On a hot summer day in a coffee shop most customers don’t want to drink hot coffee. They want something cool and refreshing. Coffee drinkers still want their caffeine fix without the steaming hot cup of joe. This is where iced coffee comes in, it’s cold, refreshing and satisfies customers coffee needs. This popular coffee option helps businesses maintain coffee sales in the warm months.
Iced coffee season is a major shift in business for restaurant owners or coffee shop managers. Iced coffee requires separate brewing processes and different packaging materials. As a result, the iced beverage is more expensive to produce and purchase.
The additional costs can make it seem that iced coffee may not be worth offering but this is not the case. Iced coffee is widely popular and getting more popular every year. In 2009 iced coffee sales accounted for 1/5 of all American coffee consumption, according to business week magazine.
Grubstreet, a daily food news provider for New York Magazine, broke down the reasons for iced coffee being more expensive. They did this by comparing a 16-ounce cold-brewed coffee to a 14-ounce hot coffee; the ice displaces about 4 ounces in the cold beverage.
Grubstreet estimated that the iced coffee costs 25 cents to a dollar more than hot coffee to produce. This is due to a few added expenses. First, iced coffee calls for about twice as many beans as hot coffee. According to Grubstreet this difference is about 35 cents worth for hot coffee and 62 cents worth for iced. The next hike in price for iced coffee beverages is for the plastic cup the drink is served in. On average, the paper hot coffee cups are about half the price of the plastic ones. The lids and straws that go with these cups add another cent or two to the production cost.
On top of these extra costs that roll in for iced coffee season there are also other miscellaneous items your business may need to rent or purchase like an ice machine to accommodate iced coffee production. When it’s all said and done Grubstreet estimates the added cost of making iced coffee is about 80 cents.
If you are serious about your coffee making, iced coffee is a worthy investment and is no longer limited to the hot weather months. The summertime drink has broken through its seasonal barrier. More people are drinking iced coffee in the winter. According to a survey by Dunkin’ Donuts 84% of consumers said they drank more iced coffee this winter than last. Half of people surveyed said they feel cooler and trendier when drinking iced coffee.
If your business is going to sell iced coffee it’s important to offer the highest quality, best-tasting iced coffee possible to justify extra costs. There are several methods businesses use to make iced coffee. Two of the most common methods are known as cold brew and ice brew. Both of these brewing processes end up producing an iced coffee but the process and resulting taste can be very different.
Cold brew (also known as Toddy for the machine used to prepare it) is a process where the coffee grounds are stirred into cold water and left in the refrigerator for 12 hours giving it time to blend. After 12 hours the grounds are strained from the mixture and it’s ready to serve. This method lowers the acidity of the coffee. One of the keys to cold brew is that the coffee is never heated during the process. Other methods may brew the coffee at a high temperature and then let the drink cool after. Cold brew keeps the mixture cool the entire time to improve the flavor of the blend.
Ice brew is believed by some experts to produce better tasting coffee than cold brew. This method involves brewing the coffee hot and dripping it onto ice, cooling the drink and helping capture all of the coffee flavor in the process. This is also a good method because it’s ready right after it’s brewed.
There are also some tricks that you can apply to improve the flavor of iced coffee. Muddy Dog Roasting Co. provides a list of tips for iced coffee professionals. These tips include using premium coffee beans and making iced coffee on the strong side because in most situations the mixture will be watered down. They also recommend making ice cubes out of frozen coffee which will help to keep the coffee cold while not adding extra water to the coffee drink.
Coffee is the most popular drink in the world with approximately 400 billion cups consumed every year. Don’t limit your potential coffee sales by not offering iced coffee. This menu item will help you maintain some of your coffee sales even when it is too hot for a hot beverage and still be popular when the heat is gone.