Happy National Cold Brew Day!
Since 2015, April 20 has served as the celebratory date for coffee’s resident influencer. From buzz word to industry stalwart, cold brew has revolutionized coffee, and for good reason. By the end of 2025, the revenue forecast for this segment stands at $1.63 billion. A figure worth celebrating.
There are many factors that have contributed to cold brew’s rise and success in changing the way the world views and consumes coffee. It stands to reason we have merely scratched the surface. These are a few reasons we love cold brew:
The Next Generation of Coffee
It wasn’t long ago that the first thoughts associated with coffee were empty pots in breakrooms and burnt tongues from an overly eager sip of hot, black morning ‘Joe.’ This is what coffee was for many years, nothing fancy, just dependable. It wasn’t until the mid-2000s when Starbucks, Dunkin’ Donuts, and several other purveyors would turn coffee on its head, popularizing cold beverages that would take coffee from part of a morning routine to an experience to be desired. With new ranges of flavors, fun cup designs and ‘Instagrammable’ aesthetics, cold coffee would appeal to the next generation of coffee drinkers.
What does this mean for those empty coffee pots? As hard to believe as it may be, Millennials currently make up the largest generation in the United States labor force. By 2025, this group will comprise 75% of the global workforce. It is hard to ignore the correlation between unprecedented segment growth and its leading demographic’s rise in numbers. Cold brew is here to stay.
Health & Taste
If you have trouble distinguishing cold brew from iced coffee, you are not alone. However, understanding cold brew’s unique brewing process and its inherent benefits is a great way to try something new. The difference starts with water. Iced coffee is exactly what it sounds like, hot coffee that has been cooled with ice. The scolding temperature of boiling water causes a chemical change within the beans that can produce the acidic and bitter flavor that turn many away from coffee. The addition of ice can also produce a watered-down product.
Cold brew on the other hand, is brewed by steeping ground coffee in room-temperature water for up to 24 hours. The long extraction time produces a rich, mellow, concentration that often showcases the natural notes and flavors of its beans. The complex flavor profile devoid of bitterness has led many to enjoy this style of coffee as-is, or with drastically less sugar and additives than one may typically use.
The difference between fads and break throughs is continuous innovation. Today, cold brew can be found in cans, bottles, dissolvable packets, self-serve boxes, and on-tap. There are even cold brew infused wines.
In the workplace, there are cold brew options fit for any industry and setting. For the on the move grab-and-go professional, La Colombe’s canned cold brews have captured small-batch, local flavor enjoyable wherever you are. To the office appealing to the cold coffee-loving masses, options like Bunn’s Nitron allow for nitro-infused or ambient cold brew in a self-serve format with little supervision needed. And for the ultimate café experience? There’s the Craft on Draft program from Joyride by Aramark. Cold brew as it is meant to be enjoyed. Imagine full scale kegerators serving delicious still and velvety nitrogen-infused cold brew from refillable kegs – just like in a local coffeeshop. However, wherever you want to enjoy it, there is a solution fit for you.
Speaking of refillable kegs, sustainability is another key piece of the cold brew equation. In a time when Earth’s finite resources fetch warranted mainstream attention, finding a coffee solution with positive environmental impact is important. Cold brewing is the most sustainable method of enjoying coffee. Requiring little to no electrical output depending on grind method, cold brew is most typically made in large batches with reusable containers and washable – sometimes compostable paper – filters that severely cut down on waste.
For kegged solutions like those from Joyride Coffee, refillable cold brew containers can aid in helping reduce the 85lbs of waste per person per year generated in the workplace. Kegs not only eliminate the need for boxes, capsules, and packets, they preserve as much of the integrity of the coffee as possible.
The future of coffee is cold. As companies continue pushing the limit on this segment’s capabilities, consumer reap the benefit. For taste, experience, or social impact, cold brew continues to impact the world. Enjoy!