, rich in caffeine and with a much sweeter and floral profile than that obtainable with the current thermal concentration methods. Ederna says that thermal concentration causes reduction in many of the advantages achieved by cold brewing.
Ederna’s VP Sales & Marketing, Glenn Pickett, explains the acceleration of cold brew coffee and the potential for the evapEOs process to be applied to almost any water-based beverage. However, the current focus is tightly fixed on cold brew coffee.
“There has been an ever-increasing demand for “natural” products over the past 10 years and accelerating in the past five years. Cold-brew, with its perceived “untouched” qualities is the latest in this movement. For those who do not like a bitter coffee, cold-brew is the answer, since it offers a sweeter and fruitier flavor,” he said.
“Ederna expects that COFFEOS will receive a very positive response since it provides everything that the “natural” movement is searching for – very high retention of flavor, aroma, nutritional ingredients and original color.”
“Every potential customer has responded positively after tasting the samples and we are now signing contracts to embark on production. The product was only proposed very recently, but the uptake has been very high, with major brands already interested,” Pickett added.
Ederna says that evapEOs concentration technology is very new and although the company has carried out many very successful trials for a variety of companies, there is always a long lead time for choosing the product to which to apply it, planning and obtaining a budget and then arranging the building of the plant.
“EDERNA decided to accelerate the use of its process via the introduction of products using this technology. This also serves to convince even more companies to consider the use of evapEOs. In addition to specific coffee types (perhaps our next step), the evapEOs process can be applied to almost any water-based beverage,” Glenn Pickett, adds.
“We have considerable expertise with a variety of products. However, it is important to be successful with coffee before we attack the market with other drinks. And we must not lose sight of the fact that our primary objective is the uptake of our technology across the coffee, tea, fruit juice and dairy markets.”
A sensory evaluation was conducted on COFFEOS cold-brew concentrate from 100 percent Arabica coffee blend. The COFFEOS was compared to a standard concentrate according to a set of seven criteria, by a panel of tasters from an independent French sensory analysis laboratory certified by COFRAC, France’s sole national accreditation authority.
Results can be seen in the chart below :
The evapEOs process is carried out at low temperature which means the flavor and aroma elements are maintained as well as the nutritional characteristics and color of the coffee to levels. This is unmatched by other processes, according to Ederna.
Cold-brew coffee is a hot commodity
“Beyond the Coffeehouse” was #5 in Innova Market Insights top ten trends for 2018. While coffee is clearly trending among Millennial and Generation Z consumers, tea is also seeking to reinvent itself among the younger generations.
With the taste and experiential associations of coffee and the healthy image of tea, the industry is increasingly using coffee and tea as ingredients and flavors outside the hot drinks and iced tea and coffee sub-categories across a wide variety of products as varied as energy bars, yogurt and jam.
In terms of the cold-brew coffee sector, the US is going through a rapid growth period and manufacturers and brands are now pushing products in European markets which are catching up with the trend.
Value is being built into new product development through premiumization and adding different flavor profiles providing endless amounts of innovation opportunities and while younger generations are a key demographic for cold brew coffee, suppliers often point to its appeal to all age groups because of its smooth, velvety taste without the sour notes that can sometimes be associated with hot brewed coffee.
The rise in cold brew coffee’s popularity is also evidenced by Nestlé USA’s recent acquisition of organic cold brew coffee company, Chameleon Cold-Brew, an Austin-based provider of premium-crafted coffee sourced consciously and grown sustainably. Founded in 2010, it has become the number one organic cold brew brand in the US and one of the top three refrigerated cold brew brands in the country.
Ready-to-drink category boasted by cold brew coffee growth
Cold brew coffee is just that: coffee brewed without the heat where steeping beans in ambient-to-cold-temperature water for a long period of time is the key. The types of beans used, the temperature of the water and the steeping time, all impact the final product.
Cold brewing is paving the way for an entirely new segment for the ready-to-drink coffee and tea beverage category, according to Innova Market Insights, as there are ready-to-drink options and cold brew concentrates are coming through at the retail level where consumers can create their own signature drinks with a mixer and sweetener of choice.
One example is Denmark’s Zozozial Coffee which recently rolled out a ready-to-drink cold brew coffee and a cold brew coffee concentrate that the consumer can mix with milk and sweetener to meet personal taste preferences. The product comes in shelf-stable 250ml glass bottles.
London’s cold brew coffee company Minor Figures is another example. The company brews coffee for 18 hours before packaging and offers a line of aseptic organic coffee beverages.
Heartland Food Products has also introduced Java House Cold Brew Coffee, a signature range which is handcrafted by trained baristas and contains only natural ingredients – 100 percent Arabica and water – making it a health-conscious choice.