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How cold brew pouches preserve flavour

Over the last decade, the popularity of cold brew has skyrocketed and shows no signs of slowing. Notably, estimates predict an annual growth rate of 22% by 2027 in the US alone, bringing the cold brew industry value up to a cool $1.35 billion.

Statistics show that Millennials and Generation Z are behind this growth, with a craving for innovation in traditional brewing methods being a priority. Research shows it’s these younger customers specifically who are pushing cold brew to capture around 10% of total coffee sales in the US. However, it’s important to note some of the older generations have tried and enjoyed cold brew coffee.

With all this demand, coffee brands are looking for innovative ways to store and distribute mass amounts of cold brew. Additionally, businesses must ensure the product retains its flavour and freshness. As a result, could flexible cold brew pouches become the preferred packaging for cold brew over traditional formats such as glass and cans?

Cold brew pouches hold significant advantages, such as lowered transport costs and flavour preservation. To learn more about the benefits of flexible cold brew coffee pouches, I spoke to Fabrice Gascons Viladomat, the Area Manager for the South-West Europe section of TB Brown Coffee and Krzysztof Barabosz, head of coffee at Hard Beans Coffee Roasters

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Why invest in cold brew pouches?

Flexible pouches for cold coffee are a highly practical solution for brands craving convenience throughout the filling, storing, and distribution process. They’re often made from recyclable yet resilient materials such as low density polyethylene (LDPE) and polylactic acid (PLA).

Compared to glass or tins, flexible pouches are considered more environmentally friendly to produce and transport. An additional reason these pouches may be a popular packaging form is because of their lightweight nature. Flexible packaging is designed to use as little material as possible to package goods, ensuring a high packaging-to-product ratio. 

For consumers, this portability translates into the freedom to relish cold-brew coffee anywhere, whether at work or during travel. For cold coffee manufacturers, this has the dual benefit of reducing waste and the carbon emissions involved in transportation. Suppliers can pack and ship large quantities of flexible packaging in single containers, which helps limit the number of journeys between supplier and coffee roaster.

Last, cold brew pouches offer avenues for customisation and branding, allowing brands to differentiate their products in the market and foster brand recognition. Through distinct graphics, logos, and messaging, companies can carve out a unique identity for their cold coffee offerings, enhancing their appeal to consumers.

How do cold brew coffee pouches preserve flavour?

The cold brewing method boasts an incredibly smooth and mellow flavour profile. The cold extraction process reduces the acidity of coffee and highlights the bean’s natural sweetness – something that is incredibly difficult to replicate in other brewing methods. 

Essentially, the mildly acidic environment of a resting batch of cold brew coffee is conducive to the growth of different microorganisms, such as bacteria, yeast, and mould. The risk of growth increases significantly if brewing equipment, including containers and filters, is not properly sanitised.

In the absence of adequate safety controls, harmful microorganisms can multiply and create an environment for bacteria known as mycotoxins: toxic compounds produced by fungi. “Mycotoxins are toxic compounds produced by certain types of moulds or fungi that can grow on various crops, including grains, nuts, and coffee beans,” explains Krzysztof Barabosz, who is head of coffee at Hard Beans Coffee Roasters

“These toxins pose a significant health risk to humans and animals when ingested, inhaled, or otherwise exposed to them,” says Krzysztof, who was previously the event coordinator at The Speciality Coffee Association (SCA). “It’s worth noting that mycotoxin contamination in coffee is relatively rare and is typically addressed through quality control measures in coffee production and processing,” he adds.

Cold brew pouches have emerged as a popular, safe, and easy-to-store packaging choice for coffee brands. They have been specifically engineered to optimise the cold brewing process and also preserve the flavour and freshness of the beverage as it sits in storage. 

The materials used in production of these pouches are typically food-grade nylon, polyester, or other polymer films. Each works to provide a protective barrier against external elements such as oxygen, light, and moisture. It’s these elements that are known to degrade the quality and flavour of coffee over time.

By shielding the contents from these external factors, the pouches help maintain the freshness and integrity of the flavour compounds that make cold brew stand out. The design of the pouches feature airtight seals to maximise flavour extraction and prevent oxidation or unwanted flavour loss.

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Are flexible pouches the best option for cold brew coffee?

Flexible pouches provide an in-demand RTD (ready-to-drink) cold brew coffee packaging solution for consumers on the go. They are a portable and easy way to enjoy the smooth and refreshing taste of cold brew coffee while mitigating the risk of microbial growth.

TB Brown Coffee are producers of tailor-made private label coffee. Fabrice explains what he believes brands should look for when investing in cold brew coffee pouches. “It’s essential that the packaging has strong barrier properties against oxygen, light, and moisture to preserve quality.”

He also recommends that business owners ask themselves whether the packaging appears user-friendly. “Is it easy to open, resealable, portable, and suitable for pouring or consuming directly?” Brands must also keep in mind important factors to suit consumer expectations is vital too. “Ask yourselves what the environmental impact of the packaging will be. I look for information on recyclability, biodegradability, and the overall ecological footprint, from production to disposal.”

At Cold Brew Pak, we understand the importance of offering attractive, convenient, and safe cold brew coffee packaging, all while keeping these consumer expectations in mind. Guided by sustainability and safety, we’re empowered by pioneering technology to deliver high-quality, fully customisable cold brew coffee packaging solutions for your brand, all while preserving that unique cold brew flavour.

Our cold brew packaging solutions include bag-in-box options, flexible spouted pouches, fully recyclable cans, and BPA-free bottles. Plus, we offer a range of customisation techniques to ensure your cold-brew packaging perfectly represents your brand.

Interested in the subject? Check the article below.

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Cold brew coffee bottles: The rise of BPA-free plastic

BPA-free plastic bottles for cold brew coffee have emerged as one of the safest forms of packaging for the RTD market.

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.