Veneziano Coffee Roasters is determined to bring café-quality cold brew to consumers with its ready-to-drink range.
As spring fades and the new year approaches, Australians flock to beaches and venture outdoors to embrace the summer warmth.
The rise in mercury also leads to a shift in consumer behaviour as seasonal trends come and go. Research and Development Consultant at Veneziano Coffee Roasters Pete Licata says although demand for coffee in the summer remains steady, the heat means many coffee drinkers substitute traditional hot espresso-based beverages for cold, refreshing varieties.
To adapt, Veneziano is celebrating the end of the year with the launch of its new cold brew range.
“We’ve played around with cold brew in the past, but at Veneziano, we haven’t made it a major focus. With summer coming up, we wanted to change that, so we decided to work on something that was delicious and refreshing,” Pete says.
“When people can get a quality, ready-to-drink product that’s reflective of a café-type experience, then it becomes something special that they really love.”
Veneziano collaborated with Tim Page-Walker from Coffee Keg, a contract beverage manufacturer in Geelong, Victoria, during the development phase. Coffee Keg produces a wide range of pre-packaged beverages but specialises in ready-to-drink coffee-based drinks, including cold brew, nitro coffee, and espresso martinis.
“I have been working with Veneziano for the last five years. It has been great to continuously push boundaries and bring new concepts to the market. We can’t wait to have our latest range of cold brew out there in the hands of coffee-lovers this summer,” Tim says.
According to Veneziano’s Pete, a common problem in cold brew, when brewed for long periods of time, is exposure to higher volumes of oxygen. This can lead to the brew becoming oxidised and stale.
“Collaborating with Coffee Keg allowed us to find the right proportions with our recipes, but also finetune a lot of technical details and mitigate those issues,” he says.
The new cold brew range includes three unique varieties: Cold Brew Blood Orange, Cold Brew Oat Milk Latte, and Straight Up Cold Brew. To develop the range, the Veneziano team used a combination of industry professionals and general consumers for market research.
Straight up Cold Brew is based on Veneziano’s Estate blend. It is a Colombian and Brazilian blend brewed over 24 hours. This is an all-rounder that is extremely popular due to its balanced flavour.
“The Straight Up Cold Brew is light, has a nice presence of semi-sweet chocolate and caramel notes, as well as a little bit of zest and acidity,” Pete says.
“Making unflavoured cold brew is as simple as being able to try different recipes, proportions, and steeping times. You can play around with these elements to find what works best. That’s exactly what we did, along with some specific techniques I have discovered over the years. We’re really pleased with the end result.”
For those seeking a stronger citrus flavour, Veneziano’s Cold Brew Blood Orange is a drink that aims to balance three separate flavour profiles in the form of blood orange, tonic, and cold brew.
“It combines the coffee flavour with the brightness and citric component that comes with blood orange, as well as the sweetness and bitterness from the tonic. It’s a nice blend of all these factors and makes for a really refreshing, bubbly drink,” Pete says.
To accompany the launch of the black-coffee-style cold brews, Pete says it was important for Veneziano to provide consumers with a latte-style option.
He adds that after trialling different styles of milk and plant-based milks, oat milk stood out for a number of reasons.
“The natural sweetness of oat milk complements the cold brew coffee perfectly. It’s something that dairy and non-dairy drinkers will enjoy. Oat milk is really trending at the moment,” Pete says.
“We tried a lot of recipes to find the right balance and correct the proportions. This meant digging into every detail of what each ingredient was bringing to the table to find what worked best. We eventually found a very refreshing, tasty combination which resulted in our Cold Brew Oat Milk Latte.”
Pete says the Cold Brew Oat Milk Latte and Cold Brew Blood Orange are more complex drinks and perfecting their recipes was far more difficult than the unflavoured cold brew.
“They have multiple ingredients and you have to make sure they all work harmoniously. You also have to ensure that the integrity of each ingredient is of a high quality too, so there are a lot of variables.”
All three flavours will be available in 250-millilitre cans with Straight Up Cold Brew also being released in a three-litre cask. Retail consumers can also purchase the cans online.
To celebrate the launch of the ready-to-drink cold brew range, Veneziano has also created a variety of signature drinks for its café menu.
“The idea is that our signature drinks are a special release which use our cold brew product as a base. The signature drinks all look to tell a story. They are inspired by the flavours and aromas of coffee – it’s a really unique concept,” Pete says.
Among the signature drinks will be Veneziano’s Cold Brew Portello, Cold Brew Signature Summer Cocktail (as featured on the December 2019 cover of BeanScene), and the Gingerbread Latte.
“The Gingerbread Latte works brilliantly with a cold brew base. It aims to remind customers of Christmas. We also have the Cold Brew Portello which mixes that classic Portello taste with fresh grapefruit. It’s super refreshing,” Pete says.
“The Cold Brew Signature Summer Cocktail is pineapple flavoured and is extremely impressive visually. It’s charged with carbon dioxide and served with dry- ice, so it’s a real spectacle.”
The signature drinks will be available at Veneziano’s four branded cafés and the recipes provided to its wholesale network of cafés.
With the range of ready-to-drink cold brew products and signature drinks ready just in time for summer, Pete says Veneziano is looking forward to growing Australia’s appetite for cold brew in a fun and creative way.
“From Veneziano’s point of view, making products with the ultimate flavour experience that our customers enjoy is the most important thing. It’s really the driving force behind everything we do,” he says.
This article appears in the December 2019 edition of BeanScene. Subscribe HERE.
For more information, visit www.venezianocoffee.com.au