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Hidden Grounds: The Not-So-Hidden Coffee Destination in Brunswick

Two Entrepreneurs Started a Coffee Shop in a Neighborhood That Clearly Wanted One
Anand Patel

NEW BRUNSWICK, NJ—“Hidden Grounds Coffee Shop is always evolving,” the shop's co-owner Anand Patel told New Brunswick Today.

“We will always try our best to offer something new and exciting,” said the entrepreneur who has been successful in his first two years in business, and now wants to expand.

What started as a small basement storefront at 106 Easton Avenue is now expanding and evolving into a local favorite spot for meeting friends, hosting events, and enjoying a delicious cup of coffee.

Unlike a local convenience store, Hidden Grounds offers a social experience complete with reading material, free internet access, a comfortable and aesthetically pleasing atmosphere, and a full menu of drinks, sandwiches, and baked goods to satisfy any customer.

Among the menu items Hidden Grounds offers is their innovative and popular "cold brew" coffee.

The difference from cold brew coffee and iced coffee, Patel explained, is that cold brew coffee has never been heated but rather is brewed at room temperature and then chilled.

Iced coffee, on the other hand, is hot coffee poured over ice several times so as to cool it down. The advantage of cold brew coffee is that it preserves the flavor, never burning or altering it.

Hidden Grounds creates their signature cold brew coffee by grinding their coffee beans to a specific coarseness, adding water and chicory, and letting the mixture seep and infuse for about 15 hours.

The cold brew concentrate is then pressurized and put into a keg, not unlike the ones used for beer, and then dispensed through a tap.  The drink is so popular that Hidden Grounds currently sells 50 to 60 cups a day, according to Patel.

With this much success in their small storefront, Hidden Grounds has decided to expand their business and bring cold brew coffee to the people on a wider scale.

Collaborating with Love2Brew, a home-brewing service company based in North Brunswick, Hidden Grounds is working towards opening up a manufacturing site in the area to create and package around 200 gallons of cold brew coffee each day.

The factory will produce both kegs of cold brew coffee that hold five gallons of coffee each (enough coffee for approximately 60 people), as well as single-serve bottles.

The goal for the bottles is to sell them at the Easton Avenue location and at other retail locations such as grocery stores or local eateries.

Hidden Grounds hopes their kegs of coffee spread the love of cold brew to businesses and public spaces around the area, and to other cities.

A business, networking space, or other public area can purchase a keg of cold brew coffee from Hidden Grounds, and the keg will be replenished whenever needed to provide employees with constant cold brew.

To promote this great new product, Hidden Grounds is offering the first five companies that sign up for their cold brew on tap program free installation and a free month of coffee.

“Having coffee on tap could be an incentive for new employees,” Patel explained.  Instead of having people go out and get a cup of their favorite drink, Hidden Grounds can bring the cold brew coffee straight to them in the workplace.

The cold brew manufacturing location is on scheduled to start production in about four months, Patel told New Brunswick Today.

Hidden Grounds prides itself on being a third-wave coffee shop: a deeply community-oriented place where drinking coffee is a social experience.

Patel describes the goal of Hidden Grounds as providing a consistent quality of beautifully-designed products. For example, the design for the wooden/metal keg taps are steam-punk inspired and can be seen as both a functional tool and an art piece.

Anyone interested in bringing cold brew kegs to their workplace, home or any other other space can contact co-owner Anand Patel at thehiddengrounds@gmail.com or 832-275-0678.