A NEW Kiewa milk-inspired version of iced coffee, being produced by Riverina Fresh, should hit fridges soon.
The Wagga company has conducted tastings of its mix with Kiewa iced coffee connoisseurs as it attempts to replicate the taste of the Border flavoured milk.
“The general comment was pretty positive, it was ‘you’re pretty close with the slightly malty note’,” Riverina Fresh chief executive Rob Collier said.
“We reckon we’re 95 per cent of the way there, but we need to have another trial.
“We would like to get it in four to six weeks commercially on the shelves, a lot will depend on the next trial.”
A panel of 12 to 15 consumers have blind taste tested the iced coffee which will be sold in different packaging to the existing Riverina Fresh and possibly feature the words ‘Kiewa blend’.
Labourer Mark Britton, who sunk three Kiewa iced coffees a day, is among the tasters analysing the milk developed by a flavour house.
Mr Collier said the same firm that provided coffee beans for the Kiewa label had been supplying Riverina Fresh.
The experimenting comes as Goulburn Valley’s Kyvalley Dairy Group looks to revive the Kiewa Country brand which it has bought from Murray Goulburn.
Mr Collier noted it would three to four months at the earliest before Kiewa Country could re-emerge.
“Our view is that it’s business as usual, we’ve made a strong commitment to the Albury-Wodonga region and we’ve formed some very good relationships,” he said.
“We think we’ve had great feedback from customers, consumers and distributor partners and the feedback is they’re made their choice and they’re happy with us.”
Among those keen to see a revival of Kiewa-style iced coffee is Lavington’s Drew Smyth who participated in a Border Mail blind taste of flavours.
“Kiewa just had the perfect amount of coffee and milk, it wasn’t overpowering as a milk,” Ms Smyth said.
She joined friend Billie Styles and Border Mail journalist cum iced coffee enthusiast Chris Young in sampling three brands of iced coffee as well as trio of chocolate flavoured milks.