Review: Made Coffee
Covers Products: Cold Brew - Ethiopia Guji, Cold Brew - Traditional, Nitro Brew
Made Coffee is a self-described “coffee cannery” that is focused on creating high quality cold brew and nitro coffee in cans. The company, which is based in St. Petersburg, FL and launched in 2015 (the cans launched this year), currently has three varieties: Traditional Cold Brew, Nitro Brew, and Cold Brew Ethiopia Guji.
Starting with the actual coffee, they’ve certainly succeeded in creating great tasting products. All three of the offerings are quite enjoyable, with that bold but super smooth flavor that you’ll find in most high end cold brews. However, we’d say that the variability between the three products is somewhat nuanced and it’s likely something that only serious coffee drinkers will appreciate. Also, for the nitro product, we were expecting a bit more nitro than seems to be in the can (we found it hard to get that frothy layered pour that can be found in some of the others out there). All in all, Made’s flavor profile is certainly enjoyable -- but we’re not sure they’ve done enough to differentiate themselves from the rest of the pack.
Fortunately, the packaging and appearance are places where Made has done a nice job of differentiating. Utilizing a sleeve-wrapped can, the product has a bright and minimalist with slightly vintage feel. It’s clear and intuitive that this is a coffee product, although the difference between the three feels somewhat buried. There’s also a technical issue with the consistency of how the sleeve label is applied. This definitely undermines the overall appearance and credibility of the product.
Lastly, we have to consider this product’s overall positioning and differentiation. While the design is well executed and memorable, the product that it’s offering really isn’t. It’s not clear what this brand is trying to be or why it is better than what’s out there. That said, it does have somethingof a geographic niche that it can carve out as Florida isn’t overly abundant with cold-brew startups the way other markets are. But that’s something that can only carry the brand so far and for so long (we’re sure other brands will continue to pop up down there).
Overall, Made Coffee is coming out of the gate with a good foundation in terms of their ability to create good tasting coffee and execute nice looking packaging. However, Made needs to move fast as the category is getting more and more crowded every month. There’s a limited window for this brand to establish itself and create a point of differentiation that gives it staying power.