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Honoring Phyllis Jordan Through National Cold Brew Day

By: PJ's Coffee

Category:Coffee Industry News and Trends

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As we celebrate National Cold Brew Day today (April 20), it’s clear that cold brew coffee has transcended its status as a mere trend and firmly established itself as a beloved beverage essential. The popularity of cold brew has been reported to have increased by 300% since 2016 and maintains a strong growth. At PJ’s Coffee of New Orleans, we take pride in our pioneering role in the cold brew revolution, largely thanks to our visionary founder, Phyllis Jordan.

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Why Cold Brew?

Phyllis Jordan could be heralded as the mother of iced coffee. In 1978, when PJ’s first opened its doors on Maple Street in Uptown New Orleans, Phyllis sought to create a warm and welcoming community hub where patrons could gather over a cup of coffee or tea, whether hot or cold.

The idea of cold coffee was met with skepticism. Jordan was intrigued by the possibilities of this innovative brewing method when one of her suppliers, Mike Buckley, introduced her to the Toddy Coffee Maker. Developed by chemist Todd Simpson in 1964, the cold-brew system offered a low-acidity alternative to traditional hot-brewed coffee, ideally suited to New Orleans’ warm climate — especially its hot summers. By brewing at a lower temperature, the constituents in coffee beans, such as caffeine, fatty acids and oils, can’t be dissolved as they would be at high temperatures.

Drawing from her own memories of her mother enjoying leftover coffee on ice, Jordan saw the potential for cold brew to become a beloved beverage in its own right after being encouraged to try it with a touch of vanilla extract. Eventually, cold-brew iced coffee became a refreshing sensation among New Orleanians while the rest of the nation remained unconvinced.

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PJ’s Cold Brew Legacy and Embracing the Demand

Since its inception, PJ's Coffee has been a pioneer in the cold brew movement, continuously innovating to cater to our customers’ changing tastes. Our Original Cold Brew™ Iced Coffee, introduced in the 1980s, set the standard for a full-bodied, deliciously pure coffee experience with 67% less acidity than hot-brewed coffee.

Building on this legacy, we launched PJ’s Nitro Cold Brew — infused with nitrogen gas for a creamy, stout-like effect — in response to the growing demand for cold brew convenience. In addition to offering flavored cold brew each season, like Honey Macadamia and Southern Wedding Cake, along with cold foam to accompany the iconic beverage, PJ’s has introduced Cold Brew Shaken Espresso made with our concentrate and seasonal flavors.

According to the National Coffee Association, its Spring 2024 National Coffee Data Trends report revealed daily coffee consumption is up nearly 40% and at a 20-year high. As we celebrate National Cold Brew Day, it’s clear that cold brew coffee has captured the hearts and palates of coffee enthusiasts across generations — in 2023, PJ’s Coffee cold brew accounted for 25% of total systemwide sales and was our second top-selling item.

Millennials and Generation Z, in particular, have embraced cold brew for its smooth, bold flavor profile, lower acidity and convenience. With its versatility and refreshing appeal, cold brew has become a year-round favorite regardless of whether it is below-freezing temperatures or hot outside.

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A Look Ahead With Your Coffee Shop Business

At PJ’s Coffee, cold brew is a testament to our commitment to quality and innovation — we allow our guests to explore the beverage and make it their own. If you’ve ever dreamed of owning a coffee franchise or starting your own coffee shop business, PJ’s Coffee offers an unparalleled opportunity to join a brand with a rich history and a proven track record of success.

With options including drive-thru locations and a range of support services for franchisees, PJ’s Coffee makes it feasible to own your own coffee franchise and become a part of the growing PJ’s family. From comprehensive training programs to ongoing marketing support, we’re here to help you every step of the way on your journey to coffee shop ownership.

As we honor the legacy of Phyllis Jordan and celebrate National Cold Brew Day, we invite you to join us in raising a glass — or a cup — to the beverage that revolutionized how we enjoy coffee. Cheers to cold brew and many more years of brewing excellence at PJ’s Coffee of New Orleans.

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  • PJs has provided me with the flexibility to prioritize my day-to-day responsibilities. While demanding, the work/life balance I have been able to obtain while owning my locations is invaluable. PJ’s is a family-oriented brand and that is evident every day - we have great working, as well as personal, relationships with many folks at corporate. It truly is a family centered culture that I am excited to grow with! - Andrew Jones
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