Outside the box
Introducing the Solo Espresso Shot
We’ve been (professionally) making cold brew for 4 years. The reason we started was to make great coffee more accessible. After years of working as baristas we became increasingly frustrated by how complicated it had become to enjoy a good coffee. For starters, most cafés have 10 different names for coffee serves. For us, it was much more black and white. Literally. The two options are black coffee or coffee with milk. The one base needed for every coffee serve is black coffee.
When you realise black coffee is the foundation of every coffee drink, you realise how important it is to really perfect the sourcing and brewing processes. This led us down a rabbit hole of finding the best beans, roast profiles and most importantly recipes. We knew anyone could source great coffee, but not everybody could brew the perfect finished product. Cold brew allowed us to brew that finished product. This changed the coffee company-consumer relationship. Most coffee companies start the dialogue of “this is the origin, this is the roast profile, these are the tasting notes, and this is the recommended recipe”, whereas our relationship with consumers is more like that of a wine or beer company. More like “hey taste this, doesn’t it taste amazing?!”.
The original cold brew started to gain some traction and we knew our customers were enjoying our best demonstration of a coffee. We won in the category “Coffee” in the Great British Food Awards, which I partly put down to the huge difference of ours being already brewed — there was no barista to mess it up! The cold brew box did quite well online and opened up the world of DTC for us.
The cold brew box was slow on the uptake in wholesale. However, one place the cold brew was doing was in bars. We asked a few what they used it for, and they told us unanimously: “espresso martinis”. It was a surprise to us at the time, but when we heard the ordeal most bars go to to make an espresso martini, it became clear. The most useful and practical case for the cold brew, was using the coffee as a base in other drinks. We knew the cold brew was too weak to effectively stand on its own in a cocktail so we got to work on trying to accurately replicate the taste, strength and viscosity of an espresso using cold brewing techniques. The coffee concentrate was born.
Our coffee concentrate has now become our hero product and has revolutionised our business. The multiple use cases, the practicality, and the DIY dilute-to-taste aspect. Great coffee and you decide what you do to it. It pushed us one step closer to our mission of making great coffee more accessible.
After nearly a year of having the concentrate around, it has become a staple in my life, I am totally dependent on having pre-made speciality coffee on me at all times. So much so, that I have to pour a little of the concentrate into small bottles and just drink them neat when I’m out and about. I often take some in a little flask and order hot water at cafés and just pour in Solo concentrate.
We’ve always wanted to make a product for retail. But only if it made sense, and if we had built a brand with loyal customers. 6 months ago, we felt it made sense. There was no brainstorming, the idea just presented itself. It was too obvious not to.
A 60ml shot bottle of espresso strength cold brew coffee. A single serve of speciality grade espresso. We took our concentrate to the lab and developed it to taste best when drunk neat, finely filtered it to make a smooth mouthfeel, but managing to maintain that bold and strong espresso flavour (and caffeine hit). This espresso shot will blow your mind. It is everything our brand represents condensed into one tiny and powerful hit.
One sip will knock you back. Instantly woken up by a long-lasting, sweet, chocolatey flavour coating the tongue. The taste is so moreish that it makes every other coffee feel like a shandy. We are buzzing with excitement to have this small but powerful shot sitting on the shelves next to milky iced coffees and cans of energy drink. David vs Goliath.
We use coffee for its functionality, a dose caffeine to get you going. We just happen to be obsessed with the flavour too. By making a shot of espresso readily available in shot format, we have categorically made great coffee much more accessible. The next step is to have this shot stocked in every corner shop, supermarket, gym, petrol station, café, bar, and household.
We hope you are as excited as we are for the launch of our third product. The Solo Espresso Shot.