Barista Oat Milk with 100% compostable packaging

Tetra Paks are technically recyclable somewhere, but probably not in your city. The great irony of plant-based milks is they all come in those ding dang Tetra Paks! I'm not ragging on the Tetra Pak company—I'm sure they are lovely—I'm just used to referring to those multi-layered, multi-material beverage cartons by the brand that popularized (invented?) them. It's like Kleenex. You get it.

My shop, Dear Diary Coffeehouse goes through about 192 of those little cartons every month, and we're still in a COVID recession. That's so much landfill waste!

In October 2019 I set my mind to solving this problem. I considered buying grocery store plant milk, but we go through so much, I wouldn't have refrigeration space. In that sense Tetra Paks are helpful, but still. So wasteful.

I then tried making house-made oat milk by pureeing oats, straining them, adding oil... A quart of barista oat milk costs $2.30—I could make gallons for that amount of money, right? Oats are cheap. I ran into two snags: 1) straining oat puree is messy and time consuming and 2) house-made oat milk doesn't make nice latte foam. Dang. The cost of paying a barista to make oat milk after hours is definitely higher than paying a major brand to ship milk across the country to me.

How could my shop produce its own house oat milk without all the labor cost? Could I streamline the process somehow?

Ten months later, I almost have the solution. The finish line is within sight! My product, Bricco Blends is a dry mix that a barista can throw into a blender with water. 45 seconds later, oat milk! 

This is what Bricco Blends does well:

  • Blends into a lovely, white oat milk in 45 seconds or less
  • No settling or graininess. Smooth mouthfeel
  • Easy to steam, and produces a wonderful, stable latte foam
  • Disperses evenly into even the most acidic coffee
  • 100% compostable packaging
  • Takes up 75% less storage space
I'm still not satisfied with how strongly Bricco Blends whitens coffee. It's funny how much we rely on that visual cue to perceive creaminess, no matter how rich the product is. 

Bricco Blend Batch 29 passed the foam test!

I'm also eager to collect feedback from local coffee shops and restaurants. Product design has always been a very iterative process for me, and I cannot imagine launching something without having first collected copious feedback!

As of today, I'm waiting for sample ingredients to come in. I'm working on branding in the meantime.


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