$1,000 Prize for the Best Plant-Based Cold Coffee Drink

Feature Image for Plant-Based Cold Drink Challenge

Your votes will determine the winning plant-based cold coffee drink, and the barista who created it will walk away with a cool $1,000!


Photos courtesy of Pacific Foods

The calendar might say it’s October, but warm and even sweltering temperatures across the United States are marking this year as the one with an endless summer. And coffee professionals know what that means: There’s still a bundle to be made in cold drink sales.

And as any coffee pro knows, customers are increasingly searching for options in plant-based beverages—which is why today we are launching the Plant-Based Cold Drink Challenge at Barista Magazine’s Instagram.

Pacific Foods Barista Series cartons of Plant-based Coconut, Oat, and Almond.
Five baristas from around the country were tasked with creating a cold coffee beverage using Pacific Foods Barista Series™ Almond, Oat, or Coconut. Their creative efforts are on display at Barista Magazine’s Instagram now!

Industry Leader Pacific Foods Barista Series™ Hosts

Who better to present the challenge than Pacific Foods Barista Series™, known industry-wide as the leader in plant-based drinks? We asked five incredible baristas from across the United States to take the idea and run with it, using Barista Series™ Almond, Oat, and/or Coconut as the inspiration for their own original plant-based cold drink.

And today, we all get to see the fruits of their labor! 

A honey, ginger, coconut matcha latte made with Pacific Foods Barista Series Coconut in a tall glass with ice.
Cold drinks and creativity come together in the latest challenge from Pacific Foods, where contestants are out to craft delicious original beverages like this Honey Ginger Coconut Matcha Latte.

It’s no secret that the products in the Pacific Foods Barista Series™’ line steam beautifully in hot coffee drinks—baristas everywhere have been touting that virtue for years, which is why Pacific Foods Barista Series™ has been the chosen brand of plant-based beverages for countless specialty-coffee companies throughout the United States for more than a decade.

Cold Is the New Hot

The creations up for consideration in the Plant-Based Cold Drink Challenge, however, introduce entirely new ideas for how Pacific Foods Barista Series™ beverages can be used in cold drink applications.

For example, it only makes sense that a beverage known for exceptional steaming also whips into a gorgeous cold foam. The nuances of the various products in the Barista Series™ line can showcase the nutty, fruity, or floral characteristics you find in your coffees.

A signature drink called Portland Maple Bar Oat Latte in a tall glass with ice.
Contestants must use either Oat, Coconut, or Almond from Pacific Foods Barista Series™ in their drinks; this Portland Maple Bar Oat Latte is made with Barista Series™ Oat.

You’re the Judge!

This is a contest, after all, so we want to hear which drink you think sounds the yummiest—in fact, you’re the judges! “Vote” for your favorite by “liking” the post at Barista Magazine’s Instagram page. Note that while you may see some of the baristas posting about their drinks on their own pages, only “likes” made at Barista Magazine’s Instagram will count toward each participant’s totals.

But since this is Pacific Foods Barista Series™ we’re talking about, and everyone knows how supportive and engaged they are with the barista community, each of our five participants will end up a winner because they will all receive cash prizes!

A honey spice almond cold brew latte in a tall glass with ice.
Winning baristas will claim their share of the prize money from Pacific Foods after all of your votes are counted on Instagram. Get your likes in by Oct. 13!

The barista whose drink has garnered the most likes by 5 p.m. PDT on Friday, October 13, will receive a cool $1,000 for their efforts. Second place wins $500, and third, fourth, and fifth places will each receive $200.

So stop dilly dallying and head over to Barista Magazine’s Instagram to cast your vote—or, heck, cast more than one. The Plant-Based Cold Drink Challenge is about creativity and fun, and the innovations and imaginations of these five outstanding baristas.


Out now: It’s the October + November 2023 issue of Barista Magazine! Read for free with our digital edition. And for more than three years’ worth of issues, visit our digital archives here.

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About Sarah 933 Articles
Sarah Allen (she/her) is co-founder and editor of Barista Magazine, the international trade magazine for coffee professionals. A passionate advocate for baristas, quality, and the coffee community, Sarah has traveled widely to research stories, interact with readers, and present on a variety of topics affecting specialty coffee. She also loves animals, swimming, ice cream, and living in Portland, Oregon.