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Do cold brew pouches affect the flavour of coffee?

In the last decade, cold brew coffee has carved a niche for itself within the global coffee market. Research shows the cold coffee sector is expected to grow by 22% each year for the next five years, bringing its total value to around $1.4 billion by 2027.

As the popularity of cold brew continues to grow, brands are finding innovative and sustainable ways to package it. Common structures include recyclable aluminium cans, glass bottles, cardboard cartons, and flexible cold brew pouches. 

Spouted pouches for cold brew coffee are likely to increase in popularity in the next few years. These hygienic spouted pouches can be premade for easy entry into the market and are 100% customisable, making them an ideal packaging solution for cold brew brands.  

Notably, recent reports show the global market value of flexible packaging is projected to reach around $56.3 billion by 2025. Flexible cold brew coffee pouches can be made from sustainable materials such as recyclable low-density polyethylene (LDPE) or compostable polylactic acid (PLA).

While traditional materials, such as glass or aluminium, are unlikely to alter the taste of their contents, can the same be said of sustainable alternatives? And are cold brew pouches likely to affect the flavour of the beverage inside? 

I spoke with Joey Ruiz, the co-founder of Alto Cold Brew, to find out. 

What affects the flavour of cold brew?

According to the National Coffee Association (NCA), cold brew is now the third most popular way of preparing coffee in the US, after drip coffee and single serve options. Cold brew often has sweeter, smoother, and less acidic flavours than its heated counterpart. 

Notably, researchers conducted a study in 2022 on how brewing temperature affects flavours in coffee. The Specialty Coffee Association’s Coffee Science Foundation, Toddy, and the University of California Davis found cold brew coffee to be “more floral and less bitter, sour, and rubbery than hot brew.”

This may be why cold brew has become the beverage of choice for younger coffee consumers, who are opting for healthier beverage alternatives. Furthermore, ready-to-drink cold brew – such as canned and bottled products – are convenient options for younger consumers. These demographics typically have busier lifestyles, but still want to drink high-quality coffee.

The cold brewing method is a meticulously crafted process that entails steeping ground coffee in clean, filtered water for up to 24 hours. This extended brewing time allows a symphony of flavour profiles to take centre stage, thus highlighting unique aromas that usually wouldn’t arise for the consumer’s palette to enjoy in hot brewing methods. 

However, it’s not solely the brewing method itself that determines the final result of the cold brew flavour. Several factors can affect the final flavour, such as the quality of the coffee beans, their origin and roast level, as well as the coarseness of the grind. Research indicates finer grinds may lead to unwanted bitterness.

Prolonged brewing time is another critical factor, as leaving the cold brew to sit for a longer period can result in a much stronger, more concentrated flavour. Beyond this, the quality and mineral content of the filtered water used throughout the brewing method may further contribute to the overall sensory experience.

California-based Alto Cold Brew is on a mission to elevate the craft of cold brew, and Joey truly believes cold brew is the way of the future. “Specialty cold brew sits at the intersection of specialty coffee and cold brew. Alto believes this is the future of cold brew and that more and more shops will move in this direction.”

Joey agrees that “the biggest factors that affect the flavour of a cold brew are coffee quality, grind size, steeping time, and coffee grind agitation.”

One factor top of mind when it comes to unique flavour profiles for any coffee business is whether certain external materials can affect the flavour of its contents. The short answer is yes. The choice of packaging materials used to store, ship, and sell cold brew is crucial. 

For example, transparent packaging that allows light exposure can degrade the quality and flavour of the cold brew. More importantly, it is essential the packaging remains airtight to prevent oxidation and contamination. Beyond this, sound storage conditions, such as temperature and humidity factors, must be a top priority in order to maintain flavour stability and freshness.

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Cold brew pouches: What to consider when investing

Spouted cold brew pouches use a combination of chemical-free materials that are carefully selected and designed to protect and preserve. Commonly, these pouches are made from eco-friendly low-density polyethylene (LDPE), which provides structural support and additional barrier features, and adheres to food and beverage safety standards.

Strict testing procedures and consistent quality control measures are constantly in play to ensure the packaging materials used do not compromise the desired taste or quality of the contents inside. 

Cold brew pouches have emerged as a convenient and cost-effective option for coffee businesses seeking a method to safely store product while preserving its rich flavour profile.Beyond this, cold brew pouches offer practical benefits such as convenient portion control without compromising the freshness of the remaining beverage.

The portability of flexible pouches for cold brew further enhances the consumer experience, allowing them to enjoy your product anywhere, anytime. For cafe owners, cold brew pouches are also a space-saving, easy-to-store option.

At Cold Brew Pak, you can trust our secure flexible packaging products to protect your products from fill through final use while providing cost savings and streamlining throughout your supply chain. 

Our cold brew coffee pouches redefine convenience. Available in single-serve sachets, grab-and-go sizes, and larger multi-serve variants, they promise adaptability and shelf stability. 

During shipping, the efficiency of flexible pouches for cold brew coffee really shines. The space required for one glass bottle can accommodate ten cold brew pouches. Pouches for cold brew also drastically reduce waste as they collapse after use.

Fully customisable and user-centric, our recyclable cold brew pouches are the ideal shape and size for innovative branding techniques. Plus, the easy-open feature, paired with a built-in handle, ensures portability and convenience. Our cold brew pouches are designed with your customer’s drinking experience in mind.

For more information on our customisable cold brew pouches, reach out to our team. 

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About the author

Holly Szakal is a Melbourne-based copy and content writer and is deeply immersed in her city's vibrant specialty coffee culture. She infuses the rich aromas of the specialty coffee scene by delivering compelling narratives on the industry's current events.