As we head into spring, we should talk about Powdered bases. These are one of the fastest growing segments in the market today and is one of the cottage industry products that has become a powerhouse in its own right. Typically, powders are design to be used either hot or cold, although a café will generally use them cold and market them as iced blended beverages, frappes, granitas and a variety of other names. The “at home” market will typically prepare them hot, due to ease of preparation. As a result, powder blends need to be versatile, consistent both hot and cold and have an easy preparation method. The most popular flavors in powder mixes tend to be vanilla base, mocha, English toffee, mint chip and cappuccino. However, for ease of use and for pairing with additional items already in the store, the two most popular tend to be vanilla base and mocha.
I always get asked if you should use milk or water in making the beverage. Most of the products include some milk product, so there is a creaminess that comes from the powder and therefore water is a cost-effective preparation method. However, the best products (in my opinion) are those that are made with milk. The milk adds creaminess and mouthfeel to the beverage and in Vanilla, brings out the vanilla notes more. My suggestion is to use milk, instead of water, but again, this just depends on your cost structure and the finished beverage.