Bringing back the brew: US coffee innovates for fall

By Beth Newhart

- Last updated on GMT

Instant hot coffee of the past is being replaced by higher quality ready-to-drink options.
Instant hot coffee of the past is being replaced by higher quality ready-to-drink options.

Related tags Coffee coffee creamer Cbd Cold brew coffee Alcoholic beverages

Coffee brands kick it up a notch in the fall, capitalizing on the category’s popularity during the colder months. From spiked cold brew to CBD infusions, US coffee is taking a fresh approach to autumn 2019.

While the hot beverage landscape continues to lean heavily into the pumpkin spice season, coffee brands in the US are innovating beyond autumnal flavors.

Instant coffee - once a household staple - has lost steam. It’s being left to hot coffee to innovate and pull consumers back in, or else embrace newer categories like iced and cold brew coffee. Several US bean brewers are branching out to reach consumers that want convenience, health and function out of their coffee drinking occasions.  

Alcoholic coffee from La Colombe

La Colombe is crossing into alcohol for the first time with the announcement of its Hard Cold Brew Coffee. In partnership with MillerCoors, the canned cold brew will launch with Vanilla and Black flavors and a 4.2% ABV.

Sofia Colucci, VP of innovation at MillerCoors, said "We're thrilled to team up with La Colombe on this exciting launch. They bring deep expertise in the category and their focus on quality sourcing, roasting and innovation made them the perfect partner."

"Millennials are constantly looking for new products to complement their active, busy lives. La Colombe Hard Cold Brew Coffee does exactly that."

la col hard 2

The new spiked coffee drinks contain medium-roasted Colombian and Brazilian cold brew coffee, alcohol, cane sugar and natural flavor. They will be packaged in 9oz cans and test first in Boston, Florida and Denver.

Todd Carmichael, CEO and co-founder of La Colombe, said "The story of Hard Cold Brew Coffee is really the story of a friendship. When two makers and innovators come together something really special can come out of it, and that something special is this product.

“As makers, we simply started concocting. One of us knows the alcohol industry really well and the other knows coffee really well – and it turns out together we were the perfect pair.”

CBD-infused Civilized Coffee

This month Florida-based Civilized Coffee announced the addition of Full-Spectrum CBD Coffee to its portfolio. The company’s products are primarily sold online and also supplies wholesale accounts in global markets.

Mark Patterson, co-founder of Civilized Coffee, said "Our expert roasting team has done an amazing job of selecting the right roasts and coffee (Tanzanian & South American), to match the flavor profile of the herbaceous CBD – creating a delicious coffee with all the benefits of CBD."

Civilized Coffee also stocks a Light Blond Kenyan Blend, an African Cold Brew, a Medium Colombian Excelso and a Medium Tanzanian Peaberry roast.

Co-founder Jeff Norton said, "I travel all over the country for our coffee business and there has been a lot of whispering on how big this market is going to be. We wanted to be ahead of the curb with our amazing CBD coffee."

Laird Superfood's Unsweetened Instafuel


Laird Superfood expanded its instant beverage line last month with an Unsweetened Instafuel. It blends freeze-dried 100% Arabica coffee with Laird’s Unsweetened Superfood Creamer, reimagining the instant coffee space that has been in decline.

Laird emphasizes the convenience of its products that allow consumers to have a “perfectly balanced latte”​ by just adding water. Traditional instant coffees are seen as low-quality, but Laird says it uses high-quality, whole-food ingredients with no artificial ingredients or added sugar.

Paul Hodge, CEO and co-founder of Laird Superfood, said "With the explosive success of our Unsweetened Original Creamer, we quickly began working on an on-the-go option that combined the power of our creamers with the convenience of an instant coffee or tea."

"We're always looking for new and innovative ways to keep our customers energized and in peak performance for their active lifestyles and the Unsweetened Instafuel offers an easy solution you can feel good about drinking.”

Laird also sells its Instafuel in Matcha and Original. The Unsweetened variety contains the freeze-dried coffee, coconut milk powder, Aquamin and organic extra virgin coconut oil. Laird describes Aquamin as a multi-mineral complex derived from the red marine algae Lithothamnion calcareum.

Low-cal, CBD cold brew from Forest Coffee


Denver-based Forest Coffee Trading Company introduced three new flavors of its cold brew, along with a CBD-infused option. Forest Coffee was established in 2013 and the four new varieties join its original Black.

The new CBD variety is an addition to the original Black, and contains 15mg of organic CBD from Evo Hemp. Mint, Cinnamon and Cacao round out the lineup. Each 12oz bottle contains 15 calories with no additives or sweeteners.

“The result is a smooth cold brew coffee to help you charge through the day – the Colorado way,”​ Forest Coffee said.

The company sources its Arabica coffee beans from northern Thailand and produces the coffee at its roastery and brewery in Denver. Forest Coffee says that when roasted properly, coffee from the region has notes of cocoa and dark berry.

“We focus on building relationships with small, independent farmers who meticulously maintain their micro-lots and hand pick every coffee berry,” ​Forest Coffee said.

“Combined with our tried and true brewing technique, we deliver our customers the finest beverage specialty coffee has to offer.”

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