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Cold Brew Resource Center

The NCA Cold Brew Resource Center

Resources & FAQs to help your business navigate the hottest trend in coffee.

Presented by BUNN


"The high cost of [the] study was impossible for a small company. Thank you for getting this done for your members." 

- NCA Member on NCA Cold Brew Resources


Cold brew is red hot -- and the National Coffee Association has been hard at work developing new resources to help keep it that way. We've launched our new-and-improved Cold Brew Resource Center, featuring a number of helpful tools for your coffee business, covering all aspects of cold brew and cold brew safety.


 Many of the resources gathered here have been made exclusively for NCA Members. Not a member? Join today.



Cold Brew Safety Guide for Retailers

For: by-the-cup retailers

With this member-exclusive guide for retailers of cold brew, gain unparalleled insight into how best to manage the many factors affecting the safe preparation of cold brew coffee, including regulatory compliance, preventing foodborne illness, preparation / storage considerations, and more.  Download a preview copy.

VIDEO: Overview of NCA Cold Brew Safety Guide for Retailers

 For: by-the-cup retailers

An overview of the NCA Cold Brew Safety Guide for Retailers with Mark Corey, PhD., NCA Director of Scientific & Regulatory Affairs.

Retail Cold Brew Compliance Checklist

For: by-the-cup retailers

Are you prepared for a surprise visit from the health inspector?

While not a guarantee, having the outlined tasks completed and programs in place will help your retail location be ready when a health inspector shows up.

Model Hazard Analysis and Critical Control Points (HACCP) plan

For: by-the-cup retailers, roasters, packaged retailers, equipment manufacturers

NCA’s model retail HACCP plan, constructed according to the principles outlined in the U.S. Food Code to help you ensure that your business is taking the necessary steps to protect your product -- and your customers.

Cold Brew Challenge Study White Paper

For: importers, roasters, packaged retailers, by-the-cup retailers, equipment manufacturers

An essential tool to have on hand when the health inspector comes knocking. Use this whitepaper to demonstrate to the inspector that cold brew is safe.

Brew a Batch of Cold Brew in Minutes

Produce fresh cold brew in minutes with the new BUNN® Infusion Series® Platinum Edition® Cold Brew mode, enabling operators to brew an on-demand batch of concentrate or ready-to-drink cold brew quickly and consistently with operational ease.

Workshop Recording - Keeping Cold Brew Safe: A Practical Workshop for Your Coffee Business

For: by-the-cup retailers, roasters, packaged retailers, equipment manufacturers

This pre-recorded, in-depth, expert-lead virtual workshop provides coffee industry guidance on cold brew. Training includes coffee-specific model food safety plans, including a model retail HACCP plan and a compliance checklist.

2018 Cold Brew Safety Guide for Manufacturers

For: manufacturers, equipment manufacturers

NCA's 2018 Cold Brew Safety Guide for Manufacturers is an informative resource to help your manufacturing business navigate cold brew best practices.

Cold Brew & RTD - National Coffee Data Trends Consumer Insight Report

For: by-the-cup retailers, roasters, packaged retailers, equipment manufacturers

A breakout of our flagship National Coffee Data Trends report, The Cold Brew & RTD Consumer Insight Report offers targeted, in-depth insight into the cold brew & RTD categories. 

Cold Brew Frequently Asked Questions

Answers to some of the most common questions about cold brew coffee.

What is cold brew? Is all iced or cold coffee considered “cold brew”?

Cold brew refers to coffee extracted at ambient or cooler temperatures, which is typically chilled or served over ice. The description of cold brew is intentionally not overly-prescriptive to allow for future innovation in the category.

Additionally, cold brew is not simply a marketing term, and not all cold coffee is cold brew. Coffee brewed with hot water extraction methods and then chilled prior to serving is not cold brew.

Is all cold brew coffee served as a cold beverage?

No. Cold brew refers to a brewing method, not a serving method. It can even be served warm: Historically in the US, concentrated cold brew coffee was diluted with boiling water and served primarily as a hot beverage (this was before iced coffee became popular). Cold brew is also an ingredient in many recipes.

How does cold brew work? How do you make cold brew?

Cold brewing extracts at a cooler temperature and generally for a longer time than conventional hot water extractions. This combination of lower temperature and longer contact time may produce a unique sensory and quality profile.

There are multiple ways to prepare cold brew. One of the easiest and most popular methods of brewing cold brew coffee involves steeping ground coffee in water overnight at room temperature. Find a recipe on our blog!

Is cold brew safe?

Cold brew is perfectly safe when prepared, stored, and served properly. However, food safety and complying with local, state, and federal health regulations is not an area suited to guesswork. It is the responsibility of any food service establishment to understand the risks associated with mishandled food and the steps necessary to mitigate those risks. 

The NCA has multiple resources designed to help retailers be knowledgeable, prepared, and confident regarding food safety and compliance requirements for their dispensed cold brew products.

What are the sensory and flavor characteristics that result from the cold brew brewing method?

Flavor profiles of cold brew may vary significantly from coffees brewed at higher temperatures. The same beans brewed by cold or hot methods can taste the same or drastically different when evaluated side-by-side. Typical cold brew traits include less bitterness, smoother taste, and more delicate flavors. 


Looking for even more cold brew content?

Read our latest cold brew related blog content.