Mocha, latte, cappuccino, Americano or basic black, there’s no denying it—in one form or another, coffee is one of the most widely consumed beverages worldwide. But, as the brewing battle rages on, consumers may have to take a coffee break and juice up with a fresh, fruity twist to the traditional “cup of Joe.”
Coffee is generally known as a bean or seed—not as a berry. Many are unaware this vibrant red fruit contains antioxidants and beneficial nutrients. Thus, as flavorists are looking for innovative ways to satisfy caffeine fiends, this juicy red berry in combination with other fruity ingredients may provide a unique flavor solution for the energy drink market.
In fact, CoffeeBerry, a brand owned by VDF FutureCeuticals, claims “whole coffee fruit is loaded with high concentrations of beneficial antioxidants and other extraordinary nutrients.” CoffeeBerry is available as a whole powder and concentrated extract.
O.N.E. World Enterprises has introduced O.N.E. Coffee Berry Juice. According to the company, coffee beans lose many valuable nutrients during processing. Instead of using the traditional bean, O.N.E. utilizes the coffee berry in combination with a strawberry puree and acerola (Malpighia glabra). The result is a juice that reportedly contains the same amount of caffeine as one cup of green tea.
Similarly, Rivella, a beverage brand based in Switzerland, has launched Michel Power Coffee Berry Energy Drink, said to contain orange, lime and prickly pear juice, mango and banana puree, vitamin C and coffee extract.
Moreover, guarana (Paullinia cupana), a fruit native to the Amazon basin and commonly found in Brazil, is also popping up in coffee-based beverages and energy drinks. While the coffee bean has 1–2.5% caffeine, the guarana seed contains 4–8%. Additionally, the fruit is said to have antibacterial and antioxidant qualities.
According to International Flavors and Fragrances Inc., guarana extract “is a flavor ingredient possessing a bitter, mildly astringent, earthy, brown and light spice flavor profile. This yellow to amber liquid has a caffeine content of 1.5–2% and is soluble in water, alcohol and PG.”
Starbucks has introduced Starbucks Doubleshot Energy + Coffee, in vanilla, coffee and mocha flavors. This energy-infused beverage contains ginseng, guarana and B vitamins.
Parmalat, an international producer and distributor of mainstream dairy products and fruit-based drinks, has also jumped on board the guarana boat with the launch of Ice Break Loaded—Real Coffee with a Guarana Hit, featuring a blend of milk, coffee, sugar and guarana.
Rainfloresta, a division of Natranique, Inc., distributor of health, energy and cosmetic products from the Amazonian rainforest, sells Guarana GoGo packets for the energy-seeker on the go. Each packet is said to contain one gram of pure organic guarana, which can be added to tea, juice, yogurt, cereal, smoothies or water.
What’s next? A Starbucks coffee berry frappuccino? A guarana-infused Americano from Caribou Coffee? It’s fair to say the markets of coffee and energy beverages are in for a real jolt, should the healthful reputation of guarana and coffee berry continue to rise in popularity.