The rise of cold brew coffee is underway. If you’ve been down a refrigerated aisle in a supermarket over the past three months, you won’t have missed the rows of cold brew coffee products from high street brands and challenger brands. The likes of Costa, Starbucks, Arctic and other are pushing this category hard with introductory promotions and wide ranges in a bid to capture market share in a rapidly growing segment.
In the workplace, these new cold coffee drinks are challenging the traditional drinks of the office coffee machine, especially in the warmer spring and summer months. So, what lies in store for the world of office coffee machines in the face of massive marketing campaigns for cold brew coffee? In this article, we discuss how businesses can evolve their offering and deliver even more for staff.
Benefits of Cold Brew Coffee
Cold brew coffee offers a range of benefits that have contributed to its surging popularity. One major advantage is its lower acidity compared to traditional hot brews, making it easier on the stomach and reducing the risk of heartburn. Additionally, the cold brewing process brings out the natural sweetness of the coffee, eliminating the need for added sugar or sweeteners, and helping broaden its appeal to those who find hot brew coffee too bitter or strong tasting.
There is also the obvious benefit of cold brew coffee over its hot counterpart – the fact that once it’s been prepared it just needs refrigerating until the point of consumption. Hot brew coffee will need to be brewed on-demand, and in some situations this is either impractical or not possible because of a lack of time.
In hotter months, cold brew coffee can steal a march on hot drinks from the office coffee machine thanks to their crisp and refreshing taste. It’s also true that for those businesses where there is no coffee machine in the workplace, it gives easier access to caffeinated beverages as only a fridge is required. It’s not all doom and gloom though – if you’re looking to upgrade your office coffee machine to one with cold brew capability, there are options available. We’ll talk about those later!
Innovative Cold Brew Coffee Flavors
One of the most exciting aspects of the cold brew coffee trend is the endless array of innovative flavours that it has inspired. In the early years of cold brew coffee, the options were limited to what strength of cold black coffee a consumer preferred. Now, they can indulge in unique and creative flavours and variants that add an extra dimension to their daily caffeine fix.
From decadent caramel and chocolate blends to refreshing fruit-infused varieties, the world of cold brew coffee has gone up a level and is constantly expanding. Hot brew favourites such as latte and cappuccino are now common in supermarkets and in high street coffee chains as cold brew options, helping reposition the cold offering as a viable and delicious alternative to hot coffee.
Impact on Workplace Culture
The rise of cold brew coffee in the workplace has had a significant impact on office culture. It has transformed the way that employees plan their caffeine consumption, as well as how they access their favourite coffees throughout the day.
For many UK workers, picking up a warming cup of coffee on the way to the office is habitual. Employees will have their pick of coffee shops on the commute and will know that they can get their first fix early in the morning before they even hit the office. The arrival of cold brew options doesn’t change this, but once employees arrive at the office, it does. Most coffee machines in the workplace are designed to brew and dispense hot coffee drinks, not cold ones, and if tastes shift more in favour of cold brew derivatives, this will mean a change of behaviour.
If canned cold brew coffee isn’t stocked in the office – which is unlikely for premises who invest in a commercial coffee machine for satisfying drink needs – employees are going to need to bring their own cold brew in and refrigerate them throughout the day. There’s no quick, convenient hop over to the coffee machine to grab a drink in a minute or two, if you haven’t planned ahead, there’s no cold brew coffee for you to enjoy.
The main cultural impact of this is that it reduces social engagement between teams if they aren’t needing to visit a break room or the office kitchen to grab a hot drink every couple of hours, and we know how important this can be in fostering supportive, open work environments. This has practical implications for the coffee machines, too. If usage drops, it’s harder to justify the expense and if the free coffee perk becomes no longer viable, everyone loses out.
How to Introduce Cold Brew Coffee in Offices
Offering cold brew coffee in offices is becoming more and more important to meet the evolving preferences of employees, as they seek something different for the warmer half of the year, or are looking for a less bitter coffee drinking experience in favour of smoother, sweeter cold brews.
There are many different options available on the market from leading coffee machine manufacturers, including Coffetek and Franke. Machines from these brands have specially designed UI modifications that allow users to specify a cold brew drink, rather than hot brew, and have carefully formulated recipes that deliver creamy, smooth cold brew coffee.
For the best cold brew coffee in the office, we’d highly recommend investing in an ice machine, which will help keep the drinks cold, for longer. In an ideal set up, these would sit within close proximity of one another, to make for a convenient cold brew drink experience.
If you’re looking for a cold brew coffee machine for the office, reach out to our team of coffee machine experts. We’re here to help you – simply call 01865 341011, or send us an enquiry to receive a callback.