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Is cold brew becoming a thing in restaurants?

cold brewed coffee

As consumers have started to turn to healthier beverage options, soft drink manufacturers have launched bottled water, flavoured water and other choices to help offset the decreases they’ve seen in sales.


By Joel Goldstein, president, Mr. Checkout Distributors


With pop on the decline, which beverage will step in to become the new drink of choice for customers? It could be cold brew coffee.


What is cold brew coffee? Although commonly confused with iced coffee, cold brew coffee is brewed in cold temperatures between 12 to 24 hours, whereas iced coffee is typically espresso mixed with milk and ice. The slow brew process creates a unique flavour profile that is sweeter and smoother than hot or iced coffee, but with the same caffeine content.


Why is it so popular? For customers who are looking for an energy boost, cold brew coffee has quickly become the go-to choice. These beverages are less bitter and acidic than regular coffees, energy drinks and soft drinks, and can be enjoyed even in the hot summer months. Consumers have also started to look for functional beverages that offer them benefits outside of taste, which is one of the main reasons that the soft drink industry is declining quickly. Cold brew coffee offers the undeniable benefit of caffeine and the lesser known benefit of convenience. Whereas it’s virtually impossible to take a latte home with you from a restaurant and save it for later, cold brew coffee can be stored in the refrigerator and consumed later on.


Why will it catch on in restaurants? Unlike the strong and bitter taste of regular coffee, cold brew coffees pair well with meals since the flavour does not overpower the food. Whereas restaurant goers typically save hot coffees for dessert or after dinner, cold brews can be sipped throughout their courses. This new coffee fad is not just for trendsetters, either. Cold brew coffee went mainstream last year when Starbucks announced it would roll out the beverage in almost 3,000 stores throughout the U.S. and Canada. Besides Starbucks, there are a number of smaller coffee shops throughout Canada that have introduced cold brew coffees to customers, and slowly but surely, these beverages have made their way into the restaurant industry.


How can restaurants serve cold brew coffee? Station Cold Brew, one of the first companies in Toronto that solely produce cold brew coffees, has been busy stocking cafes and restaurants with their product. Although restaurants will need to sacrifice space for a tap dispensing brew keg in order to serve cold brew coffee, the benefits will far outweigh this drawback in the long run.



Mr. Checkout is a national group of independent distributors and full-line grocery distributors, which together service approximately 35,000 stores around the USA. For companies that have a product for convenience stores or grocery stores, visit