Three years ago Richard Torres and his partners, Mikel Antunez and Oscar Tan-Abing Jr., firmed up their plans to put up their own coffee shop.
As business practitioners, they knew that they had to be different to stand out from the congested coffee industry. Through research and perseverance, they were able to come up with something new to offer to the market. Thus, Nitro 7 Coffee & Tea Bar was born.
The partners, who are all coffee enthusiasts, believed that they could offer Filipinos a better-tasting cup at a more affordable price.
In a recent interview with the BusinessMirror, Torres said that Nitro 7 is different because of the two-step process in making the brew: brewing the coffee for 18 hours in cold temperature then followed by nitrogen infusion for another day.
Cold brew coffee requires a lot of time to complete, which takes anywhere between 12 and 24 hours, compared to a cup of espresso, which can be pulled in 20 to 30 seconds.
Nitro cold brew coffee, popularly known as NCB, has a rich and creamy mouth feel to it. It also subdues the natural bitterness of coffee, even making it a little bit sweet without adding any sweetener.
And the best part of NCB is its low acidity. “If you have GERD [gastroesophageal reflux disease]or other acidity problems when taking regular coffee, you most probably won’t get that same reaction when taking nitro cold brew coffee,” Torres explained.
“Entering this business, we did what we needed to do. We did a lot of research because we wanted to differentiate ourselves from the competition. We hired consultants who had significant experience in the F&B [food and beverage] industry to facilitate the process and we are constantly improving, reinventing and expanding the brand,” he added.
Back then, they did not have a benchmark and it was a challenge for Nitro 7 to ensure that they would come up with a quality product. Being the first to introduce nitro coffee in the Philippines, they had to compete against themselves. It took the team nine months of research and development (R&D) before the brand was introduced to the market.
“Now we can claim that we are the first nitro coffee and tea bar in the Philippines,” Torres said.
“We entered the coffee retail business because this industry is worth billions of dollars. It isn’t a fad. It’s something people drink every day. It’s a lifestyle. It’s just going to grow bigger and bigger through the years.” And so, Torres and his partners decided to introduce their groundbreaking product that further enriches the coffee experience of Filipinos.
Currently, Nitro 7 has 11 branches and will be opening a few more before the year ends. The branches are located at Robinsons Magnolia, Eastwood Citywalk 1, SM Megamall, Greenbelt 3, SM Dasmariñas, SM North Edsa, Ayala the 30th Mall, The Fort Strip in BGC, Happiness Food Hub in Cainta, Robinsons Galleria, and Youniversity Suites, Laperal building along the University Belt in Manila.
Nitro 7 started as a to-go coffee outlet, offering only nitro coffee and nitro tea. But since opening two years ago, the brand has evolved to meet the needs of its customers. Besides being a place where customers can grab a delicious cup to-go, Nitro 7 also has small cafés across town that offer food and a place for their customers to sit down while enjoying their meal, which now consists of food items such as pizza, sandwiches, wraps and pastries. Torres further mentioned that they will continue to expand and improve their product offerings every year.
The brand is open for franchise with a fee of P250,000.