Flavourtech’s solution for the RTD coffee market


Flavourtech tells Global Coffee Report how its latest machine is helping customers capitalise on the growing liquid coffee concentrate market.

The trend towards Ready to Drink (RTD) beverages is well-known among coffee companies and consumers alike, but the emergence of liquid coffee concentrates has been a slower burn.

Flavourtech, a global technology manufacturer specialising in aroma recovery, extraction and evaporation solutions, has recently revealed a new Spinning Cone Column (SCC) model to help manufacturers of liquid coffee concentrate.

Flavourtech Global Sales Manager Paul Ahn says the company has noticed more supermarkets stocking liquid coffee concentrate alongside beans, capsules, coffee bags and sachets, and RTD cans.

“Today, there’s a real push from Gen Zs (a generation born from around 1997 to 2012) around the world for more convenience when it comes to coffee,” Ahn says. “They want something that’s quicker, while also maintaining great flavours.

“They’re turning towards liquid coffee concentrates, which are gaining momentum globally. There’s a lot of convenience and the flavours are improving quickly.

“A lot of supermarkets are now selling bottles of liquid coffee concentrate – the coffee aisles are getting bigger and bigger, and we are seeing liquid coffee [concentrate] on the shelves more and more.”

Ahn says many different businesses use liquid coffee concentrate, including cafés, bars, restaurants and producers of carbonated drinks and ice cream, but consumers are also using it at home to make coffee-based drinks.

“Liquid coffee concentrate is becoming increasingly popular because it can help showcase the taste of the coffee beans used,” Ahn says.

“In the past, we’ve seen in certain countries, like Australia for example, the RTD coffee market has been more focused towards the milk products – coffee is added to milk products to produce an RTD bottled or canned beverage.

“But we are seeing a move towards more appreciation of coffee on its own. Coffee is the hero of the flavours, the hero of the product, and is not being [diluted] by milk or plant-based milk products.”

Flavourtech, based in New South Wales, Australia, has a long-standing commitment to technological innovation. The company says its Centritherm evaporator has improved how manufacturers concentrate and dry coffee extracts, while its Integrated Extraction System (IES) is a revolutionary way to produce premium liquid extracts from tea and coffee.

Then there is what the business labels its flagship product – the SCC, which specialises in aroma recovery for the production of instant coffee, and is designed to overcome aroma losses that are often experienced with conventional processing. The systems are designed around three sizes of column: 10,000, 1000, and the recently released 100.

Flavourtech says the SCC 100 has a throughput of 25 to 115 litres per hour and is capable of processing products such as wine, milk, or fruit juices, as well as slurries or extracts of coffee and tea. It also allows reconcentration of aroma fractions to minimise dilution add-back prior to drying. The unit is manufactured on a compact skid with lockable castors, has an easy-to-use touchscreen, and is quickly assembled, operated, and maintained.

Flavourtech says the smaller model provides coffee companies the opportunity to discover new aroma profiles using smaller volumes and is ideal for research and development applications or small production runs of high-value, low-volume materials.

Ahn says the latest version of the SCC 100, released July 2023, is now able to process slurries, which improves things even further. He says it was developed after conversations with customers who wanted a smaller throughput with an ability to capture aroma from a slurry of milled coffee beans and water.

“We have a lot of customers all around the world [who use] the big Spinning Columns, such as the SCC 10,000,” he says.

“But our customers were asking us for a smaller unit, one they can run research and development trials on, or to produce smaller batches to see if they can tweak a few things to improve the flavour. We listened to them and released a smaller version called the SCC 100 slurry-capable version.

“Going from big to small is very difficult engineering-wise, but it was worth it – we’ve had a lot of interest in this system because the aroma from slurry is quite different to aroma from extract or aroma from juice.”

The slurry-capable SCC works by capturing and safely storing volatile coffee and tea aromas. It then brews the coffee or tea in 30 seconds as the slurry flows through the column. The internal design of the column and its cones enable highly efficient aroma capture while producing a high-quality extract without the presence of heat-derived flavours.

The benefit of using a machine such as the SCC slurry-capable version, Ahn says, is that it simply enhances the flavour of the end product for consumers.

“[By using the slurry-capable machine], you get the fresh aroma of roast and ground coffee every time. There are a lot of benefits from capturing an aroma from the raw material itself – that is from coffee beans or fruit puree, compared to juices or extract,” he says. “That’s why we had to engineer the SCC 100 to be able to process slurries as well. It allows coffee companies to capture the highest quality, natural coffee aromas, and make products that today’s discerning consumers are looking for.

“A lot of our customers that make RTD coffee love our systems because we’re able to capture those roast and ground flavours and put them back into the finished product. So you’ve got the notes from say, Guatemalan or Colombian or Kenya in the coffee, and then also then in the final product, which is unique to us.”

Ahn says Flavourtech is proud to manufacture technology that keeps pace with the coffee industry’s ebbs, flows, and trends.

“When you compare [the SCC 100 slurry-capable version] to traditional techniques, our flavours are much higher quality – the original roast and ground flavours are passed onto the liquid coffee concentrates, so the consumer benefits,” he says.

“[I think the trend is] here to stay, and we already have customers around the world that are producing the most flavoursome liquid coffee concentrates using our systems.”

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This article was first published in the January/February 2024 edition of Global Coffee Report. Read more HERE.

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