STiR Tea & Coffee Industry International

Volume 3, Number 3

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STiR tea & coffee industry international 33 beverage preferences. Innovations in energy efficiency and digital controls are the hallmark of modern brewers. New companies are also taking aim at supplying specialty businesses with equipment for hot and cold tea. Zojirushi, a company known for its line of at-home brewers, recently debuted its first product specifically designed for commercial use. Newcomer BKON LLC with its patented Reverse Atmo- spheric Infusion (RAIN) brew process will soon move out of beta product testing with Teavana to a broader commercial release of its craft brewer. BUNN introduced the Trifecta single-cup air-infusion brewer in 2010. Operators can control 11 variables in the commercial version. The Steampunk siphon brewer, launched last year by Salt Lake City-based Alpha Dominche, can now be operated with a mobile app. These machines are installed in sev- eral specialty coffee shops and tea houses. Basics of commercial iced tea brewing Jamie Ratterman, director of project management at BUNN, explained how iced is brewed in most food and hospitality environments: "For commercially brewed iced tea, the process is to have a hot concentrate—so you send hot water through the tea leaves and that drops down into the dispenser, and you dilute that concentrate with ambient water to get your final product." This technique has changed very little over the years. "It's very simple sci- ence," said Curtis. "Once hot water is placed in the brew cones, the way that you change the infusion time is to adjust the size of the exit orifice in the cone. The smaller the exit hole, the longer the tea will steep." It is the same for hot tea or iced teas, which generally require a longer steep. BUNN and Curtis models are equipped with electronic controls auto- mate tea making, iced or hot, a feature that has been commercially available for years. What's changing is the type of retailer buying this equipment. Curtis said, "You see our iced tea brewers everywhere—convenience stores are doing a lot of iced tea now and quick serve, fast casuals." Smashburger introduced organic, Fair Trade certified fresh brewed iced tea last year, one of the reasons why the $215 million better burger chain is gaining ground. The company added 54 new stores and reported 32% sales growth last year. "Better-burger brands provide high-quality protein, top- pings, sauces and buns combined with craveable French fries and strong bev- erage platforms including craft beer, wine and customizable soda," according to foodservice market research firm Technomic. New touchscreen for both operators and consumers ITCB, a coffee and tea brewer, from BUNN Five gallon hot water dispenser from Curtis Dual Dilution Sweet Tea Brewer from Curtis Drink Trends: Cold Tea Beverages Warmer weather inspires seasonal tea beverages. Dunkin' Donuts, Coffee Bean and Tea Leaf, and Starbucks are just a few names who have already an- nounced new tea-based beverage for their Spring and Summer menus. Smashburger is taking note of another trend. Of the four freshly brewed iced tea offerings announced adding last fall, two are "just a tad sweet." That "sweet but not too sweet" message signals the company is paying attention to another consumer trend: a desire for lighter and healthier options at fast food outlets. Here's are a few other cold tea beverage trends: • Seasonal frozen blends and tea blended with juices are popular. Evolution Fresh, a Starbucks brand, along with Jamba Juice and Dunkin' Donuts are experi- menting with several varieties of juice-in-tea drinks. Dunkin' Donuts recently partnered with Arizona Beverages and Arnold Palmer Enterprises to create a new Frozen Arnold Palmer® Coolatta, giving guests a cool new way to enjoy the original half iced tea, half lemonade beverage. • Coffee Bean & Tea Leaf recently introduced Tea Granitas to its product lineup with flavors like Passion Fruit Tea Granita which blends Assam Black Tea with the bright, bold flavors of passion fruit and Pear Berry Tea Granita mixing the company's popular Swed- ish Berries fruit infusion with notes of pear to make a caffeine-free beverage. • Fizzy teas, such as the fermented kombucha, and green-tea infused sodas have been growing in popularity as tastes veer away from other forms of soda. Now, Starbucks-owned Teavana is making carbonated teas to order. • The Taiwanese boba, known to many as bubble tea, remains popular in part due to the emergence "adult" versions. Alcohol is not a requirement for the tea mojito, another blend catching on thanks to Argo Tea. Mixologists and chain restaurants such as T.G.I. Fridays are making a version for the old enough to imbibe crowd.

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