Ready-to-drink coffee & tea

Cold brew coffee

Today there’s no such thing as just ‘a cup of coffee.’ Many of us will choose a brew to suit our mood. And that might mean taking the time to percolate freshly ground beans, popping a pod in a counter-top machine, picking up the kettle and a jar of instant, or reaching for a handy ready-to-drink (RTD) can or carton from the refrigerator.

Cold brew coffee

Slowly does it

Whatever our favorite brew may look like, one of the latest, and growing trends, is for cold brewed coffee. Cold brewing is a method of extracting the flavor and aroma from roasted beans that, unlike traditional hot brewing methods, doesn’t apply heat. Rather, the roasted ground coffee is percolated through or steeped in water at ambient, or cold temperatures, over a prolonged period, up to 12-24 hours. The resulting coffee extract can then be diluted to make an RTD coffee, or further concentrated and processed into spray dried or freeze dried instant coffee. Whatever the final preparation, cold brewing results in a coffee extract that it’s generally agreed has a smooth, rich, bright and pleasant acidity, and less bitter flavour than traditionally hot brewed coffee.

Cold brewing may be trending high in recent years, but it isn’t a new way of extracting flavor and aroma from roasted beans. The basic process was popular in Japan more than 400 years ago. And while cold brewed coffee can be freshly prepared in small amounts at home or at our local coffee shops, industry has also embraced the trend, and is developing processes and recipes to meet a growing demand for rich, aromatic spray dried, and freeze dried cold brewed coffee products, alongside RTD cartons, cans and bottles. 

GEA solutions for cold brew products

Here at GEA we have combined our decades of experience in every aspect of coffee knowhow and manufacture, with our industry and engineering expertise, to design equipment and end-to-end lines for processing cold brewed coffee. Whatever your starting point, we can find the best solution. So whether you are looking to build a turnkey plant from the ground up, or want to add the capacity for cold brewing to your existing hot brew set up, GEA experts will work with you to select and tailor equipment that matches your recipes and production processes, fits in with an existing plant setup, and provides you with flexibility and capacity to meet future expansion plans. 

GEA portfolio of technology for cold brew coffee spans:

  • Extraction
  • Extract treatment and concentration – aroma part (cold brew extract)
  • Extract treatment and concentration – hydrolysis part (increase yield)
  • Microgrinding
  • Spray drying
  • Freeze drying
  • Powder handling
  • Powder filling into bulk containers, boxes or big bags
  • Liquid filling into PET or aluminium bottles and cans, or into bulk containers
  • Palletizing and depalletizing 
  • Refrigeration and heating
  • Automation

You may be surprised to find that setting up a cold brew plant does not always mean starting from scratch. Adding cold brew capacity to an existing hot brew set up may generate less disruption than you might expect. We can integrate into your line versatile equipment that lets you switch from one production method to another, easily and swiftly, so that you can focus on meeting your customer and consumer demands, day by day.

GEA cold brew process line

Cold brew coffee process line

Test center of excellence

At the GEA center of excellence in Copenhagen, Denmark, you can access laboratory and pilot plant facilities and a wide range of equipment, to work on process optimization and validation. Here you can test out equipment for extraction, aroma recovery, evaporation, freeze concentration, freeze drying, spray drying and agglomeration. And using our state-of-the-art aroma management equipment, we can help you to monitor 50 of the most valuable aromas, which can provide insights for further optimizing the quality of your product for the end-user. 

Keeping sustainability at the heart of what we do

GEA understands that sustainability is a key consideration for producers and for consumers. We’re striving to help build sustainability into industry at every scale, and can integrate smart refrigeration and heating solutions into the instant coffee process, resulting in reduced energy consumption and carbon footprint, and so lower operating costs.

Find out how the smart GEA OptiPartner solution can help boost the productivity of instant coffee plants. Our highly efficient digital technologies have been developed to empower you to optimize throughput and reduce energy consumption.  

Products & technologies

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