In our latest episode of Call Me Cannabinoids, Pete interviews Eddie Juica of ColdFire Roasters, an innovative CBD-infused coffee brand.
For the modern hemp CBD consumer, CBD-infused coffee offers a needed pick-me-up while calming the typical side effects caffeine causes.
“I got involved in coffee because I wanted to do something nobody else was doing,” Eddie says, “and because it’s something we drink on a daily basis. The average consumer drinks 2.8 cups a day.”
The company has scaled rapidly over the past 13 months and is consistently delivering great-tasting coffee with potent CBD that beats the jitters. ColdFire’s CBD coffee is currently available in single-serve k-cups, whole bean, and ground varieties in Cuban and Colombian blends.
Formulating a more heat-resistant CBD
ColdFire launched on August 1, 2018, after a year in research and development. Their first product was a cold brew, which was less challenging to formulate because it involved creating a homogenized, water-soluble formulation. Next, they set their sights on beans and ground coffee.
Infusing coffee beans with CBD would prove more difficult to navigate. During the R&D process for the k-cups and beans, Eddie’s team discovered that CBD typically burns off coffee around 140 degrees Fahrenheit. They set out to formulate a CBD that was more resilient to higher temperatures.
The resulting coffee blend is infused with tasteless, water-soluble, broad-spectrum (non-THC) CBD that is heat-resistant up to 212 degrees Fahrenheit. But Eddie’s team didn’t stop there; they are actively working to get a formulation that can withstand temperatures up to 300 degrees.
Finding the right balance between coffee and CBD
Creating a great-tasting coffee with the right amount of CBD was a balancing act for Eddie’s team. Through careful development, the team formulated k-cups that contain 10mg CBD and coffee with a smooth, clean flavor.
“You have to be careful how much CBD you put in coffee, and you don’t want to include fillers because those affect the flavor,” he says. “The CBD also won’t be as bioavailable if you use a high percentage by weight.”
Scaling a CBD coffee brand in 13 months
Over the past 13 months, ColdFire has scaled rapidly. Eddie credits his team, supplier, and industry relationships.
“We have an absolutely amazing team. Everything is moving so fast,” Eddie says. “I have an excellent relationship with our suppliers; they’re always helping me out and making sure we’re doing everything the right way.”
The ColdFire team puts their coffee and their CBD through a rigorous, pre-brew, third-party testing process. Their coffee is tested for active ingredients, caffeine content, purity, and consistent potency of the CBD. ColdFire’s packaging incorporates a QR code buyers can scan to access the third-party lab testing results.
“Our focus is to make sure that we’re doing everything the right way,” Eddie says.
Positioning your brand through due diligence, industry partnerships
Eddie urges CBD brands to tread carefully when it comes to marketing and making health claims around their products. Referring wholesalers and clients to scientific studies allows them to study conditions and effects of CBD for themselves so they can identify whatt iss going to work best for them. Studies on CBD may be found at sites like ProjectCBD and PubMed.
“We’re working on a program to help up-and-coming CBD coffee companies get started. If you help people, it all comes back to you.”
For new CBD brands entering the market, Eddie recommends doing their due diligence and reaching out for industry guidance when they need it.
“If you get into the CBD business, don’t do it to make a quick dollar; do things the right way. At the end of the day, you’re doing this to help people,” he says.
ColdFire coffee is currently available in grocery stores, CBD stores, and online. The team is working to get the products into hotels, resorts, and spas, as well.