Letting Your Coffee Sales Go Cold

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What are you doing for cold drinks?  If you are in the specialty coffee business, an effective cold drink menu is critical. Just look at the year-round success of drinks like the Caribou Cooler and Jamba fruit smoothies.

As the temperature outside warms up, the demand for cold drinks will follow. To maximize sales and profits in the spring and summer, you will need a solid menu. This does not mean you need twenty cold drink selections. A basic drink menu will include iced coffee, iced latte, Italian sodas, iced tea, iced chai, a coffee smoothie, and a fruit smoothie.

Here's how to get started:


You will need ice, and a high quality smoothie blender. Sorry, a "bar blender" or cheap commercial blender won't cut it. Plan to spend roughly $400-$900 for a Blendtec or Vitamix blender. For ice, many shops invest in a medium to large ice machine located in the kitchen prep area. The ice is kept in an ice bin next to the blender. A small, under-counter ice machine is less expensive and easier to fit in the serving area, but be aware; the smallest ice machines will not keep up in a medium to high volume shop.

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Products - The basics include:

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There are several methods to make chilled coffee concentrates and iced teas. There are many brands of liquid and powdered smoothie bases to choose from. We look for brands with concentrated and accurate flavors. The more natural and concentrated the base is, the less you need to use. The result is a better tasting smoothie. The accuracy issue is obvious, vanilla should taste like vanilla, raspberry like raspberry. If you compare a variety of brands, it is surprising how many products fail to deliver accurate representations of flavors.

It's easier than you think

You probably already have most of the ingredients to prepare these drinks. Give us a call or post on this article if you need recipes or preparation tips for the products we sell. Finally, don't be afraid to experiment. Combining flavors is a great way to develop signature drinks that make your cafe unique. Most of all, have fun. If you have a passion for creating interesting and high quality drinks, that passion will be communicated to your customers. They will then reward your commitment and creativity with continued sales.

Get in touch with our coffee shop strategy experts