Why you need to be making iced coffee
You may notice when we approach the warmer months that your customers’ tastes shift and they crave something more refreshing. If you notice your milk steamer doesn’t get much love during the summer, it’s time to up the ante and put things on ice.
Iced coffee has grown massively in popularity in the last few years, with it once being regarded as the cliche beverage of choice for millennials, to now being a household staple in most coffee shops and franchises. After a lot of research, we have found the most popular and tastiest options that customers love so that your coffee shop is prepared.
Ways of making iced coffee
Cold? Nitro? Cubes?
As mentioned, the rise in popularity of iced coffee has seen it multiply in its different forms. However, if your coffee shop is new to the game then you may be wondering how do you make an iced coffee. Iced coffee in its original form is a regular double strength filter coffee served over ice – the reason for double strength is so it doesn’t taste diluted when the ice has melted. It’s a classic summertime staple that we think any coffee shop that is serious about making their customers happy should consider. With so many different forms of iced coffee rising in recent years, we recommend mastering your coffee shop’s perfect coffee-to-ice ratio to make the trusted original for customers who don’t want to buy into ‘fad’ new beverages.
Cold brew is arguably one of the most popular forms of iced coffee that has cropped up and with it’s smoother and stronger taste, it’s easy to see why. Cold brew is coffee that has been left to steep in cold or room temperature water overnight (6 hours minimum) before filtering. Though lengthy, this slower process allows it to develop into a stronger and silky beverage. The high temperature that is normally used to make hot brew coffee can draw out the most intense and aromatic chemicals in coffee resulting in an acidic and bitter taste.
In essence, nitro brew is coffee that has been poured into a keg and infused with fun-size nitrogen bubbles that look like Guinness. The main difference between cold brew and regular iced coffee is its rich body and foamy top comparable to your favourite draught beer. This option is perfect for customers wanting a lower fat and sugar content drink but still desire the frothy texture often associated with milk. Out of these three forms of iced coffee, nitro brew is the most timely and costly to implement into your coffee shop menu due to the infusion process and equipment required.
Coffee Ice Cubes
Want a little way to stand out from your competitors? Why not pour any leftover coffee into ice trays and offer your customers iced coffee ice cubes at a couple pence more to increase the intensity of their beverage? This will also avoid any issues of it tasting watery once the ice has melted.
Oats, nuts, beans – there are a lot of options!
One of the definitive consumer trends that all coffee shop owners should now consider is incorporating plant-based milks into their menu offering. With three times as many vegans as there were a decade ago, many customers are looking for dairy-free alternatives to make healthy iced coffee. Soya milk is a great start but we recommend branching out to almond, coconut and oat milk to appeal to this rapidly growing demographic. Due to its malty taste, creamy texture and striking resemblance to cow’s milk, we voted for oat milk as the tastiest of plant-based milks as an addition to healthy iced coffee.
Sweeteners for Iced Coffee
Sugar won’t dissolve in cold drinks
When serving iced coffee, it is worth training your baristas to always ask customers if they would like their cold drink to be sweetened with anything. This is because sugar (no matter the colour) and powdered artificial sweeteners like Stevia and Canderel will not dissolve due to the temperature of the iced coffee, resulting in a gritty drink that will ruin any efforts you have taken in the above steps. Simple syrup is the most straightforward option that mixes great with iced coffee and will not affect the texture or overall taste of the coffee.
Healthy Iced Coffee
If you want to take it a step further for your customers, we recommend offering an array of healthy options to sweeten their coffee that they might not expect. Why not offer nature’s sweeteners to your customers that want healthy iced coffees such as honey or maple syrup? Another healthy sweetener to include is Cacao powder, the unprocessed chocolate superfood which is charged with beneficial vitamins and minerals to make a natural, iced mocha. Not only will it get people talking but it will make you stand out even more against your local competitors and big chain franchises.