Journey Toward a Cold-Brew Coffee Business
Love coffee? Feeling the entrepreneurial spirit? Maybe it’s time to give your own cold-brew coffee business idea more consideration. Cold-brew coffee is certainly a trending topic these days. Unlike traditionally brewed coffee, cold-brew involves no heat. Instead the coffee grounds are steeped in water for up to 24 hours, creating a rich and less acidic coffee beverage. Cold-brew coffee is not iced coffee, which is made using the traditional heated brew process then poured over ice. Cold-brewing involves relatively little work and produces what many drinkers consider to be a perfect cup of coffee.
Creating and bottling your own special cold-brew coffee can be an enjoyable hobby which quickly turns into a profitable business venture. Many of the current cold-brew entrepreneur success stories have begun between friends with a shared love of coffee and a passion for business.
Getting Started in Business
Ideally, any entrepreneur hoping to move forward with a business should develop and complete a business plan. This structured plan will help map out the ins and outs of a business venture including financials, marketing, and overall organization of the business. A business plan will organize the process of starting a cold-brew coffee business from start to finish to ensure the idea is solid and the business dream can become a reality.
Once the business plan is started, it will be a good idea to do some research on the competition in the immediate area, as well as on a regional and national level. If you plan to sell cold-brew coffee in the local area, find out who else is selling a similar product. Too much saturation in one area can make it tougher for your business to be sustained. If you are seeking to sell your products on a larger scale, observe with the competition is doing and brainstorm ways to stand out among the crowd. In a competitive business like cold-brew coffee, you’ll need to come out of the starting gate with solid marketing ideas and an amazing product to find success.
As you continue to fill in the blanks of your business plan, you’ll either gain the confidence to keep moving forward or face the reality of a potentially risky business venture. By completing your full business plan prior to making a single investment into the idea, you’ll be able to make decisions based on the facts at hand.
Another good first step would be a full immersion into the cold-brew coffee production world. Seek out a company already doing what you hope to do, who are not in direct competition with your business, and shadow the operation for a few days. Get a real feel for how the business works so you can make the right decision in starting your own business.
Perfecting Your Formula
Regardless of whether you plan to take the national coffee market by storm or want to brew up small batches of your coffee for local sales only, you’ll still need to perfect your product before going further. The overall process of making cold-brew coffee is relatively simple but nonetheless, time and effort should go into making a formula for a perfect cup of coffee each and every time.
Starting with the beans, you’ll need to research the types of coffee beans you wish to use in your product and find the most cost effective way to procure them. The coffee beans will need to be ground on a course setting. The proper grinding system will need to be considered based on the amount of coffee you plan to make at once time. Once the grounds are ready, they will need to be steeped in the right ratio of water to grounds for up to 24 hours. Some cold-brew coffee producers prefer to steep the grounds for 12-14 hours, while others prefer a longer brew time. Experiment with different brew times and water to bean ratios until you find the right recipe.
Once cold-brewed coffee is complete, it will be in a concentrated form. Grounds must be filtered out completely to ensure a clean coffee solution. The concentrated formula can either be sold as is, with the consumer adding additional water or creamer before drinking, or sold in a ready-to-drink formula. A recipe for adding the additional water before bottling will need to be considered.
While cold-brew coffee doesn’t require much technology to create a perfect product, making the coffee in large quantities will require the right equipment. Financing the business will need to be considered so the proper equipment can be purchased. For bulk sales, brewing and filtering by hand may not be reasonable but may work fine for smaller batches. Glass jars and a quality strainer may be all you need if you plan to sell in much smaller quantities. But it will be important to source the bottles or plastic containers you need at the most cost-effective pricing to keep your financials in order.
If you plan to brew in large quantities, it will be necessary to find a production facility to accommodate your manufacturing process. Decide whether you plan to do the manufacturing yourself or if you will contract with an established company to produce your cold-brew coffee products. This will likely be one of the larger costs involved in starting a cold-brew coffee business.
As part of your business plan, you’ll need to outline the ideas you have for marketing and promoting your coffee. Marketing will also include the design and packaging of your coffee bottles. Contract with a professional graphic designer to create a logo for your coffee beverage. Check out what the competition has to offer and decide how you want your product to look. Do you prefer a classic design or something more upbeat and attention-grabbing?
Even the design of your bottle matters. Research has shown consumers make decisions based on their visual perspective. An attractive bottle or an ingenious logo design can be the attention-grabbing detail your coffee needs to make a profit.
You also need to plan your marketing strategy ahead of production. Be ready to hit the ground running, understanding the right promotional avenues to travel before your product is bottled and ready to sell. Many beverage entrepreneurs start out in the small markets, selling their wares at local farmer’s markets or consigning through local retailers. A good quality product will earn the word-of-mouth advertising often needed to get a product launch off the ground.
As part of your business plan, you should also be planning for growth. While it is wise to start with one or two niche products in the cold-brew market, it will be advantageous to have a plan for new product lines, flavors, and variations of product ready to hit the market and promote growth.
The cold-brew coffee industry is booming and there are plenty of opportunities to grow a small production operation into a large scale operation. Your time and dedication to the initial planning stages will certainly make all the difference in the long run and your overall ability to turn a profit.
At BottleStore.com, we offer a variety of glass bottles and containers suitable for the cold-brew coffee industry. Browse through our selection of high quality bottles and jars for your production and bottling needs. Whether you plan to sell in large quantities across the nation or plan to start a small cold-brew retail location, our quality bottles will showcase your products exactly how you envisioned.