How to Make and Sell Your Own Cold Brew Coffee!
Utilizing modern resources and tapping into local trends, taking a business concept from conception to fruition is as realistic as ever. To help demonstrate this point, we’re going to look at how anyone — from baristas, to entrepreneurial novices — can start a cold brew coffee business from the ground up.
Taking advantage of the vast heaps of education available on the internet, you or anyone could begin by educating themselves on the product itself — cold brew. Once familiar with how it’s produced and what it is, you can then seek out insights into what makes it so popular.
Following the education portion of the journey, you’ll be ready to make your own cold brew coffee, strategize how to sell it, and then actualize a business. For a small reasonable investment, you can be up and running in no time, and this post will demonstrate how. To begin with, however, let’s look at the product.
What Is Cold Brew Coffee?
One of our favorite definitions of this super popular, iced caffeine comes from Chameleon Cold Brew. It reads,
“Cold brew refers to the process of preparing the coffee, not the temperature of the final product. Beans are ground, then soaked in room-temperature water for an extended period of time, usually 12 hours or more.”
This is obviously different than the common brewing method of coffee, which consists of pouring hot water over ground beans. Iced coffee, cold brew’s predecessor as the trendy summertime twist on coffee, is regular-brewed hot coffee then cooled and served over ice. The cold brew process makes for a bolder and stronger beverage, and it’s been a hit at cafes around the world for years and years.
Why Is Cold Brew So Popular?
There’s a fantastic piece that was published a few years ago in the New York Times, when the cold brew craze was just a few seasons old.
In the piece, the writer sums up the drink’s steep rise by explaining,
“Cold brew was still a relatively niche market until 2015, when Starbucks introduced the drink in a number of stores; it is now (2017) available at every one of its more than 13,000 locations in the United States, 800 of which also offer nitro. It’s a coffee with both mass-market appeal and indie credibility. Today, you can find cold brew at a coffee shop where everything is meticulously crafted by hand, and at Dunkin’ Donuts. You can find draught, canned, and bottled cold brew coffee today as well.”
Making Your Own Cold Brew Coffee
Anyone looking to start a cold brew business will want to familiarize themselves with the process of making it first. We recommend beginning with an approach similar to that depicted in this July, 2020 NPR piece, An Easy Cold Brew Recipe You Can Make At Home, as it’s self-described as a “baseline guide.”
Cold Brew Coffee Set By Kilner, $34.
The methodology described there, and one that can be adjusted and manipulated to create infinite cold brew recipes consists of the following:
Step One: Grind up a single cup of coffee, and put it in a pitcher or container.
Step Two: Add (X) cups of coffee, stir, cover, and leave it at room temperature, or in the refrigerator for six hours.
The NPR writer recommended 4 cups of water to one cup of coffee, and describes it as a stronger brew. Less water for even stronger, and more water for milder. It’s up to every business owner to determine details like the strength of their cold brew.
Step Three: Filter the beans out two or three times, and then run the liquid through a paper filter.
Step Four: Refrigerate, or pour over ice, and drink up!
After some trial and error with this general approach, aspiring baristas and mobile cold brew entrepreneurs can begin experimenting with different water-coffee ratios. They can begin searching for the perfect bean to grind for their business, and exploring variations with their own concepts. For anyone ever lacking inspiration, there are endless general and specialty cold brew recipes online to try out, and riff off.
How To Start Your Own Cold Brew Coffee Business
When you have a cold brew product that you believe in, it’s time to start planning how to start your own cold brew coffee business. To break it down with a little more detail, we broke down these five easy steps to help ambitious entrepreneurs get their iced-java ventures off the ground.
Build A Business Plan
Like starting any business, when starting, you need to look at universal metrics such as your startup money, startup costs, operating costs, and projected revenue. If you can find a realistic way to set yourself up for profits, then you’re good to roll.
In calculating costs, consider what you can afford in terms of the beans you want to source, how large the business will be, and what your distribution methods will be. Is this cold brew business meant to be in an expensive cold brew coffee shop — i.e. brick and mortar? Or, perhaps it could be a mobile concept — such as those executed with Ferla Coffee Bikes.
Create A Marketing Plan & Launch Strategy
Regardless of your startup capital and how you see your own coffee brand being launched, your marketing plan and launch strategy should maximize resources to generate attention.
Every business needs to establish accessible and attractive content on their website and social media platforms. It’s also important to consider mobile promotions and marketing opportunities.
Startups who utilize grassroots tools like a cold brew coffee bike can have it customized to work as a traveling advertisement. In many cases, this moving promotion also serves as a functioning cafe with far less overhead than a storefront.
Put Your Plans Into Action
When the numbers are calculated, and the strategies are in place, then the long and arduous process of actualizing it all begins. Building websites, social media followings, shopping for venues and mobile cafe options, hiring people, and procuring the cups, payment systems, and various other materials needed takes time.
Selling Your Own Cold Brew Coffee, & Building A Brand
Starting up any business takes time and patience. Selling cold brew coffee, and really anything, takes daily commitments online and in the physical world. For those who opted to go with the mobile-cafe route to upstart their cold brew dreams, we recommend riding as much as possible.
Ferla Coffee Bikes & Carts, for example, are fully customizable with full-wrap color and logo painting, and signage services. So, theoretically, the more an upstart rides their branded coffee bike around their town, the more eyes will see it, and the more people will eventually try the coffee.
How Much You Can Earn Selling Cold Brew Coffee
According to this piece from Coffee Detective, an average pound of quality beans will run you around $13. According to LEAFtv, a cup of coffee beans should equal about 3 ounces. That means twelve cups per bag, the only extra costs being water and filters. Selling cold brews at a competitive $4 per cup, means one could earn upwards of $48 per bag, a $45 profit minus filter and water costs.
That profit can also dwindle with common cafe and cold brew costs such as rent, electricity, and insurance. Those that are dependent on a mobile option like a Ferla Coffee Bike or Cart can get out of the woods fast.
Startup venue costs max out at around $7,000 with bikes and carts available as low as a few thousand dollars. These expenses end there, with no ongoing rents, insurances, and fees. For higher mobility, they can opt for electric pedal assist options with green rear hub motors, offering an emissions-free mode of transport without gas costs.
Whether on a bike, with a cart, or in a store — once the startup costs are covered, the profits can be plentiful.
Looking to start your own business selling cold brew coffee? Both upstarts looking for mobile vending units, and established brands with brick-and-mortar locations can benefit immensely from the mobile sales and promotions benefits of a Ferla Coffee Bike or Cart.
Reach out to us today to discuss what you’re looking for, and a quote on a cold brew coffee cart.