3 bags of coffee with beans coming out of the top

Creating a plant-based dairy alternative with Two Bears Coffee

Two Bears offers a sustainable coffee option, working directly with coffee farmers to source only the top 1% of coffee beans across the globe.

Learn about the project below.

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Project Essentials

  • Principal Investigators: Emily Lim
  • Student Researchers: Hannah Guam, Natalia Nino
  • Years Active: 2019-20
  • Research Area: Food & Beverage

The Challenge

As more consumers explore plant-based alternatives, oat milk is in high demand. With a shortage across the industry, Two Bears Coffee needed a reliable source for their signature product - a line of flash-brewed, vegan Oat Milk Lattes (sold in cans). They came to FIRSt to develop their own proprietary blend of oat milk that can be produced in-house. But the big challenge in producing oat milk is the gelatinization temperatures of ats - the same quality that makes oats into a delicious porridge every morning also makes processing very difficult as the oats become thick.

The GBC Solution

The research team, led by food scientist Emily Lim, looked first to the industry, examining what's currently done with oat milk products and gathering best practices for oats and oat milk extraction. The research allowed the team to develop a testing protocol for oat milk that was within the realm of possibility for their current Two Bears manufacturer. FIRSt found a new ingredient technology (what use of enzymes) to properly process the oat milk by breaking down the starches, and tested sugar and flavour levels of the new in-house oat milk sot that the switch would be seamless.

The Result

Made with their own house-made oat milk from Canadian oats, the product will be sold in local cafes and retail shelves, as well as serving as an ingredient in Two Bears' signature cold brew latte line. Being able to produce their own oat milk in-house eliminates relying on an outside supplier, at the mercy of market shortages. Armed with this speed-to-market solution, this ethically made and sourced drink will be available at stores across Ontario, including Longo's, Whole Foods, and Metro.