Soldadera Coffee, a Grand Rapids-based cold-brew coffee company, is celebrating Cinco de Mayo with the launch of its strongly Mexican-inspired rebrand.
Mario Rodriguez, CEO and co-founder of Soldadera Coffee, said the rebrand pays homage to the types of vibrant colors seen in Mexican and Hispanic art.
“That’s part of the culture itself, and it’s the identity that we are fully connecting to finally,” Rodriguez said. “We were halfway connecting with the taste, but people say, ‘We eat with our eyes,’ and that’s the part that was missing for Soldadera.”
Additionally, the company is replacing its original 11-ounce bottles with 12-ounce resealable cans for convenience and sustainability.
The rebrand marks the fourth anniversary when the original Soldadera brand went to print. At the time, the beverage startup had no cans or bottles, just a large pot full of its flagship flavor, Café de Olla, it had brewed up for a promotional event.
“It was just the coffee in a pot, like back in 1910 during the Mexican Revolution,” Rodriguez said. “And you know what, we got a lot of attention, just for the smell. It was chilly and gloomy, we had a giant pot, and we just threw the recipe in there, and it was just bubbling, and the steam was going toward the crowd … and people would come over and get a bunch of coffee.”
Café de Olla is a blend of coffee, spices and sugar traditionally brewed in clay pots. During the Mexican Revolution, women played a critical role, not just on the battlefield but with basic duties such as cooking for those fighting the war, according to Soldadera. The Café de Olla the women prepared became a popular drink and staple among the soldiers.
In the years since Soldadera’s launch, the company has come out with more flavors, each with its own story. Soldadera Canelita (Spanish for cinnamon), was inspired by Las Posadas, or the Mexican winter festival celebrated during the 12 days leading up to Christmas.
“They do eating, drinking Mezcal and then drinking coffee, and the recipe for that is very — it’s not that strong. It’s a very subtle, cinnamon taste,” Rodriguez said.
Soldadera came out with its third flavor, Jamaica (hibiscus), in 2020. The floral flavor of this cold brew is meant to evoke the sensation of being in a Mexican market, Rodriguez said.
“When you got to a Mexican market, there’s a lot of different beverages and flavors from different types of fruits,” he said. “The most iconic one is the hibiscus, or as they call it agua de Jamaica … we found a recipe that everybody loves and is refreshing but also energizing.”
Soldadera Café de Olla, Canelita and Jamaica are available for purchase at select D&W Fresh Market and Family Fare locations, as well as at Bridge Street Market and several small local shops around West Michigan.
Soldadera cold brew coffee also is available for order online at its website.