In the world of beverages, innovation often takes a backseat to tradition. But when John Goerke founded Bona Fide Nitro Coffee and Tea in 2015, he embarked on a journey to challenge the status quo. As the Founder and CEO of this pioneering company, John had a vision - to revolutionize the way we brew and enjoy coffee and tea while making a positive impact on the environment. Bona Fide Nitro Coffee and Tea Brewing Company is the first of its kind, introducing a naturally stable keg brewing process that's changing the game. Their mission? To brew and deliver profoundly good nitro coffee and tea through innovative and disruptive technology. But it doesn't stop there. John Goerke and his team are on a quest to ensure that these precious commodities remain accessible to everyone while fostering a conscious connection between consumers and the planet. Join Delivery Rank as we delve into the story behind this remarkable venture and the man at its helm, John Goerke.
After nearly 40 years in the coffee industry, I was seeking opportunities for innovation. I noticed that people were incorporating cold brew coffee into various products, which piqued my interest. However, I wasn't particularly interested in traditional cold brew coffee because of its instability as a product. Traditional cold brew is exposed to open air, making it susceptible to biological contamination, and it must be refrigerated, which limits its shelf life.
I began exploring ways to create a shelf-stable product that retained its great flavor and could be easily transported. This became my inspiration. I started working on natural methods to stabilize the product and eventually developed my process, which we now refer to as the Bonafide Craft Shot process. We've even patented the technology we use for brewing and canning, allowing us to produce a stable cold brew coffee. By "stable," I mean a product that remains shelf-stable at ambient temperatures for up to 180 days.
I encountered numerous challenges along the way. Initially, I needed to enhance my overall understanding of how coffee breaks down, considering factors such as the effects of oxygen and heat. This learning process was quite extensive. As I delved into this work, I began generating various ideas. Over the span of a couple of years, I refined and expanded upon these concepts, often discovering entirely novel approaches. I managed to uncover solutions that hadn't been explored before. Ultimately, my efforts led to the creation of a patented process aimed at enhancing our product. This journey unfolded gradually over the course of several years.
There are several methods for producing native coffee, but in my opinion, there's only one correct way to do it. This is because many other processes I'm aware of leave certain questions unanswered, especially when it comes to stability. Having a stable product is crucial because a coffee that isn't inherently stable will quickly lose its flavor or even spoil, making it impractical and unscalable.
Additionally, I firmly believe in the importance of incorporating a hot step in the process. This hot step serves as both a kill step to remove biological contamination and a crucial stage for allowing the coffee to bloom and release its full flavor potential. Our process involves a series of steps that we believe bring out the most authentic flavors the coffee has to offer.
Our approach is a mixed process, unique to us and proprietary. We believe it covers all the necessary aspects of how to properly brew coffee while maintaining its stability over time. This sets us apart from traditional cold brew, which never encounters heat, and other methods like prolonged hot brewing, such as the French press.
Firstly, I embrace innovation because I believe in the inevitability of change. It's not that I'm against traditions, but sometimes traditions can become well-worn tracks that people get stuck in. With 30 years of experience in the business before I even started experimenting with cold coffee, I gained a deep understanding of which traditions are genuinely important and where innovation can make a difference.
I firmly believe that when it comes to food safety and enhancing flavor, innovation should take precedence over tradition. For example, it may be traditional to dispense beverages from a beer tap, but when it comes to Nitro coffee, we've combined innovation and tradition by serving it from a stylized faucet.
Finding the right balance between innovation and tradition was possible because of our extensive experience in the industry. This allowed us to venture into something entirely new, exciting, and different, setting Groundwork Nitro coffee apart from other options served through beer taps.
What I've learned, which may not be anything new for entrepreneurs, is that the journey often takes you to unexpected places, and that's actually a good thing. It keeps you nimble and alert. This business has proven to be much more challenging than I initially anticipated. We're almost a decade into it now, and it has taken us to unforeseen destinations. I've had to acquire knowledge and skills that I never expected to, and frankly, some that I didn't even want to learn.
However, what's even more crucial is being prepared to pivot. We've had to pivot multiple times as a company to meet customer demands, discover untapped markets, or address emerging needs. We've had to learn many new things, especially during the COVID pandemic. Our shelf-stable products turned out to be a tremendous advantage when others had to discard their perishable goods. So, there's often a silver lining in every situation.
In conclusion, I believe it's essential to enjoy the journey. If you become too fixated on a specific path or outcome, you're likely to be disappointed. But if you approach each day with an open heart, a willingness to learn and adapt, and a genuine love for your business and your product, you're more likely to have a fulfilling and successful experience. This, in a nutshell, sums up my journey as an entrepreneur.
If you would like to find out more about Bona Fide Nitro Coffee and Tea, visit https://bonafidenitro.com/