Cold brew coffee makers are best known for preparing just one type of drink. But cold brew is more versatile than you might think. Prepared as a concentrate, you can use it as the base of other drinks or simply serve it to customers over ice. 

However, with a growing number of machines on the market, some are able to brew alternative beverages that don’t even contain coffee. This includes cold teas, cascara, or even specialty cocktails. 

To learn more about how the market is evolving and which beverages you can prepare with these machines, we spoke with Krzysztof Barabosz, Co-founder and Head of Coffee at Hardtank. Read on to find out what he had to say.

Which beverages can you prepare with cold brew coffee makers?

Let’s start by looking at cold brew. We know that it often has a sweet flavour profile, with muted acidity. This makes it incredibly versatile – it can even be used as the base of several other drinks.

These can include milk or be served black – such as iced oat lattes, or a black cold brew tonic. You can even use cold brew as an ingredient in a cocktail such as an espresso martini. 

Krzysztof explains more about how versatile it is: “For example, you can infuse your classic Brazilian natural coffee with orange slices, creating a citrus, chocolatey brew – different than expected from the standard Brazilian flavour profile.” 

However, with some cold brew coffee makers, this is just the beginning.

A cold brew coffee maker in the middle of the extraction process.

What other drinks can you prepare with a cold brew coffee maker?

Some cold brew coffee makers are more versatile, and can prepare a range of different beverages. This includes teas, for instance.

For instance, cold brew tea typically takes four to six hours to prepare. However, using a dedicated machine – such as Hardtank – it can take just ten minutes. As well as meaning you can get drinks to customers quicker than ever before, this also allows staff to focus on delivering great customer service. 

There is also plenty of room for customisation, as you can brew a wide range of decaffeinated, herbal, and flavoured teas cold. This includes cascara – a tea-like drink made by steeping the dried husk of the coffee cherry in water. 

Cascara has been getting more popular in recent years, not just for its unique flavour, but also the fact that it reduces waste by using a byproduct from coffee production. With the right cold brew maker, it can be brewed in just 30 to 50 minutes.

Cocktails and infused spirits

As well as teas and coffee, some cold brew coffee makers can even be used to prepare cocktails and infuse spirits. 

The functionality of Hardtank devices has enabled users to create unconventional and memorable drinks. Krzysztof shares some of the most impressive results. 

“My favourite one was gin. We added all the basic ingredients, including juniper berries, coriander, orris root, angelica root, and liquorice,” he explains. “Once we had the right ratio, we extracted it using Hardtank and a clear spirit. After that, we distilled it with some additional lime peel and dried Gesha coffee flowers in the column.”

Serving multiple different beverages from one device reduces the requirement for space and staff training at your premises. This saves time and money, and can maintain quality customer service.

The Baby Hardtank, a cold brew coffee maker.

All in all, cold brew coffee makers have evolved in recent years to become incredibly versatile. However, Krzysztof explains that at Hardtank, we’ve kept our focus on brewing amazing cold coffee first and foremost. 

“Cold brew prepared with Hardtank has much lower turbidity compared to other coffee brewing methods,” he says. “This means that it has fewer small coffee particles in the final cup, which often change taste during storage through over-extraction.”

He adds that it also produces 12% more caffeine than other cold extraction methods, according to a study by the Institute of Heavy Organic Synthesis (ICSO) in Poland. 

Furthermore, as discussed, coffee is just the beginning – Hardtank’s cold brew coffee makers can also be used to prepare cold steeped tea, cascara, craft cocktails, infused spirits, and more… all of which helps hospitality businesses reach a wider base of customers.

“It’s limited only by your imagination,” Krzysztof says. “Honestly, there are an unlimited number of beverages you can prepare with Hardtank.”

To accommodate a range of needs, Hardtank offers several different products: 

  • Hardtank 20: the classic Hardtank model, capable of brewing 250 litres per day.
  • Hardtank All-In-One: functions just like the Hardtank 20 but is fitted with a dispenser tap.
  • Baby Hardtank: Perfect for premises looking to save space.

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Hardtank cold brew coffee maker