We chat with Montville Coffee's Kevin Fraikin, about the ups and downs of new product development

Where did the idea for the Cold Brew product come from?
In business, we are always looking at trends and innovation. We saw that there was a move away from the heavily sweetened ready-to-drink iced coffees to more specialty cold coffee drinks. What began as a small-scale experiment in 2015 to see if we could create an exceptional cold brewed coffee became Australia’s first certified Fairtrade and Organic Cold Brew concentrate.

What exactly is cold brew coffee?
It's the process of immersing ground coffee in ambient water for a long time, not to be confused with the cold drip process you might see displayed in your local cafe. The result of the cold brew process is a smooth and rich cold coffee drink, which can be brewed really consistently.

How did you get from your idea to manufacturing?
By the end of 2015, we started supplying our cafes with cold brew concentrate. They loved the product because it is so much easier than cooling a hot espresso shot and tastes much better in iced coffees. Then we won a place in a food accelerator program to develop the retail product which launched at a National Food Trade Show in Sydney in 2017.

Wow, how did that go?
It was amazing. We got great feedback and met distributors and retailers that helped us get the product to store shelves across the country. We collaborated with companies like COYO, Mill Street Kitchen, QCamel, Maleny Fine Foods, MOOLOO Nice Cream, and Happy Pops to create recipes and products using the cold brew. We also developed the caffeine-free version.


So, what happened next?
Once we had launched the product was when the real problem-solving began. We have been working to overcome two challenges. Because it is a concentrate, not ready to drink, it has been hard for retailers and consumers to understand the product and where to put it in the store. As it is not pasteurised the shelf life is relatively short and it needs to be refrigerated. We overcame these obstacles in our local South East Queensland market by working with local stores and using local couriers to deliver the cold brew wrapped up with cold bricks. Nationally this was much more challenging to solve..

Where does that take you now?
After this seven year Cold Brew journey, with its great highs and some sustained challenges, we have decided that it is time to discontinue it from our core product range. Having said that though we are very mindful that there are many of you, our loyal customers, who love this product. As such we want to empower and support you to freshly brew this delicious cold brew at home using simple tools you probably already have. Below you will find links to our recipe, a simple how-to video, and some delicious ideas for how you can use your cold brew. We look forward to seeing your brewing results, keep us posted!

Here are links to our french press recipe, a simple how-to video, and some delicious ideas for how you can use your cold brew. In the afternoons, an iced mocha is perfect, or our current winter favourite is the cold-brew BBQ sauce

July 18, 2022 — Karen Barnett