Flavor Trends, Strategies and Solutions for Menu Development

By Rob Corliss
September 28, 2022

Younger consumers are enthusiastically embracing cold-coffee innovation. A quick study of national menus, scouring them for inspiration, reveals a few important trend patterns. Each provides an opportunity to develop new drinks that attract cold-coffee devotees.

  1. Coffee is being boosted with enhanced complements and flavorful wellness attributes
  2. Unique textures and heightened mouthfeel have become new standards in cold-coffee beverage builds
  3. New flavors go beyond sweetness, as next-gen chilled coffee drinks have a focused sophistication and depth of flavor

Within each of these three, there is an overarching theme of fun flavor adventure. Let’s dive in.

BOOSTED JAVA

  • Black Splash Nitro: Nitro draft, served without ice—rotating selection of spirit- and/or barrel-manipulated coffees
    Dark Matter Coffee, Chicago
  • Power Plant: Glow Worm: Sparkling energy drink caffeinated by plants! Green coffee and lotus flower extracts. Fizzy, citrusy and tart with sweet white peach, garnished with a gummy worm
    Java House, Iowa City, Iowa
  • Cold Brew Power PB Banana Smoothie: Peanut butter powder, banana, cocoa, Session cold brew, hemp protein powder, collagen
    Colectivo, Milwaukee
  • Charged Lemonade: Mango Yuzu Citrus: Craft agave lemonade, caffeine, coffee extract, guarana extract, mango, yuzu and citrus flavors
    Panera, based in St. Louis

TEXTURE THRILLERS

  • Brown Sugar Cold Brew Oat Latte with Jelly: Brown sugar with a layer of creamy oat milk and a float of our signature bold, juicy Baridi cold brew; served with brown sugar jelly over ice
    Peet’s, based in Emeryville, Calif.
  • Pralines & Cream Granita: Frozen crystals of cold-brew espresso, milk and the flavors of pleasantly sweetened pralines
    PJ’s Coffee of New Orleans, based in Mandeville, La.
  • Banana Cold Brew Latte: Ripe bananas and warm spices, topped with house cream, banana crisps and cocoa
    Bad Owl Cafe, Henderson, Nev.
  • Nitro Campfire Mocha: Real chocolate combined with nitro cold press, milk and marshmallow flavor; topped with espresso whipped cream
    Caribou Coffee, based in Minneapolis

NEXT GEN CHILLERS

  • Honey Rose: Iced espresso-based latte sweetened with honey and rose-infused syrup, finished with organic dry rose petals on top
    S3 Coffee Bar, San Diego
  • Salted Strawberry Cold Brew: Cold brew, housemade strawberry-honey syrup, splash of oat milk, dash of sea salt and Aleppo pepper
    Joe Coffee, Brooklyn, N.Y.
  • Pontaluma Punch: On tap seasonal—cherry flavored cold brew made with real cherry juice
    La Colombe, Austin, Texas
  • Gyoto: Kyoto brewed with juniper berries, lavender, lemon, lime, elderflower, angelica root, rosehips, grapefruit oleo and bitters
    Misfit Coffee Co., Minneapolis

 

 

About The Author

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ROB CORLISS is a three-time James Beard House guest chef with more than 30 years of experience that includes running world-class hotels, launching new concepts, working in top marketing agencies and owning the culinary consultancy ATE (All Things Epicurean) since 2009. Based in Nixa, Mo., ATE has an energizing passion focused on flavor innovation and is dedicated to connecting people to their food, environment and wellness. Rob is also a regular contributor to Flavor & The Menu. [email protected]