FOOD NAVIGATOR – INTERVIEW
High Brew CEO David Smith recently sat down with the folks over at Food Navigator USA for an interview. Here’s an excerpt:
The manufacturer of a ready-to-drink coffee beverage line looks to snag some market share from category-leading Starbucks with a cold brewed line that’s more about the flavor of coffee than masking it with milk and sweeteners.
“RTD coffee is a $1.4 bn category that’s 80% Starbucks,” High Brew Coffee cofounder David Smith told FoodNavigator-USA during Expo West, where Austin, TX-based High Brew debuted four RTD cold brew coffee flavors sweetened with a blend of stevia and cane sugar. The brand will roll out nationally at Whole Foods on March 24.
“I don’t understand how the RTD coffee category is so driven by milk,” Smith said. “I love coffee; I don’t want sugar and milk, but that’s what most of those drinks are,” he said. “We’re the antithesis of that. We developed High Brew to make strong coffee with a touch of cream and sugar.”
Coffee beverages should be about the coffee, not the add-ons Unlike traditional iced coffee, which is brewed hot and poured over ice, cold brew coffe is made by steeping coffee grounds with room temperature water for 12 to 24 hours before pressing and filtering the coffee. Because heat extracts the majority of bitterness and astringency that’s characteristic of hot-brewed coffee, cold brew is significantly less acerbic.
“The end result is 67% less acidic product that’s also richer in caffeine and antioxidants because they haven’t been degraded as they would be when heated,” Smith said Indeed, an 8-ounce serving of traditional coffee has 75 mg caffeine, while High Brew’s 8-ounce beverages contain 138 mg (except for the double espresso variety, which contains 150 mg caffeine).