Ground Breaking Coffee

Theo Garcia, Co-founder of Solo Coffee, introduces the speciality coffee brand, sharing how their all-in-one coffee solution is revolutionising the category.

Please tell us about Solo Coffee and the range on offer to wet-led venues.

We started Solo Coffee as award winning baristas looking to make great coffee much easier. We created a Coffee Concentrate which is essentially a cold brewed espresso-strength, ready-to-use coffee. This way consumers and operators can create any coffee serve they want simply by pouring a small amount of Coffee Concentrate and mixing it however they see fit. We recognised that bartenders disliked making Espresso Martinis because the espresso brewing element was so problematic, so we ensured our product would have the same characteristics as a fresh espresso. Namely, a very strong flavour and importantly, when shaken it creates the iconic foam in an Espresso Martini.

Our product is packaged in a 1L Tetra Pak, offering 20-40 servings per carton, and has a 12 month ambient shelf life (28 days once opened).

How important is it for venues to stock a quality coffee brand, especially when it comes to cocktail creations like the much-loved Espresso Martini?

There will always be a need for a venue that serves alcohol to be stocking some sort of caffeinated accompaniment, and as the days of Vodka Red Bulls and Jägerbombs fade into a hungover past, the coffee cocktails remain stronger than ever. Caffeine aside, coffee quality has come very far in the past few decades and now, the consumer is more discerning than ever. The customers used to ask bartenders “can you make an Espresso Martini?” and now it moves towards “is your Espresso Martini any good?” Needless to say, quality coffee in coffee cocktails is a necessity. As coffee is such a strong flavour, it often masks any complexities in spirits and so, the cocktail becomes extremely reliant on a high quality coffee.   

Why would you encourage bars and bartenders to equip themselves with Solo Coffee; what makes Solo Coffee superior?

Coffee that is brewed hot, is meant to be drunk hot. Our coffee is brewed with cold water for over 16 hours, this means that the aromatic complexities in the coffee remain intact when mixed in cocktails. 

Often bartenders say to me “oh, but we make our espresso fresh”. It sounds great, but what they mean is that they are pouring a hot espresso over ice and spirits, losing the flavour from all their hard work, and watering down the cocktail from over-dilution – or they’re spending half an hour before a shift making espressos, mixing them all together in a bottle, letting the coffee rapidly stale, and then inevitably pouring half of it away at the end of the shift.

I never tell someone that they need Solo Coffee, everyone has their own preference in how they create their cocktails. But I think our rapid growth has come because our product allows bartenders to focus on what they do best – make and serve great cocktails. It eliminates the need for expensive machinery, no extra training necessary, and it’s less laborious and creates less wastage. It’s always worth asking me for a sample and judging for yourself if it makes your life easier and your Espresso Martinis tastier!

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