It is no secret that cold brew is now a staple item of many coffee shop menus. Lacking the seasonality of hot coffee drinks, it helps maintain business all year round. With this increase in popularity, café owners may struggle to keep up with demand using traditional equipment. 

In recent years, we’ve seen new cold brew machines enter the market, with plenty of advantages for cafés. They brew faster than traditional methods without compromising quality. In addition, new functionality allows coffee shops to maximise efficiency, guarantee food safety, and ensure consistency from batch to batch.

To find out more about some of the advantages these machines have for your business, we spoke with co-founder of Five Oceans Coffee, Andrea Briceno. Read on to find out what she had to say. 

#1: Cold brew machines are consistent from batch to batch

Firstly, cold brew machines enable cafés to produce multiple large batches of coffee with minimal variance between each. 

This is much harder to ensure with traditional methods. Using these, coffee shops steep coarsely ground coffee in room-temperature water for extended periods. With many variables to consider over anywhere from eight to 24 hours, this is much harder to precisely control. This means inconsistencies in yield, extraction level, and ultimately cup quality can become major issues.

“Given the typical 18 to 24 hour brewing period, businesses must maintain ample quantities to meet unexpected demand and ensure customer satisfaction,” Andrea explains. “This extended brew time also contributes to oxidation, negatively affecting sensory attributes and shelf life, thus increasing the pressure to sell within a specific timeframe.”

In today’s coffee industry, modern consumers have come to expect consistency from one cup to the next. This means it is integral for building a loyal customer base. Using a precise, automated cold brew machine – such as those produced by Hardtank – is the key to achieving this. 

“Hardtank’s technology reduces extraction time to [under] one hour, minimising oxidation, preserving sensory attributes, and extending shelf-life,” Andrea adds. “Automated washing and sanitation programs enhance efficiency and eliminate human error.”

#2: Cold brew machines are more efficient than traditional brewing methods

As mentioned above, traditional methods have issues with consistency. But what about yield?

Given cold brew’s extended extraction time, it needs a comparatively high amount of ground coffee to steep effectively. This means that cost per batch is a bigger consideration for coffee shops – as it affects the profitability of each cup. 

As such, it is important for coffee shops to minimise wastage and maximise extraction levels as much as they are able to. Cold brew machines allow them to do exactly that. 

With some devices, the extraction level can be as high as 22%. This is not only very efficient – especially compared to traditional methods – but remains within the SCA’s parameters for specialty coffee

As well as yield, cafés face several other challenges relating to the efficiency of cold brew. For example, its extended brew time makes it difficult to adjust to sudden increases in demand – during a sudden heat wave, for instance. By using a faster cold brew machine, you can brew fresh batches to meet customer demand more quickly throughout the day.

“Faster extraction times increase efficiency, allowing for quicker turnaround and the ability to meet higher demand,” Andrea explains.

Furthermore, cold brew machines are being designed in new and more intuitive ways than ever before. Their user-friendly interfaces and small countertop footprint (such as with the Baby Hardtank) make them easy and convenient for staff to use. In turn, this speeds up workflow – meaning they have more time to focus on providing customers with excellent service.

“Baby Hardtank’s compact design saves space, while its advanced extraction process eliminates the need for additional filtering, reducing costs and contamination risks,” Andrea adds. “Its advanced features ensure that even those without experience can operate it effectively and achieve excellent results.”

#3: You can reach a broader customer base

Beyond consistency, efficiency, and improving workflow, cold brew machines have other benefits, such as allowing coffee shops to reach a wider customer base. 

Cold brew is versatile. With a dedicated machine you can adjust the brewing process and ingredients to prepare a variety of drinks appealing to a broader range of customers. 

For example, you can use your machine to make concentrates which can be diluted with water to serve as cold coffee. It can also be added to cocktails like espresso martinis and used as the base of drinks like iced lattes and cappuccinos. 

Furthermore, some newer machines can also brew cold tea, cascara, and even infuse spirits. Ultimately, this technology allows you to quickly prepare a wide range of different drinks that capture a broader share of the market than before.

How do you choose the right cold brew machine for your café? 

Ultimately, a cold brew machine can bring significant benefits to your business, but which one is right for you? 

“Choosing the right equipment is essential for achieving sustainable growth in cold brew production,” Andrea says. “Many of these innovative technologies offer solutions to common challenges, enabling businesses to maintain high standards while efficiently scaling their operations.”

This is true of Hardtank’s entire range of cold brew machines. However, each has its differences – which you can learn more about below:

  • Hardtank 20: The classic Hardtank device can brew up to 250 litres a day, which is stored in a built-in keg.
  • Hardtank 1T: Works identically to the Hardtank 20, but with an integrated dispenser tap for easy serving.
  • Hardtank 2T: Just like the Hardtank 1T, but has two dispenser taps to speed up service. 
  • Baby Hardtank: A countertop version of our Hardtank technology, perfect for saving space.

With their emphasis on consistency, efficiency, space optimisation, and versatility, Hardtank cold brew machines are the perfect choice for cafés seeking to elevate their coffee offerings and captivate their customers.

Find out more about Hardtank’s technology here. For regular updates from our team, sign up for our newsletter.

Hardtank cold brew coffee maker