While Australians love their hot coffee, cold brew has been trending upwards in popularity with a surge in interest coming from younger demographics. There’s little doubt that cold brew has become a mainstream alternative to both traditional hot and iced coffee, sporting a naturally fruitier and sweeter taste than the latter.
Independent data recorded by StudyLogic Group has shown that, between 2016-2017, cold brew sales in Australia increased by nearly 20%. Nitrogen infused nitro cold brew enjoyed an almost 25% increase in sales during the same period.
Assistant Brand Manager at Nestlé Professional Elisa Lau highlights that this surge in popularity has continued to grow.
“We’ve seen a growing demand for it because it’s a nice, chilled and refreshing alternative to the hot coffees we usually get,” says Elisa.
Elisa continues by pointing out that the process of making cold brew can be “long and painful” for café staff who feel as though they are either producing too much or too little to efficiently serve their customers.
On top of this challenge, nitro cold brew usually requires a nitrogen tank which comes with several operational and logistical demands. As a result, moving to accommodate nitro cold brew in the traditional manner can seem like too much of a hurdle for cafes who would otherwise be eager to capitalise on this trend.
Elisa adds that “having a cold offering is definitely important” for cafes to maximise their profitability during the summer months. With 60% of beverages sold in the out-of-home market being cold, coffee should not miss out because new cold offerings are too much of a hassle.
Observing this problem, the team at Nestlé Professional decided to investigate how it could make it easier for cafés, restaurants, and other businesses to tap into the growing popularity of nitro cold brew. Thus, the Nescafé Nitro Cold Brew Coffee system was conceived.
This compact machine makes a big impact while only taking up a small space, with it fitting easily into any existing service area.
It also requires no plumbing to set up – operators are supplied with a pre-brewed cold brew concentrate they can simply mix into the supplied container with water. The potency of this concentrate can be watered down as desired, with the container simply being slotted into the machine with the cold brew ready to be dispensed.
Instead of requiring an external nitrogen tank, the machine draws in the surrounding air and filters it so that only nitrogen gas is left over. The nitrogen is then infused with the cold brew which can be poured from the dispenser, which operates like a beer tap.
Elisa explains that the machine’s output has a thick, rich, and creamy head with a “mesmerising cascade” of movement from the microbubbles within the glass. She goes on to point out that because using the machine is reminiscent of a beer tap, it gives café customers a satisfying “experiential coffee moment”.
The NESCAFÉ Nitro Cold Brew Coffee system gives operators the ability to serve both regular cold brew and nitro cold brew to their customers without forcing them to compromise on space. This handy machine allows menus to be expanded virtually overnight, with room for operators to experiment with diverse offerings through various syrups and other additions.
“There’s so many avenues to customise the drink with,” says Elisa, who reveals that syrups like macadamia, vanilla, and flamed orange make excellent additions to nitro cold brews. She adds that the Nestlé Professional team has put together recipes that operators can add straight to their menus or use to inspire their own creations, with the potential for a variety of alcohol-based mixes, like this Nescafé Cold Brew Martini.
Elisa notes that cafés and other businesses will be able to add a new premium offering to their menu due to the novelty and taste experience offered by nitro cold brew.
Since its soft launch at the end of 2019, there has been a massively positive response to the Nescafé Nitro Cold Brew Coffee system. Elisa says that most customers were surprised that they did not need a nitrogen tank to use the system, eliminating a significant operational demand that has caused them to shy away from adding cold brew to their menus.
Elisa goes on to say that customers have also responded positively to the concentrate used with the machine, noting that it both tastes great and saves a lot of time. The convenience of the system allows operators to spend more time focusing on customer service and the rest of their menu.
While the machine isn’t complex in terms of operation and maintenance, Nestlé Professional still provides complimentary training with each new purchase.
Elisa says that Nescafé Nitro Cold Brew gives operators an easy way to cater to a growing demographic of young adults and millennials who appreciate coffee as an “exciting sensorial experience”, rather than just a functional beverage to start the day with.
Because younger people mostly gravitate towards iced coffees before moving to hot coffees as they mature, nitro cold brew fits nicely into the existing market.
Elisa wraps up by saying that nitro cold brew, with the right promotion and consumer messaging, will “help build and shape up the next generation of coffee drinkers.”
With Nestlé Professional planning to continue their innovation in this space throughout 2021, it’s likely that we’ll be hearing from Elisa and her team again in the near future.