Outside the box
R.I.P cold brew coffee on tap
We started Solo as a cold brew company, we wanted to demonstrate how good coffee can be when it’s brewed well. Our best format for this was cold brew coffee. It tastes great black, and holds its flavour well. We started with bottles at the very beginning, then with cafés in mind we moved the cold brew into bag-in-box. This took us into the next level of making great coffee more accessible, litres of amazing coffee, ready at the push of a button. In 2019 we started pushing the boxes to wholesale and most of the interest came from bars. They used the coffee for cocktails, an issue we didn’t know our box would be solving. We hadn’t considered that our product’s main benefit to wholesale would be cutting out the brewing process, we just wanted to show off the quality of the cold brew. With this in mind, we got to work on making a coffee concentrate. All the ease of the cold brew, but with the strength of espresso, making any espresso based drink much easier.
Then in 2020, Covid happened and our only place for the 3L box was on our website. This gave a new purpose to the cold brew. 15 servings of amazing coffee on tap in your fridge. The working-from-home personal assistant. It makes sense and people love it. It even won the coffee category at the Great British Food Awards. By the summer, we were selling a fair amount of cold brew online. And at that time, the hospitality industry was given the chance to half open. But after announcing the launch of our concentrate, any wholesale interest shifted from cold brew to the concentrate. The concentrate offered more versatility and the cartons were much easier to ship and store.
Since then, the loyal and hardcore cold brew addicts have continued to buy the 3L box, but we’ve seen much more growing interest in the concentrate. Our last production run has come to an end. The 3L is difficult to produce and hasn’t got any easier for us. We love the cold brew but it’s becoming harder to make it work, especially while the concentrate continues to grow. We want to make speciality coffee more approachable and dynamic, and we don’t think the 3L cold brew box does as good of a job as the concentrate. We would like the cold brew to come back at some point but for now we need to focus on what’s working and pushing us in the right direction. This being said, we will continue to use the cold brewing techniques to make new coffee products. The 3L cold brew box has paved the way for us to make much bigger steps in disrupting the coffee and energy drink industry and as a result, we’re in the process of producing a new product that the UK has never seen. Thank you to everyone that’s bought a cold brew box in the past, and we hope you can continue to find value in Solo as a brand, and the new products that we bring to market.