La Colombe marries citrus and coffee at Expo West

By Beth Newhart

- Last updated on GMT

Cherry cold brew will join the Shandy's existing Lemonade and Grapefruit flavors this summer.
Cherry cold brew will join the Shandy's existing Lemonade and Grapefruit flavors this summer.

Related tags Coffee Citrus

Philadelphia-based La Colombe Coffee Roasters debuted a Shandy-inspired RTD coffee collection last summer with Lemonade and Grapefruit. At Expo West in Anaheim last week it previewed a Cherry flavor, launching summer 2019.

Citrus flavors are on trend in beverage launches​ this year, and La Colombe has brought the sour notes common in shandy beers to its ready-to-drink cold brew coffee formula. At the Natural Products Expo West show in Anaheim last week its latest RTD innovations were on display.

In addition to the Shandy collection, La Colombe also showcased two new 42oz bottles of cold-filled, cold brew multi-serves that are single-origin and organic, along with an Oatmilk Draft Latte.

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The Arnold Palmer of coffee

At the end of summer 2018, La Colombe first introduced the Shandy line with Lemonade and Grapefruit flavors, calling it “the next evolution of coffee.”​ It considers itself a fourth-wave coffee company and a pioneer of the future of the industry, which is what led to the Shandy line.

Todd Carmichael, CEO and co-founder of La Colombe, said “We are always in search of what coffee can become and that is something that continuously drives us.”

The brand called the citrus line a ‘natural fit’ with its nitro cold brew formula, as “citrus is a tasting note that is present in most high elevation, higher scoring coffee.”​ Its infused with nitrous and made with light-roasted Colombian organic coffee.

La Colombe prides itself on sourcing its coffee ethically and establishing long-term trade practices with growers, something it extended to the new fruit flavors. The Shandy line gets its lemons from centuries-old groves along the Mediterranean coast in Sicily, and cherries from the surrounding area of La Colombe’s production facility in Michigan.

“What we wanted this project to become is a coffee that is chug-able. This is not your average coffee. It’s the Arnold Palmer of coffee. It truly defies the limitations of the time of the day. This is an all-day kind of drink,”​ Carmichael said.

Kyle O'Brien, executive VP at La Colombe, told BeverageDaily the brand has continued to develop the Lemonade and Grapefruit formulas, so they may taste different now than they did at last summer’s debut.

The Cherry flavor was available for a special preview at Expo West, but won’t officially launch until July 1 in the 9oz slim cans.

Cold Brew Shandy Lemonade

Nutrition: 7% juice, 60 calories, 90mg caffeine, 13g sugar, 16g carbohydrate, 10mg sodium

Ingredients: organic cold-pressed coffee, Sicilian lemon juice, cane sugar, acacia fiber, xanthan gum, ascorbic acid (vitamin C)

Cold Brew Shandy Grapefruit

Nutrition: 11% juice, 60 calories, 90mg caffeine, 14g sugar, 16g carbohydrate, 15mg sodium

Ingredients: organic cold-pressed coffee, grapefruit juice (from concentrate), cane sugar, acacia fiber, lemon juice concentrate, grapefruit essence, ascorbic acid (vitamin C), xanthan gum

Cold Brew Shandy Cherry

Nutrition: 15% juice, 70 calories, 90mg caffeine, 15g sugar, 17g carbohydrate, 25mg sodium
Ingredients: organic cold-pressed coffee, red sour cherry juice (from concentrate), cane sugar, acacia fiber, sour cherry essence, lemon juice concentrate, ascorbic acid (vitamin C), xanthan gum

Cracking the cold-brewed and cold-filled code

The two new large-format multi-serve bottles are launching in Cold Brew Brazilian Medium/Dark Roast, which is made from single origin, fully washed and sun-dried coffee beans from Brazil; and Cold Brew Colombian Light Roast, whose beans come from the Sierra Nevada Mountains of Colombia.

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“Multi-serve is something we’ve been thinking about for a while, but we waited until we could invent the technology to fill a bottle without heating up the plastic. It’s official. We have cracked that code,”​ Carmichael said.

“Ultimately what this is about is bringing home the absolute best cold brew coffee in America, to your refrigerator. We wanted to break down that wall where we become part of your morning routine and allow you the ability to customize your beverage how you like it.”

Also on tap at Expo West was an Oatmilk Draft Latte, riding the trend of oat milk alternatives in the coffee space and the wider beverage industry. O’Brien said it would launch in can format within the next few months.

La Colombe’s existing portfolio of RTD Draft Lattes are available on-site at cafes and in retail, including Original, Triple Shot, Vanilla, Mocha, Caramel, Coconut, Coconut Mocha, Pumpkin Spice, Peppermint Mocha and Honeysuckle.

Since launching in 2017, the Draft Lattes are now sold at more than 55,000 locations and all of La Colombe’s RTD drinks have experienced 130% category growth. The brand operates 30 cafe locations in the US in New York, California, Chicago, Philadelphia, Washington DC and Boston, with more expected to open in the new few years.

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