So Coca-Cola finally revealed some of what they’ve been up to with their recent patent frenzy (as reported here in January): Coca-Cola’s next ‘real thing’: lattes – Sep. 1, 2006. Next Wednesday in Toronto, Coca-Cola plans to formally announce their foray into “premium” brewed tea and coffee.

The brand is called Far Coast (the corresponding Web site also appears poised for a launch), and they’re planning to roll it out first in Canada for hot drinks such as coffee, tea, and lattes. But instead of Coca-Cola’s usual retail play to consumers, its focus instead appears to be on a pod-based system for restaurants to brew individual cups.

Given Coca-Cola’s declining sales in the soft drink market, coffee, like bottled water, looks like another hopeful attempt at revenue diversification. Furthermore, it is undoubtedly a defensive strategy to stave off brand erosion, and their erosion of consumer top-of-mind, to the likes of Starbucks.

UPDATE: Sept. 9, 2006
According to the Toronto Star, Coca-Cola is launching Far Coast as “café in a box”: Coca-Cola brews up a coffee business. Because we all know how well wine in a box tastes.

UPDATE: Sept. 13, 2006
Today MSNBC reported on the importance of branding for Coca-Cola’s launch of Far Coast and CHAQWA: Coffee could be ‘huge new business’ for Coke – Top Stories – This is particularly true given Coca-Cola’s many acknowledged missteps in recent years.