Coffee and tea both have devoted fans, but their appeal extends well beyond providing an energy boost or a playing a key role in a daily ritual. As extracts, in cold brew or in dry form, the two ingredients have the potential to enhance other products in multiple ways. 

Beverages: Cold brew coffee and tea add a distinctive yet nuanced layer of flavor to drinks well beyond the standard coffeehouse menu. Slushies, smoothies and shakes, as well as cocktails and fermented drinks are among potential applications for these in-demand products.  And milk—traditionally considered an add-on for tea and coffee drinks—reverses its role in products like Wünder Creamery Superdairy Quark, a yogurt-style product with varieties that incorporate coffee, matcha tea and extracts. Tillamook Creamery’s line includes a cold-brew coffee whole milk Greek Yogurt.

Sauces, Glazes and More: The flavor profile of coffee and tea complements dressings, sauces, sweet glazes and marinades. Ground coffee beans match up well with sweet, viscous syrups such as honey and maple and result in a suitable glaze of bacon, ham and pork loin, balancing sweet, smoky, salty, meaty and earthy flavors. Coffee-containing barbecue sauces and rubs, with their more complex flavor qualities, have been popular for years.

Desserts and Baked Goods: Incorporating cold brew coffee and tea lends a premium status to ice cream and frozen yogurt. Green tea is a time-honored flavor for Asian ice cream and mochi. Ordinary cakes, muffins, pastries, confections, whipped cream and pastry fillings also get a flavor kick from coffee and tea extracts and cold brews. Tea-infused cheesecakes in flavor like chai and Earl Grey bring favorite beverage flavors to the plate. The Cookie Department markets a line of functional cookies that includes Awaken Baked, a variety infused with 40 milligrams of fair trade coffee and chocolate.

Savory Foods: Coffee enriches meat and poultry, especially in marinades, spice rubs and sauces and works well with favors as varied as allspice, cinnamon, citrus, garlic, tomatoes and vinegar. When reduced in the presence of sugars, the thickened coffee caramelizes into a more intense flavor layer. Traditionally brewed coffee’s acidic qualities also help tenderize meat. Coffee extract can also impart a caramel color to sauces. Dry ground coffee and tea also enhance the hot and cold smoking process.

Snacks and Sweets: Ground coffee lends a new dimension of flavor and texture to dry snack seasoning formulas. New Grounds Food, a Boston-based firm, makes a line of caffeinated snack bars that incorporates a proprietary blend of fair-trade coffee beans and green coffee bean extract; the result is a nutritious bar with an energy boost. Coffee Cacao Power Snacks from Navitas Organics combine dates and figs with the company’s superfoods blend, which includes green coffee powder. Meanwhile, green tea extract can provide caffeine without dominating the flavor of sports bars. Chocolate-covered coffee beans, tea- and coffee-flavored truffles and other chocolate creations bring a sophisticated flavor profile and an intriguing crunch to a favorite food group. 

Also, another example in this category is coffee bar. Condor Chocolates and 1000 faces coffee bar in Athens, Ga., are using coffee, cocoa butter and cane sugar to create a coffee bar that has the look and texture of a traditional chocolate but made with coffee. Additionally, they are stating that one 2.29oz bar has as much caffeine as five cups of coffee. 

With the ability to serve in so many roles, coffee and tea are the ultimate utility players in the food and beverage manufacturing business.

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Chef Eric Nakata

Chef Eric Nakata leads S&D Coffee & Coffee & Tea’s culinary innovation efforts and provides a valuable culinary perspective to the company’s endeavors. As Vice President of Culinary & Innovation, he focuses on the ideation and creation of proactive, customer-driven beverage solutions.

A graduate of the California School of Culinary Arts, Nakata has worked in culinary research and development and product development innovation for 15 years. His breadth of culinary experience and history of successful product creations, including liquid and powdered beverages, shelf-stable snacks, frozen entrées and refrigerated sauces, spreads and marinades, gives S&D an advantage when it comes to understanding how its products interact with other areas of the food industry.

Having an internal resource like Nakata, a classically French-trained chef, further demonstrates S&D’s ongoing commitment to strategic partnerships essential to the development and introduction of innovative beverage, ingredient and extract applications into the culinary world.

Visit for more information about Chef Eric and S&D Coffee & Tea’s culinary program.