Making cold-brew shelf stable


New member
Oct 4, 2019
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Hey, all -- I'm a beverage entrepreneur in Dallas with an iced coffee-like concept that I need to make shelf-stable at room temperature. The FDA is extremely strict about sterilization procedures for shelf-stabilizing low-acid foods, and only allows steam retort processing for this process.

Having completed a successful Kickstarter financing round, we now have the capital to fund a 20-30,000 can production run for our product. That may sound like a lot, but to the typical co-manufacturer with steam retort capability, it's miniscule.

We found a great potential partner in Toronto – a cold-brew coffee company that has a small-batch retort and a filling/canning line, that would be willing to receive our product in industrial "totes" and can, label, retort, box our product. They seem like nice guys, and a great philosophical fit, as they're not too many years distant from their humble entrepreneurial beginnings. BUT.. they're in Canada, and between customs and FDA approval issues, things are starting to look a little doubtful on that front.

I guess my question is: does anybody on this board know of a small(ish) US-based company that sells ready-to-drink coffee beverages that are shipped, stored, or displayed at room temperature? Any such beverages will have likely been steam-retorted, and I may be able to work with those companies or their co-manufacturing partners. Coffee drinks that are sold online are also highly likely to be steam-retorted.

Any ideas you could share would be gratefully appreciated – and thanks for reading this far.


Fritz Stolzenbach
KOKOMI Iced Cacao