by Alex Beckett on August 9th, 2017 

The tea and coffee markets have each successfully made the jump from hot to cold drink, the latter most recently with the cold brew and nitro coffee trends. Now, cocoa may be braced to make a similar transition into the chilled drinks fixture.

While cold-brewed cocoa is not yet available in retail, it has emerged in the US on a limited number of menus of artisanal coffee parlours and high-end chocolate shops. Some recipes use cacao nibs – the fermented, dried bits of cacao beans – while others use cocoa beans, also known as cacao beans. According to reviews, it tastes less acidic than its coffee counterpart yet is similarly nuanced, nutty and also has the faint flavour and aroma of chocolate. Although still a niche concept, the public awareness of cocoa as a cold brew alternative to coffee is likely to have increased in 2017 after Starbucks launched a ready to drink (RTD) Cold Brew Cocoa & Honey drink into select US stores. Despite being more of a cold brew coffee than cold brew cocoa, and containing cream and sugar, it gained sizeable press attention and may inspire consumers to see that cocoa can be an ingredient in cold drinks other than chocolate milkshake.

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