Tag Archive for: specialty

by J.B. Blocker

On the Shoulders of Giants

Categories: 2014, JuneTags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , Author:

Todd Goldsworthy, ‘the cof­fee guru’ of Klatch Roasters, was get­ting des­per­ate. He was now on the national spot­light at the 2014 Seattle SCAA Convention and vying for the U.S. Brewers Cup. The win­ner would rep­re­sent the United States for the World Championships at Rimini, Italy in June. Heavy stakes against the best of the best.

The com­pe­ti­tion was under­way and things just were not right! His entry, a micro lot of Panama Esmeralda Geisha, was not exhibit­ing the fla­vor pro­file he had fallen in love with.

In L.A., I tasted dark berries with a very light cit­rus under­tone. But in Seattle, the berries were not com­ing through and the cit­rus was way too promi­nent,” recalls the SW Regional Champion.

It was the water, and he knew it! So Todd des­per­ately sought out some water fil­tra­tion experts and was finally directed back to the com­pe­ti­tion and David Beeman.

It only took a few min­utes of explain­ing my prob­lem before David told me he knew what to do! He came back with a gal­lon of water and I entered the pre­lims with my brew.”

It turns out that the water he was using was nearly free of min­eral con­tent at 35ppm.

The fla­vors Todd was seek­ing rang like bells with his new water sup­ply. For the finals David pre­pared five more gal­lons. Unfortunately, when it was near­ing time for the finals the water bot­tle was miss­ing. Desperately, he sought David out again who again came through.

Todd is prepar­ing for his trip to Italy now as the U.S. Brewers Cup Champion and had this to say, “I call David Beeman, ‘the Water God!’”

Coffee Water
When Starbucks wanted a water sys­tem that best enhanced their cof­fee, while also pro­tect­ing their equip­ment, they called on David Beeman. By the time a sys­tem had been devel­oped, the end result became known as Coffee Water.

I am not going to go on quot­ing the way out of the box adven­turer, thinker, and inven­tor since what I am going share is pretty much all Beemanized.

Water can do a num­ber on the equip­ment, from the pipes to the seals and mech­a­nisms. Too lit­tle min­eral con­tent, usu­ally caused mostly by reverse osmo­sis, causes metal to be leached out and absorbed by the water. That is not good! Too much min­eral con­tent not only clogs the arter­ies of water’s jour­ney to the spigot or gruppe, but it also seri­ously affects the final product.

Todd, our cham­pion, knew this, and David lived it!

It is a real chal­lenge fit for a deep thinker. First, you have to fil­ter and treat the water for its entry into the sys­tem. But over and above the fil­ter­ing and bal­anc­ing of min­eral con­tent to pro­tect the equip­ment is the final step, the water’s jour­ney through the cof­fee itself.

When Todd began telling me his prob­lem, I imme­di­ately knew what to do! I tested the water which had a very low ppm and added some cal­cium and sodium in finely mea­sured dos­ing and got lucky on the first try.” David states with a bit of an ‘ah shucks’ humility.

After a lot of dis­cus­sion and an extreme over­load of get­ting edu­cated by David, lucky is not the word I would use. David knows his water. The 100ppm he brought to the com­pe­ti­tion water was no lucky guess. Neither was the choice of chemistry.

In case you, like me have never put a cor­re­la­tion to the rela­tion of the min­er­als that most effect cof­fee brew­ing, here is David!

Calcium and sodium are very essen­tial to the effects water can have on cof­fee. Not enough cal­cium and the cof­fee does not bloom and release its flavonoids. Too much cal­cium and bit­ter­ness becomes promi­nent. But the right amount will bring out sweet­ness. Likewise, the proper sodium addi­tive works just like table salt for food either enhanc­ing or over­pow­er­ing the object of its affection.”

David goes on with words or phrases like water is not water, for­mu­lated water, ground water recharg­ing, hyper fil­tra­tion, blend­ing back, and hydro­logic cycles.

The Adventure Begins
David Beeman is the son of a lum­ber­jack from north­ern Washington and a California mom with fam­ily ties to the gold rush and all the way to back to William Bradford of the Mayflower.

I grad­u­ated early from high school and turned down a four year schol­ar­ship to UNLV for food ser­vice. I had a full page write up on me in High School for my tal­ents as a chef, mainly because I was the first guy to take a cook­ing class at my high school. I paid dearly for that as this was prior to polit­i­cal cor­rect­ness. I left home with a few dol­lars and a thumb to hitch­hike across America.

I spent two years trav­el­ing around the west­ern hemi­sphere, usu­ally hitch­hik­ing. I have lived with prim­i­tive Indians in cen­tral Mexico, The Huichols, for sev­eral months, and crewed on a sail­boat for a year on what was sup­posed to be a two-year world cruise that ended badly in Costa Rica. I have sto­ries that go on for hours about peo­ple, places, and things I’ve seen and done, but rais­ing a fam­ily and grand­chil­dren is the best of all.

I have encoun­tered real pirates on the high seas and escaped with my life on that and many other occa­sions. When I returned home from trav­el­ing, I went to UCSB and got a degree in Sociology, which I promptly scraped and spent time in a med­ical pro­gram going for an acupunc­ture license. During this time I became inter­ested in a new device called reverse osmo­sis water purifi­ca­tion, which I found fas­ci­nat­ing. However, the sys­tems were not man­age­able, so I cre­ated my own!

David_BeemanWhen I com­bined my love of water with food, I dis­cov­ered that every­thing I was being told in the water treat­ment indus­try about higher purity was con­trary to what I tasted in food prepa­ra­tion. That led me to work with Starbucks on devel­op­ing a fla­vor enhanc­ing water for­mu­la­tion for cof­fee, which led me to invent or develop “Coffee Water.”

Oh, when I started my first water com­pany it was in my grandparent’s garage and my startup cap­i­tal was $200.”

Now, the Water God is a hired gun for cor­po­rate chains. He fig­ures out the water sup­plies locally and then cre­ates a fil­tra­tion and min­er­al­iza­tion for­mula to com­ple­ment the equip­ment and food products.

I have a coun­try club that has asked me to cre­ate a cof­fee pro­gram for them. I have David’s num­ber and I’m not afraid to use it! Water in is not water out, and in most cases, it shouldn’t be.

I learned that from my new buddy Neptune!

Retailer/Roaster Profile

Categories: 2014, JuneTags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , Author:

Hello! Gaviña cof­fee com­pany is one of biggest and most suc­cess­ful roast­ery busi­nesses in exis­tence, and today, we are lucky to have an inter­view with one of Gaviña’s fam­ily mem­ber – Don Francisco’s daugh­ter Leonor Gaviña-Valls. Read it all here:

V. Gaviña has a rich cof­fee his­tory that every­body should know about. We would love to hear it from you! Also, how did your his­tory make you one of the best roast­ing com­pa­nies in the world?
G. Our story begins over 140 years ago with our grand­fa­ther and his brother, Jose Maria and Ramon Gaviña, who left the Basque region of Spain for the rich coffee-bearing soil of Cuba, where together they estab­lished Hacienda Buenos Aires, the fam­ily farm located in the cen­ter of the county’s coffee-growing com­mu­nity. Our father, Don Francisco, was born there. He worked the fields with his father, watch­ing and learn­ing the secrets to grow­ing qual­ity cof­fee and roast­ing it to per­fec­tion. These tra­di­tions live on at Gaviña through Don Francisco’s chil­dren, who own and man­age the com­pany today.

When the Communist Revolution came into power in Cuba, the Gaviña fam­ily fled leav­ing behind our farms, roast­ing busi­ness, and home. Settling in Los Angeles with his fam­ily, Don Francisco dreamed of return­ing to the cof­fee business.

I remem­ber how much he missed our cof­fee farm and roast­ing cof­fee. He loved cof­fee with all his heart. In a way, cof­fee was like a mem­ber of our fam­ily that we had lost, and he could not stop dream­ing of the day when he would wel­come that fam­ily mem­ber back. In 1967, we were blessed to watch that dream come to life. The doors opened to F. Gaviña & Sons, Inc. in late June; my broth­ers and I all worked with our mom and dad to get the busi­ness up and run­ning. He taught us that shar­ing a great cup of cof­fee with peo­ple is as impor­tant as any­thing else in this world. Coffee keeps peo­ple ener­gized and awake so that they can do what is impor­tant in life, from play­ing with their kids to fin­ish­ing a big project at work. We know our par­ents would be proud to see us keep­ing the dream alive today with our own chil­dren, the fourth gen­er­a­tion of the Gaviña fam­ily with a pas­sion for coffee.

V. Where does your com­pany stand now?
G. As I men­tioned, in 1967 the Gaviña fam­ily returned to the cof­fee busi­ness. F. Gaviña & Sons, Inc. opened its doors just south of down­town Los Angeles in Vernon, California start­ing out in a 1200 square foot space. Growing and rein­vest­ing in the busi­ness became the family’s focus.

The com­pany has expanded three times since its found­ing in Los Angeles, and today it oper­ates in a facil­ity that was designed and built by the Gaviña fam­ily. The facil­ity is an SQF Level 3 cer­ti­fied 234,000 square foot build­ing with state-of-the-art roast­ing and pack­ing oper­a­tions, and is located just a few blocks from our orig­i­nal building.

V. Please tell us about your cof­fee, where does it come from?
G. While most of our cof­fee is sourced from Latin America, we buy cof­fee from all over the world includ­ing Central and South America, East Africa, Southeast Asia Pacific, Jamaica, and Hawaii.

Coffee sus­tain­abil­ity is very impor­tant to our fam­ily, and it all starts with the farm­ers and their fam­i­lies. To directly sup­port our cof­fee grow­ing com­mu­ni­ties, we have spon­sored direct impact projects build­ing schools and remote learn­ing cen­ters for chil­dren in El Salvador, Nicaragua, and Mexico. These projects directly ben­e­fit the cof­fee grow­ing com­mu­ni­ties that Gaviña buys cof­fee from and helps to keep the next gen­er­a­tion of cof­fee farm­ers inter­ested in grow­ing and pro­cess­ing qual­ity cof­fee. Additionally, we sup­port International Women’s Coffee Alliance, Coffee Kids, and Grounds for Health, three orga­ni­za­tions ded­i­cated to improv­ing the qual­ity of life for fam­i­lies in cof­fee pro­duc­ing regions with improved health care, edu­ca­tion, and sus­tain­able can­cer screen­ing pro­grams. We also source Rainforest Alliance, Fair Trade, and USDA Organic cer­ti­fied coffees.

V. What are some of your strengths in terms of inno­va­tion and qual­ity com­pared to com­pa­ra­ble roaster com­pa­nies in busi­ness?
G. Gaviña is com­mit­ted to qual­ity, and it is even cer­ti­fied. Our roast­ing facil­ity is Safe Quality Food (SQF) cer­ti­fied. This means that we oper­ate under strict guide­lines set by the Global Food Safety ini­tia­tive, and we are third party cer­ti­fied to ensure that our com­pre­hen­sive food safety and qual­ity man­age­ment sys­tems com­ply with its stan­dards. We recently upgraded to Level 3 cer­ti­fi­ca­tion, which is the high­est stan­dard of food qual­ity, safety, and traceability.

We also sup­port the work of the Coffee Quality Institute (CQI), which is a non­profit orga­ni­za­tion work­ing inter­na­tion­ally to improve the qual­ity of cof­fee and the lives of the peo­ple who pro­duce it. With seven licensed Q-Graders on staff, we host train­ings to pre­pare future licensed Q-Graders in our Gaviña Training Center.

V. What is the best way for retail­ers to get in con­tact with you, and start order­ing?
G. Call us at 1–800-GAVINAS (1−800−428−4627) and/or on

V. What are some of your future plans in terms of expan­sion and new prod­uct offer­ings?
G. Sustainability is a key topic at Gaviña. Today, the com­pany redi­rects 84 per­cent of its waste through reduce, reuse, recy­cle pro­grams includ­ing burlap bag, cof­fee chaff, shrink wrap, card­board, and office-wide recycling.

We have plans to fur­ther reduce our car­bon foot­print by installing a Regenerative Thermal Oxidizer (RTO) unit, which will also reduce our energy usage. We recently upgraded to a solar reflec­tive roof, which saves energy, and we are cur­rently pur­su­ing LEED cer­ti­fi­ca­tion for our building.

Our goal is to be zero waste to land­fill. As such, we will con­duct another study this sum­mer of our waste stream to con­tinue to improve our waste man­age­ment pro­grams, eval­u­ate options to recy­cle our cof­fee pack­ag­ing film, fur­ther our paper waste by ana­lyz­ing options to store our impor­tant doc­u­ments dig­i­tally and share these doc­u­ments inter­nally, which will also increase our oper­a­tional efficiency.

V. Finally, is there some­thing you would like to add to be shared with our cof­fee com­mu­nity?
G. When it comes to cof­fee, 140 years of pas­sion and expe­ri­ence stand for some­thing. From the moun­tains of Cuba where our fam­ily started grow­ing cof­fee in 1870 to estab­lish­ing our­selves as a U.S. roaster in 1967 in Los Angeles, our fam­ily crafted cof­fee is selected and roasted with excel­lent qual­ity in mind. After four gen­er­a­tions, our com­pany is still family-owned and oper­ated with pride and love for cof­fee, our cus­tomers, our com­mu­nity, and our suppliers.

We love our cof­fee fam­ily and would enjoy a visit from any­one in the com­mu­nity. Our plant in Vernon, California has an open door pol­icy for tours and cup­ping ses­sions. Schedule a visit to check us out by email­ing Hope to see you soon!

Gaviña Gourmet Coffee Company

2700 Fruitland Ave.
Vernon, CA 90058
+1 (800) 428 – 4627
Leonor Gaviña-Valls

Maxim Vershinin has been a colum­nist for CoffeeTalk for the last few years high­light­ing var­i­ous roast­ers and retail­ers in the indus­try. He has lived in Peru for the last few years and is now fur­ther­ing his edu­ca­tion at Columbia University seek­ing a B.A. in economics.

The Last Mile

Categories: 2014, JuneTags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , Author:

I first wrote about bet­ter iced cof­fee a few years back for The Atlantic when the upgraded stuff was first mov­ing from an abstract idea onto the radar of dis­cern­ing, every­day cof­fee drinkers. The espresso rev­o­lu­tion of the past two decades had awak­ened Americans to bet­ter cof­fee of the hot kind as daily joy and expec­ta­tion, rather than a hit-or-miss propo­si­tion. Those better-developed palates were grow­ing weary of sub­stan­dard iced cof­fee. Where “pour over” meant not an open fil­ter cone and glass carafe, but rather, the unfor­give­able act of pour­ing hot cof­fee over ice cubes and push­ing it across a counter; or, pulling a bulk con­tainer out of a fridge with­out under­stand­ing the dynam­ics of cof­fee gone cold.

While reli­able growth data is hard to come by, anec­do­tal evi­dence of bet­ter cold coffee’s upward tra­jec­tory over the past few years abounds. Cold brew, the method of choice for new-breed American afi­ciona­dos and wildly pop­u­lar in Japan for years, has gone from behind the bar to retail­ers’ shelves with bot­tled cold brew from the likes of Stumptown and La Colombe avail­able out­side those high-end chains’ own shops. My own company’s illy issimo ready-to-drink cof­fee has become a world­wide hit with grow­ing place­ment in refrig­er­ated aisles.

With iced cof­fee sea­son hit­ting full stride, let us hit the reset but­ton on types and meth­ods start­ing with cold brew and a def­i­n­i­tion of terms. The name “cold brew” is often wrongly applied to another method called cold steep­ing. The two are closely related, each rely­ing on time rather than heat to per­form the magic of extrac­tion and cre­at­ing a bev­er­age with more caf­feine per ounce owing to long extrac­tion times. Both pro­duce some­thing less aro­matic than heat-based meth­ods, which coax cer­tain ele­ments from beans that cold meth­ods can­not. The trade­off, how­ever, can be won­der­ful: an almost sweet con­cen­trate, often choco­laty, clear tast­ing, and nei­ther acidic nor bitter.

Cold Brewing
Cold brew­ing is some­what akin to fil­ter cof­fee, and it requires spe­cial gear rang­ing from $45 to the hun­dreds of dol­lars and beyond. The other invest­ment: cof­fee, where you’ll need twice the typ­i­cal amount per ounce of water for typ­i­cal drip cof­fee. In a nut­shell, ice-cooled water drips from the upper part of a glass tower. A valve reg­u­lates its speed, which is ide­ally one drop per sec­ond, and a spiral-shaped pipe before run­ning over ground cof­fee housed in a clear cylin­der cov­ered by thin tis­sue or fil­ter paper. From there, a sec­ond fil­ter pre­vents the grinds from enter­ing the next sec­tion of pipe, from which fin­ished liq­uid drips and col­lects in the tower’s base.

Expect to invest 12–16 hours in cold brew­ing, mak­ing it best done overnight. You can shave a lit­tle time by using a very coarse grind, but it is at the risk of los­ing some nice aro­mas. Practice makes per­fect, so if you are just start­ing out, then give your staff time to get it right. With the July and August heat still to come, there is plenty of time to get ready and reap the rewards of the higher mar­gins that cold brew typ­i­cally commands.

Cold Steeping
Cold steep­ing, on the other hand, is extrac­tion by infu­sion. This method does not take much in the way of fancy equip­ment. Simply mix cold water and ground cof­fee, stir gen­tly, and let it steep in the fridge or at room tem­per­a­ture. For fridge prepa­ra­tion, steep for the same 12–16 hours as for cold brewing.

Room tem­per­a­ture steep­ing opens up the door to high vol­ume prepa­ra­tion when it is done in con­tain­ers up to five gal­lons, such as com­mer­cial size Toddy, oth­er­wise it may be unfit for well-stocked, non-walk-in fridges. This sub­set of steep­ing extracts fla­vors a lit­tle more rapidly, bring­ing prep time down closer to 12 hours, per­haps slightly less.

After cold water or room temp steep­ing is com­plete, sim­ply strain, and fil­ter. If it sounds akin to French press, indeed it is, and press pots are well suited to the task. Accordingly, use a coarser grind and do not stint on the beans. You will need about twice the amount than the basic one-gram of cof­fee per ounce of water rec­om­mended for hot French press prepa­ra­tion. The Toddy device that I men­tioned ear­lier works very well and it is a great value at roughly two dol­lars per jar.

What About the Beans?
You many have noticed that I have not made any dec­la­ra­tions about beans. And that is because, crazy as it may sound from a barista, for cold brew­ing and cold steep­ing bean qual­ity and type are not nearly as crit­i­cal as in hot cof­fee. Cold water does not extract com­pounds to nearly the same degree as water almost at a boil, so by def­i­n­i­tion, many fewer good aro­matic com­po­nents will be extracted. What this means is that you get to save your best beans for hot meth­ods. For sure use good qual­ity, not overly roasted Arabica, and enjoy the extra mar­gin you will earn.

Cold brew­ing and steep­ing may not be for you, per­haps due to the time involved, or maybe because you love high­light­ing the dif­fer­ences among bean ori­gins in every cup. In that case, I strongly rec­om­mend using an iced tea brewer for more tra­di­tional iced cof­fee, mak­ing sure to use a ded­i­cated bas­ket and carafe, mak­ing a con­cen­trate in bulk from hot cof­fee, and then chill­ing instantly by adding water and ice to lock in aro­mas and fla­vors. This method also requires a high coffee-to-water ratio. Start by dou­bling cof­fee and then adjust from there. Use a mod­er­ately coarse grind, some­where in between that for brewed and French press, keep it in the fridge until room temp, pour it over ice, add dairy, and other desired ingre­di­ents if needed.

For espresso-based cold bev­er­ages, the key is instantly pour­ing your shot over a cer­tain amount of ice cubes, cal­i­brated to the tra­di­tional Italian prepa­ra­tions meth­ods, the “shak­er­ato” (north­ern Italy) and the “espressino” (south­ern Italy), to lock in aroma and fla­vor like with non-espresso brewed iced coffee.

For the shak­er­ato, fill a cock­tail shaker with ice cubes (bet­ter from the freezer rather than from the ice-machine), add sugar to taste, and then the shots. Shake it vig­or­ously and serve, being sure to strain the ice. For the espressino, sim­ply pull your shot over three or four very solid ice cubes (again, from freezer and not machine). Sweeten it with sim­ple syrup or a liq­uid sugar sub­sti­tute for full dis­solv­ing and have extra fun by adding a vari­ety of liquors for sim­ple cof­fee cocktails.

My best wishes for a fla­vor­ful — and prof­itable — summer!

Giorgio Milos is illy’s award-winning Master Barista and illy’s North American Barista in Residence who reg­u­larly ven­tures beyond the cup to study the biol­ogy and chem­istry of the cof­fee bean, con­tin­u­ally striv­ing to mas­ter the bev­er­age that is his pas­sion and profession.

The Voice

Categories: 2014, JuneTags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , Author:

cowboy coffeeI do not think of sell­ing my cof­fee by the pound. I sell it by the cup. I say, “Will you pay a dime more a cup to have me choose and roast your cof­fee?” My take on pre­sent­ing cof­fee is “Coffee, choose it like wine!” And I am ready to explain on the drop of a dime.

The pub­lic is anx­ious to be romanced by the pas­sion­ate world that revolves around coffee.

I am not alone! I want to meet more. I want to hear them on a morn­ing show!

How many star chefs can you name? How many can you see danc­ing across your mem­ory from Julia and Jacques to Wolfgang and Emeril to Rachael and Bobby? Dozens? Hundreds? They come and they go.

Now, name a cof­fee celebrity. Juan does not count. Neither does Mrs. Olsen nor Mr. Coffee, the late great Joe DiMaggio. There is not one celebrity cof­fee per­son out­side of our lit­tle world. What national net­work has had a ‘start your week with a great cup of Joe’ cof­fee expert?

It would take two years just to intro­duce a dif­fer­ent coun­try, method, and com­pli­ments once a week. We also do know that there are many choices from each coun­try. They could not even touch the devices, hot new drinks, cold new drinks, and blends and mechan­i­cal things.

There is a bunch of cool things out there that make the cof­fee expe­ri­ence bet­ter that we can talk about more publically.

For the last 20 years, I have expected some respected cof­fee gurus to become celebrity voices for our indus­try. In my hum­ble opin­ion, as soon as just one of the big morn­ing shows picks up on a roaster/teacher/specialty bev­er­age spe­cial­ist for an alter­nat­ing guest and even­tu­ally for reg­u­lar appear­ances, the other net­works will scram­ble to find their own.

Who will those voices for cof­fee be? Who will the coun­try learn to trust?

I have a favorite say­ing, “The more you teach, the more you become the teacher!” We need some on-air teachers.

My Master Plan
What we must do is pro­mote each other and our­selves and learn how to pro­mote you. We must find the ways to rec­og­nize and dis­play the humor, the devo­tion, and espe­cially the pas­sion and knowl­edge of our bev­er­age spe­cial­ist. And finally, we need to then take it to the air.

We have to find cre­ative ways to pub­licly teach. Contact every chef in your com­mu­nity and see if they would like to fea­ture their pas­try skills with a cof­fee tast­ing adven­ture. Call your local radio call-in shows and tell them you are a roaster. There are so many cre­ative peo­ple out there with excit­ing ways to be seen, and remembered!

Remember this: If you ask some­one if they like cof­fee, then they might say no! But, if you ask some­one if they know some­one who loves cof­fee, then you just opened a door.

We have to include all the sup­port com­pa­nies that fill the shelves at the pop­u­lar cof­fee shops and web­sites. They need to be rec­og­nized for their con­tri­bu­tion to this increas­ingly fast paced soci­ety that takes cof­fee breaks like an expected human function.

Many in our cir­cle have seen the grow­ing changes and needs, and they now make equip­ment and sup­plies, dry goods, and pantry items to accom­mo­date. They have cre­atively added to the depth of the café experience.

We must get out there as edu­cat­ing per­son­al­i­ties on the wings of social media, print media, and on to the radio and tele­vi­sion air­ways. We must find our own voice and the voices that can speak up for our indus­try and our ways!

jb smiling bbonnetsMy part­ner and I are step­ping out with a new mar­ket­ing plan. We are boldly putting our images on our labels and while I teach, write, and roast, Cami Dean will be on the radio inter­view­ing our col­leagues, chefs, restau­ra­teurs, and retail­ers, as well as pro­duc­ing videos to fea­ture our cus­tomers. She is a recent U.S. Congressional can­di­date with a ton of cred­i­bil­ity. We will make our col­leagues look bet­ter. We are going to be a one-two punch in Dallas/Ft. Worth and hope­fully beyond. I expect oth­ers to do the same here and in their own networks.

The more, the merrier!

With the faith and sup­port of a long friend who gets it and gets me, Kerri Goodman, the pub­lisher of CoffeeTalk, is giv­ing me the oppor­tu­nity to write about the human­ity and ded­i­ca­tion of our indus­try lead­ers. You need to help us iden­tify the human jew­els of spe­cialty bev­er­age. You need to step out into the light your­selves and either be con­fi­dent and proud or become that way.

Media School
Who is with me here? I pro­pose a ‘Coffee Celebrity’ Media Retreat. I want it to encour­age and for us to be inspired by each other. Who would spon­sor that?

I per­son­ally can­not wait for a week­end when cof­fee per­son­al­i­ties from all over the coun­try gather and share. There are oth­ers out there who can also help with this project.

There is a point to this too! I have proven that you do not have to be good look­ing or even a genius in order to advo­cate for some­thing you know and love. Courage induced by pas­sion, cre­ativ­ity, love, and the need to share what you know are all you need.

Let us do that! Let us find our voices and become the pas­sion­ate choir for the sec­ond most traded com­mod­ity in the world, the most con­sumed bev­er­age. Let us start talk­ing cof­fee to the consumer.

Let us go to our own school and learn how to get pub­lished, get radio time, cre­ate an iden­tity and aura, and be ready when a few bold peo­ple start show­ing up as TV morn­ing show reg­u­lars. The day is com­ing and is close at hand.

I know that I am preach­ing to the choir. But who is actu­ally listening?

J.B. Blocker is a food and bev­er­age spe­cial­ist with a long line of cor­po­rate clien­tele. AKA the Caffeine Cowboy, he has been in the cof­fee indus­try since ’92. He also main­tains two blog sites. He is the voice for the Sheriffs of Texas at and lonestarreporter.

Roasters Rock

Categories: 2014, JuneTags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , Author:

Occa­sion­ally, the line between a pro­duc­ing coun­try and a con­sum­ing coun­try blurs. Taiwan is start­ing to blur that line. I had the oppor­tu­nity a few years back to cup sev­eral Taiwanese cof­fees. At the time I was not impressed and sort of wrote them off as a pro­ducer of spe­cialty cof­fee. I prob­a­bly should not have done that!

Taiwan is embrac­ing spe­cialty cof­fee with a pas­sion both as a pro­ducer of cof­fee and as a con­sumer. There are already five SCAA cer­ti­fied labs with more in the pipeline. Q–Grader classes are hap­pen­ing on a reg­u­lar basis, as are barista train­ings and roaster workshops.

Small shops with one kilo roast­ers are pop­ping up, and the pro­fi­ciency I wit­nessed rivaled any of the 3rd wave shops in the U.S. both in roast qual­ity and hand pour prepa­ra­tion. It was amaz­ing to me to see all of these shops stock­ing as many as 20 sin­gle ori­gin cof­fees that would all score in the high 80’s and low 90’s.

Perhaps my sur­prise is mis­placed. As has been com­mon in the indus­trial age, Taiwan has taken the best prac­tices of the Western world and made them more effi­cient and less expen­sive. Since the aver­age wage is far less in Taiwan than the U.S. they have to do that, and we in the West might find some new best prac­tices to look at ourselves.

Coffee Houses
RRThere are really only two lev­els of cof­fee that I found in Taiwan. First is the ever-so-nauseating 3-in-1’s poured in most restau­rants. If you are not famil­iar with this treat, it is freeze dried cof­fee mixed with some sort of pow­dered creamer and sugar crammed into one packet, hence 3-in-1. Tear it open, add hot water, and voila you have some crappy, sweet, light-brown water. The other level of cof­fee would be con­sid­ered our Third Wave—slow bar, expert crafts­man­ship, and pro­fes­sional pre­sen­ta­tions cel­e­brat­ing the coffee.

In Taipei, the largest city of Taiwan, I was able to get to four of these Third Wave shops. When you go into one, you are usu­ally told which of their peo­ple won what­ever award for either their roast­ing skills or barista prowess. They are proud of these peo­ple, as they should be, and are excited to tell their cus­tomers about it. In Kaohsiung I vis­ited two more with the same result.

Coffee Production
RR2-2After giv­ing some lec­tures at ‘National Kaohsiung University of Hospitality and Tourism’ (NKUHT), the staff treated me to a trip to of one of the old­est grow­ing regions in Taiwan. It is called Taiwu in the Daiwu Mountains. It is an Aboriginal tribe that har­vests the cof­fee in this area as they have for over 100 years.

RR2-3In 2009, a flood wiped out all but a few houses in the moun­tains. The gov­ern­ment sup­ported the build­ing of hous­ing and a vil­lage cen­ter in the foothills of the moun­tain. It is now the vil­lage mill, as well as the vis­i­tor cen­ter where all of the small­hold­ers bring their cof­fee to be processed. A local man who stud­ied abroad, named Jack Hua, brought some best prac­tices home with him and the tribe is now pro­duc­ing some beau­ti­ful spe­cialty coffee.

They use plas­tic tubs to fer­ment about 40 kilos of cof­fee each and dry­ing trays sim­i­lar to African beds to dry the green. They also use the honey process to try to get dif­fer­ent cup­ping notes. I found one of the vis­i­tor center’s staff sit­ting at a table hand sort­ing the green cof­fee. This was off-harvest so there was not much green, but I was pleas­antly sur­prised to see the atten­tion to detail. They also roast their own cof­fee onsite and pre­pare bev­er­ages in their well-appointed cof­fee shop in the vis­i­tor cen­ter. Each step is done with best prac­tices in mind.

RR2-1We went up the moun­tain to the grow­ing areas and found exper­i­ments with inter­crop­ping and dif­fer­ent shade trees. Without a doubt, this group­ing of Aboriginal tribes will be pro­duc­ing the best cof­fee pos­si­ble from this area. They are still await­ing soil analy­sis to help deter­mine bet­ter vari­etals to plant. Most of these improve­ments have come since the flood and since money flowed into the area. It will be amaz­ing to see just how good the cof­fee can become!

The biggest sur­prise of all hap­pened while up on the moun­tain. I had a ‘farm-first’ at a creaky cof­fee shack on the side of a hill, a lovely 70-year-old woman, Sirapa, showed me the beans that her hus­band had just roasted, and they were gor­geous! She then pro­ceeded to make me a per­fect siphon pot of the cof­fee and pre­sented it in a way that would impress your World Champion Baristas. If you have ever been ‘down on the farm,’ then you know that this NEVER happens!

Quality has def­i­nitely found its way to Taiwan and it will be an ori­gin to watch!

Rocky Rhodes is an 18 year cof­fee vet­eran, roaster, and Q-Grader Instructor, and his mis­sion now is to trans­form the cof­fee sup­ply chain and make sweep­ing dif­fer­ences in the lives of those that pro­duce the green cof­fee. Rocky can be reached at

Coffee Chemistry

Categories: 2014, JuneTags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , Author:

Welcome back to this third and final issue of organic acids. In last month’s issue we briefly dis­cussed the role of quinic, caf­feic, and cit­ric acid and its role in coffee’s fla­vor. This time we will explore acetic and malic acid and see how these seem­ingly sim­ple acids play a major role in coffee’s com­plex fla­vor profile.

Malic acid, which is com­monly found in a wide vari­ety of fruits from kiwis to grape­fruit, is an impor­tant com­po­nent for the devel­op­ment of ‘fruity’ notes in sev­eral foods. Known as ‘apple acid’ due to its high con­cen­tra­tion in apples, malic acid is a rel­a­tively sim­ple com­pound com­posed of only four car­bons, and it plays an impor­tant role in bio­chem­i­cal reac­tions. It, as well as cit­ric acid, are per­haps most asso­ci­ated with the cit­ric acid cycle that gov­ern a plant’s meta­bolic sys­tem. Although its exact for­ma­tion within the plant is unknown, we do know that changes in the envi­ron­ment will have a tremen­dous effect on plant chem­istry. Experiments con­ducted in the past have shown that even within the same vari­ety, cof­fee planted in dif­fer­ent regions will pro­duce very dif­fer­ent fla­vor pro­files based on envi­ron­men­tal con­di­tions. This, along with the plant’s genetic makeup, is what pri­mar­ily dri­ves the sig­na­ture chem­i­cal and fla­vor pro­file locked within each bean.

For expe­ri­enced cup­pers, the taste of malic acid is sim­i­lar to that of cit­ric acid, in that they both have a pro­nounced sour­ness with malic being a bit more bal­anced. Because of this, malic acid is com­monly used in the bev­er­age indus­try as an effec­tive acidu­lant used to improve and/or bring out fruity notes in numer­ous bev­er­ages. In cof­fee, for exam­ple, those cof­fees exhibit­ing ‘fruitier’ char­ac­ters will typ­i­cally have larger con­cen­tra­tions of malic than their less fruity coun­ter­parts. Although there are dozens of rea­sons why one cof­fee may taste ‘fruitier’ than the other, this cor­re­la­tion tends to hold true in most cases.

In the green bean form, less than one per­cent of coffee’s com­po­si­tion is made up of malic acid with higher amounts of cit­ric. Upon roast­ing, malic acid read­ily decom­poses such that about a third is lost in a typ­i­cal medium roast and even more in roasts taken past sec­ond crack. What is ulti­mately extracted into the cup will play a role in con­tribut­ing to coffee’s sol­u­ble fla­vor attributes.

Acetic acid, or more com­monly known as the active ingre­di­ent in vine­gar, is cre­ated dur­ing the roast­ing process. When the beans are being roasted, car­bo­hy­drates com­posed of six to ten car­bons in length are bro­ken into smaller frag­ments to cre­ate a num­ber of dif­fer­ent aro­matic com­pounds, includ­ing acetic acid. Depending on roast­ing con­di­tions, acetic acid lev­els can increase up to twenty times and makeup a sig­nif­i­cant por­tion of coffee’s acid­ity. Because acetic acid orig­i­nates from the break­down of car­bo­hy­drates, Arabica cof­fee will typ­i­cally have larger con­cen­tra­tions due to its higher level of sugar than robusta.

But unlike the other acids we have dis­cussed so far, acetic acid is a rel­a­tively weak acid and does not have nearly the strength of cit­ric, or even malic acid for that mat­ter. However, do not be fooled to dis­re­gard its impor­tance. For although its con­tri­bu­tion of pro­tons (hydro­gen) in the cup may not be sig­nif­i­cant, it is what it does not do that makes it impor­tant. According to research, it has been known for almost a cen­tury that per­ceived acid­ity, or what we taste in the cup, is not only a func­tion of free pro­tons in solu­tion, but numer­ous other vari­ables as well. Volatilization or a compound’s abil­ity to evap­o­rate plays an impor­tant role any bev­er­age with cof­fee being no dif­fer­ent. Fortunately for acetic acid volatiliza­tion comes easy such that it can be read­ily detected at even parts per mil­lion (ppm) con­cen­tra­tions by our noses – yet another exam­ple of how big things can come in small packages.

Joseph A. Rivera holds a degree in Food Chemistry and is SCAA’s res­i­dent cof­fee sci­en­tist. He’s man­ages,, a site ded­i­cated to the sci­ence of cof­fee. He can be reached at

Marketing Miracles

Categories: 2014, JuneTags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , Author:

Few peo­ple think about it or are aware of it. But there is noth­ing made by human beings that does not involve a design deci­sion some­where. ”
–Bill Moggridge

Oné can­not help but notice, or per­haps we do not, that over the past few years there have been a resur­gence in, and appre­ci­a­tion for, design in cof­fee. A scan of retail loca­tions, cof­fee­houses, online sell­ers, web­sites, offices, break-rooms, restau­rants, indi­vid­ual homes, and allied prod­ucts reveals that we are becom­ing more appre­cia­tive of the aes­thet­ics in the cof­fee category.

But in terms of con­sid­er­ing design in mar­ket­ing, among many mar­keters them­selves and espe­cially in the cof­fee space, there should be more atten­tion placed on this vital area that serves to bridge from what some­thing sim­ply is to what it does, and from who is design­ing it to who is using it and for what end need it ful­fills. When mar­ket­ing mir­a­cles hap­pen, design is present.

I have grown to appre­ci­ate and admire design­ers not just because of their skill, but because they have taught me that all of us at some level appre­ci­ate design because it impacts our deci­sions and because all of us can design. True, my design skills may not be that of the great artists, but the sim­ple, quiet act of putting pen­cil to paper to draw out from hand what is imag­ined in the heart and mind unleashes the child-state cre­ativ­ity we all once had – and still have.

There was a day in time when these design­ers def­i­nitely got it wrong and it was a mir­a­cle that these prod­ucts made it to the mar­ket­place. Remember New Coke, the Edsel, and even Clairol Yogurt Shampoo? Or in 2009 when Pepsi Co. intro­duced a new design for Tropicana Pure Premium and had to with­draw it from the shelves because con­sumers missed the orange with the pro­trud­ing straw and up-market pack­age design.

These fum­bles can, for the most part, be attrib­uted to not think­ing of the end user and the needs that they are try­ing to ful­fill. It sounds sim­ple, but design has its great­est glory when it unob­tru­sively serves the con­sumer to achieve what is most impor­tant to them, deliv­ers that unex­pected sur­prise, and reveals its beauty in admiration.

Design is an impor­tant fac­tor in life because it eas­ily moves the con­sumer to tran­si­tion from the func­tional aspect of what some­thing is – a prod­uct, a ser­vice, an offer­ing, an expe­ri­ence, etc. – to the emo­tional aspect of what some­thing does to help us reach our per­sonal val­ues. Powerful designs can be found around us, even in nature, and are tak­ing on a greater presence.

Design is about sev­eral traits that when done right pos­i­tively answer what it unleashes:
• Creativity: Does it inspire?
• Appeal: Is it beau­ti­ful?
• Association: What does it relate to?
• Projection: Am I bet­ter because of it?
• Personification: Is it per­son­ally rel­e­vant?
• Adoption: How does it cre­ate demand?
• Action: Does it help me make a choice?
• Efficacy: It bet­ter work!

Think about what you see in your area that unleashes and answers these ques­tions.
It is uplift­ing that all around the cof­fee cat­e­gory we can see such strong design, and it is truly pulling the con­sumer into a new expe­ri­ence with the product.

One could argue that in our mod­ern age this began with Chemex. Born before by time, Chemex was invented in 1941 by Peter Schlumbohm and in 1958 the Illinois Institute of Technology praised it for both func­tion and form design. While it may resem­ble the old chem lab glass beakers, there is some­thing about the design that draws the user back to the basic essence of the prod­uct and the process by which it is made.

But look around and you will see fan­tas­tic design in the cof­fee sec­tor: cof­feemak­ers and brew­ers, cof­fee­houses and expe­ri­en­tial inte­rior designs, emerg­ing micro-markets, new pack­ag­ing inno­va­tions, brand iden­tity and expres­sions, loca­tions of where and how cof­fee is placed, and even the man­ner in which cof­fee is served with one of a kind designs.

Bill Moggridge was right that few of us real­ize the role and impor­tance of design. But no mat­ter your role or rela­tion­ship with cof­fee, put that pen­cil to paper and let your child-like cre­ativ­ity take you to how design can enhance your involve­ment with that mag­i­cal beverage.

Mike Dabadie is the founder of Heart+Mind Strategies, LLC, a research con­sul­tancy that con­tin­ues to pio­neer the use of personal-values insights and mar­ket­ing. He can be reached at

Start-up Strategies

Categories: 2014, JuneTags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , Author:

The next time you visit a quick-service restau­rant, observe how much their work­ers accom­plish in a short time­frame. Experienced fast-food oper­a­tors know that the quicker the line, the more peo­ple they serve, and the more money they make. As a result, the lay­out of a fast-food oper­a­tion is a mar­vel of effi­ciency, mak­ing for hap­pier cus­tomers, employ­ees, and owners.

By con­trast, it never ceases to amaze me how few inde­pen­dent cof­fee houses are laid out to sup­port effi­cient drink prepa­ra­tion and cus­tomer ser­vice. Too often, instead of con­sult­ing an expert, the new cof­fee house owner has lis­tened to a plumber, archi­tect, or some other per­son who has “expe­ri­ence” in the cof­fee busi­ness. Or, they have tried to wing it by cre­at­ing their own design. The result can be a mess… cus­tomers wait­ing impa­tiently, while baris­tas and cashiers trip over one another.

Keep in mind that cus­tomers expect speedy ser­vice. They are not going to wait in a long line, unless for hand-poured cof­fee, no mat­ter how good your drinks taste. Designing the lay­out of your cof­fee bar to serve cus­tomers quickly is vital to increas­ing sales.

By speed­ing drink prepa­ra­tion and cus­tomer ser­vice, the ideal cof­fee bar lay­out can boost the espresso-to-drip-coffee ratio by 20 per­cent or more. For a café serv­ing 200 cus­tomers per day, this could mean an extra $20,000 in prof­its each year.

Poor lay­out also affects employee pro­duc­tiv­ity and bottom-line prof­itabil­ity. In fact, I’ve seen cof­fee shops save close to $50,000 a year in labor costs (approx­i­mately two work­ers) just by cre­at­ing a more effi­cient layout.

The Ideal Coffee Bar Layout

Your cof­fee bar should enhance the chore­og­ra­phy of the busi­ness. The space should accom­mo­date the equip­ment needed to pro­duce a great-tasting drink in a mat­ter of sec­onds. This is vital to serv­ing cus­tomers quickly, while min­i­miz­ing barista and cashier move­ment. Here are sev­eral fac­tors to con­sider in design­ing a cof­fee bar layout:

1. Because peo­ple fol­low their eyes, the first thing cus­tomers should see is the espresso machine used to pro­duce the most prof­itable drinks. Lead cus­tomers to the espresso machine, and then locate the menu nearby.

2. The cash reg­is­ter should be two steps away from the espresso machine, and there should be counter space between the reg­is­ter and the espresso machine to allow for exchang­ing money and serv­ing the beverage.

3. Equipment and ingre­di­ents for the hot bar should be near the espresso machine within the barista’s reach. An ideal lay­out accom­mo­dates:
•    A com­mer­cial, under-the-counter refrig­er­a­tor placed imme­di­ately under the espresso machine.
•    Two espresso grinders – one for reg­u­lar and the other for decaf­feinated blends – placed on the oppo­site side from the Point of Sale sys­tem (because of the noise fac­tor).
•    Syrups and choco­lates placed next to the espresso grinders, space per­mit­ting. Again, every­thing should be within the barista’s reach.

4. The back counter should house a cold bar for mak­ing iced and frozen drinks. Here, you will need an under-counter refrig­er­a­tor, ice machine, blenders, choco­late and white choco­late sauces, drink pow­ders, and dump sink – all placed within four steps of each other.

5. If you plan to serve hand-pour cof­fees, you need to have a “slower area” for these drinks. Customers will wait for these drinks.

6. The drip cof­fee grinder, brewer, and air pots should be as far away from the cus­tomers’ view as pos­si­ble so you can focus on sell­ing espresso-based drinks. For the same rea­son, you do not want to place air pots in a self-serve situation.

7. Pastries and assorted good­ies should be placed next to the cashier. This is the ideal loca­tion for a pas­try dis­play case, if desired.

8. Place the condi­ment area away from the main counter area to pre­vent bottlenecks.

Setting up the Back Room
Your back room acts as a stag­ing and stor­age area. At min­i­mum, it should contain:

1. A three-compartment sink for wash­ing uten­sils, as well as a hand sink and a mop sink, which are usu­ally required.

2. Metro shelv­ing to store extra nap­kins, cups and lids, choco­lates, and syrups.

3. An NSF-approved, two-door com­mer­cial refrig­er­a­tor to house extra milk.

For most inde­pen­dent cof­fee shops, an effi­cient equip­ment lay­out means the dif­fer­ence between a prof­itable busi­ness and going out of busi­ness. The good news is that a great lay­out costs no more, and often less, than a poor one.

Greg Ubert, founder and pres­i­dent of Crimson Cup Coffee & Tea, has been roast­ing cof­fee in small batches since 1991 and has taught hun­dreds of busi­ness own­ers how to run suc­cess­ful inde­pen­dent cof­fee houses. Greg can be reached at

Packaging Makes Perfect

Categories: 2014, MayTags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , Author:

It is inevitable that pack­ag­ing is an impor­tant part of the cof­fee indus­try. How would you expect to get your beloved beans from the farm­ers and roast­ers or even con­sume the bev­er­age at a café with­out it? The var­i­ous farm­ers around the globe tend to their cof­fee trees day in and day out for the bet­ter part of the year and roast­ers strate­gi­cally pick their beans to sat­isfy their con­sumers’ taste buds. Packaging is an essen­tial fac­tor in mak­ing sure that con­sumers every­where receive their beans in their utmost fresh­est manner!

With the cof­fee indus­try con­stantly evolv­ing, pack­ag­ing evolves in a par­al­lel fash­ion. We have reached out to the pack­ag­ing spe­cial­ists to see what is new in the pack­ag­ing world to aid retail­ers, roast­ers, and allied ven­dors, and to make sure that they are get­ting the most out of their pack­ag­ing choices!

Brand Your Product With Labeling
Labels are one of the best ways to brand your prod­ucts and make a name for your­self. These are the tools you want to uti­lize to make your prod­uct stand out from the ones sit­ting next to it on the shelf. It is a good pos­si­bil­ity that other com­pa­nies are using the same or sim­i­lar pack­ages. Whether they are foil pack­ages, plas­tic pouches, or paper cups, the one thing that is going to make a con­sumer pick up YOUR pack­age, is the cool and unique label on yours!

Amber Jechort, Product Manager for Primera Technology, Inc. fills us in on a new trend for roast­ers. “Many roast­ers are now print­ing their own labels. Roasters may have sea­sonal fla­vors, need to cus­tomize the look and feel of the pack­age for cer­tain spe­cial occa­sions, or maybe just want to change the design they cur­rently use.”

When roast­ers have the flex­i­bil­ity to only print the amount of labels that they need and print labels that are unique and spe­cial to their brand, it not only saves them money, but it also allows them to have free range to cus­tomize dif­fer­ent labels. This means that they can print labels for spe­cial edi­tion roasts, spe­cial events, and even for mar­ket­ing campaigns.

Primera Technology is is one of the world’s lead­ing devel­oper and man­u­fac­turer of spe­cialty print­ing equip­ment. Primera’s newest prod­uct is the AP550 Label Applicator, which is a semi-automatic appli­ca­tor for a wide range of flat sur­faces. This appli­ca­tor also increases pro­duc­tiv­ity by apply­ing up to 500 labels per hour! For the larger com­pa­nies, Primera also offers appli­ca­tors that can apply up to 1200 labels per hour.

Jechort says, “The AP550 pre­cisely applies prod­uct and iden­ti­fi­ca­tion labels onto sur­faces such as tapered bot­tles, boxes, pack­ages, bags, pouches, lids, tins and much more. Labels are applied straight with­out wrin­kles and folds, giv­ing prod­ucts a highly pro­fes­sional look.”

For com­pa­nies that are look­ing for a more min­i­mal­ist look, there is a way for you to cus­tomize your pack­ages, too! PBFY Flexible Packaging offers a foil stamp appli­ca­tion service.

Joy Weedon, Director of Sales & Marketing for PBFY explains the process, “It’s a method of heat trans­fer­ring foil ink onto the bag to cre­ate a unique look that will stand out on the shelf.” She con­tin­ues, “Think of it as a high-quality rub­ber stamp or per­haps mono­gram­ming. It almost cre­ates an embossed effect that can han­dle sim­ple shapes and font styles.”

Most com­pa­nies will incor­po­rate this foil stamp print­ing process with their own sticker label to cre­ate a semi-custom printed bag. However, it is ideal for sin­gle color print­ing. The set up is quick and rel­a­tively inex­pen­sive when you com­pare it to mass print­ing pro­duc­tions. The min­i­mum order is only one case, so this process if very cost effec­tive and gives you the wig­gle room you’d like when try­ing out new products.

Weedon says, “This is also a great way to test out mar­kets and play around with design with­out get­ting tied into a huge invest­ment of a mass printed bag.”

LMI Packaging has emerged as a highly expe­ri­enced man­u­fac­turer of bre­w­able bev­er­age lid­ding, which is key as the mar­ket for sin­gle serve is grow­ing. With in-house tech­ni­cal engi­neer­ing, mate­r­ial exper­tise, and graphic ser­vices, LMI Packaging will not only deliver a lid for your single-serve pack­ages that will meet per­for­mance, but they will also be able to brand your prod­uct with their graphic capabilities.

Whether you are pack­ag­ing hot or cold bre­w­able bev­er­ages, LMI Packaging is ded­i­cated to improv­ing your oper­a­tions and help­ing you to achieve all of your growth objec­tives. Their cre­ative team will work with you to design your company’s pack­age. You will be apart of the process from the beginning!

According to JP Moran, General Manager at LMI Packaging Solutions, “The sin­gle serve mar­ket is aggres­sively grow­ing every day. To serve this mar­ket LMI Packaging not only looks to pro­vide our cus­tomers with qual­ity and reli­able lid­ding, we also look to part­ner with them to under­stand and learn their busi­ness to pro­vide inno­v­a­tive solu­tions that can help them grow now and into the future.”

As men­tioned ear­lier, the actual pack­age is an extremely impor­tant tool in the cof­fee world. It serves as an enve­lope to our beloved bev­er­age and keeps it fresh for longer last­ing good qual­ity cof­fee. However, some­times choos­ing a pack­age that best suits your needs can be tricky. There are so many dif­fer­ent choices when it comes to pick­ing that pack­age for the shelf. There are pouches, both stand up and flat with zip clo­sures or fold­ing clo­sures, cups for both hot cof­fee and café snacks, and even bags of var­i­ous sizes and shapes.

In this day and age, effec­tive brand­ing can go a long way in estab­lish­ing a busi­ness in cus­tomers’ minds and save a myr­iad of adver­tis­ing dol­lars. No com­pany or prod­uct will rise and fall on a name alone, brand­ing and pack­ag­ing in a com­pet­i­tive mar­ket can mean every­thing,” says Christian Aguinaldo, Visstun Marketing Manager.

Visstun offers reusable, top-shelf dish­washer safe clear and white plas­tic cups and con­tain­ers. These reusable clear plas­tic con­tain­ers are durable con­tain­ers that are com­pletely cus­tomiz­able with high def­i­n­i­tion full-color print­ing. These cups are great for any-time pack­ag­ing needs, as well as pro­mo­tional kits, which is extremely use­ful dur­ing the trade-show season!

Visstun also offers paper cups for snacks and dis­pos­able cof­fee cups, com­pletely cus­tomiz­able for all of your needs. These prod­ucts come in six­teen dif­fer­ent sizes for dif­fer­ent prod­ucts, big and small.

Aguinaldo says, “At Visstun, we believe that a cup or con­tainer, whether it is reusable plas­tic or dis­pos­able paper, is an excel­lent way to pro­mote your brand. Visstun’s unique approach to print­ing and man­u­fac­tur­ing enables pack­ag­ing of all sizes to cre­ate that big brand look that dri­ves busi­ness and gen­er­ates repeat customers.”

North Atlantic Specialty Bags offers a wide vari­ety of dif­fer­ent pack­ages for all of your pack­ag­ing needs. They strive to help you stay on the cut­ting edge by always look­ing for new items and excit­ing items. While they under­stand that details and ser­vices are impor­tant, North Atlantic Specialty Bags strives to be price com­pet­i­tive as well.

According to their web­site, their goals are to “Treat every Client big or small with the high­est level of ser­vice and atten­tion to detail pos­si­ble, and to never lose sight of who our real boss is—the customer.”

North Atlantic Specialty Bags has many dif­fer­ent options for their clients to choose from. These include, but are not lim­ited to, a vari­ety of stand up and flat pouches, side gus­set foil bags, and four cor­ner seal bags. Degassing valves are also avail­able in a vari­ety of styles to fit your spe­cific needs.

Pack Plus offers per­haps, one of the most exten­sive line of pack­ag­ing prod­ucts ded­i­cated to cof­fee in the indus­try today.

They offer bag sizes rang­ing from 1oz up to 40lb with the one-way degassing valve as an option. Their top sell­ing prod­uct is the side-gusseted foil bags, offered in a vari­ety of col­ors. When cof­fee is packed in these foil bags it ensures that freshly roasted cof­fee is pro­tected from the key fresh­ness killers: UV Light, oxy­gen, and moisture.

According to Pack Plus’ web­site, “Our exclu­sive Aroma pat­tern line fea­tures a pre-printed steam­ing cup design. Its dec­o­ra­tive look makes it an eye-catching choice. Achieve a cus­tom look and choose one of the bright col­ors avail­able. Use it for sam­pling or for dis­tin­guish­ing each of your spe­cialty fla­vors. Stand out from the rest and pack your cof­fee in one of our Aroma pat­tern bags!”

Degassing Valve
Fresh, great qual­ity, and aro­matic cof­fee is essen­tial for roast­ers. This is exactly what con­sumers look for in their favorite cup of cof­fee. When the qual­ity is con­sis­tent, con­sumers keep com­ing back for more. The degassing valve is a must-have in order to ensure this freshness.

PLITEK is excited to announce the launch of PV-25-FV, the only pres­sure sen­si­tive one-way degassing valve with inte­grated fil­ter­ing base. The design struc­ture of this valve inhibits cof­fee grounds from enter­ing the valve and inter­fer­ing with its func­tion­al­ity. This new tech­nol­ogy will aid roast­ers in pre­serv­ing fresh­ness of their ground and whole bean cof­fee. It is also adapt­able to cups, cans, and a vast vari­ety of bagged cof­fee. It is also impor­tant to note that PLITEK’s valves are trans­par­ent so it will not inter­fere with your package’s label.

Alma Likic, Marketing and Opportunity Development Specialist at PLITEK says, “PLITEK devel­oped PLI-VALV PV-51 for frac­tional pack­ages as well as pro­pri­etary K-Cup mini-valve. Both pro­vide nec­es­sary one-way degassing ben­e­fits allow­ing roast­ers to pre­serve their coffee’s fresh­ness and qual­ity. Its com­pact design has all of the ben­e­fits of tra­di­tional size valves with­out the extra cost.”

PLITEK pro­vides a com­plete sys­tem solu­tion that includes both one-way degassing valves and valve appli­ca­tors engi­neered to inte­grate with the roaster’s new or exist­ing pack­ag­ing machin­ery and is also intro­duc­ing pre-oiled valves that will be avail­able in early July. “Our engi­neers have worked very hard in devel­op­ing these pre-oiled valves, and we are very excited to offer it soon,” says Likic.

Fres-co one-way degassing valve con­tributes to prod­uct fresh­ness and preser­va­tion and pal­leti­za­tion of bulk size and indus­trial bags. Originally devel­oped for cof­fee, the one-way degassing valve allows CO2 to escape from the inside out. It also does not allow oxy­gen back into the pack­age. For large bags, the valves allow air to escape from the bags dur­ing pal­leti­za­tion. In return, this cre­ates a com­pact and sta­ble pal­let load.

Their pack­ag­ing machines can be cus­tomized so that fit­ments and degassing valves can be inte­grated to Fres-co 3 and 4-ply lam­i­nates on the run. Preserving orig­i­nal and fresh fla­vor for a long shelf life, Fres-co’s one-way degassing valve is known for its qual­ity, reli­a­bil­ity, and per­for­mance. It is a sig­na­ture inno­v­a­tive item offered by Fres-co.

Packaging Machinery
“Flexicon has raised tubu­lar cable con­vey­ing tech­nol­ogy to new lev­els through numer­ous devel­op­ments rang­ing from ultra-compact cable ten­sion­ers and adjustable mate­r­ial inlets, to highly reli­able tubu­lar dis­charge valves and drive sys­tems, trans­lat­ing into higher pro­duc­tiv­ity, uptime and profit for Roasters,” says David Boger, Vice President Global Business Development & Marketing at Flexicon Corporation.

New from Flexicon is an expanded line of FLEXI-DISC™ Tubular Cable Conveyors that gen­tly trans­fers green, roasted, and ground cof­fee between bag dump­ing, bulk bag dis­charg­ing, sort­ing, roast­ing, grind­ing, cool­ing, and pack­ag­ing equipment.

The con­vey­ors are offered with sin­gle or mul­ti­ple inlets and out­lets, and they are avail­able engi­neered and inte­grated with new or exist­ing upstream and down­stream equip­ment man­u­fac­tured by Flexicon and oth­ers includ­ing: bulk bag un-loaders, bulk bag fillers, weigh batch­ing sys­tems, pack­ag­ing machines, and more. Since com­po­nents of the sys­tem are mod­u­lar, the sys­tem can be adapted to chang­ing requirements.

GPI Solution is the USA agent for OPEM S.p.A, leader in research and devel­op­ment of pack­ag­ing machines for dry prod­ucts, and espe­cially for the cof­fee industry.

They offer a wide range of auto­matic machines. These machines are spe­cial­ized in weigh­ing, dos­ing, and pack­ag­ing prod­ucts under atmos­phere, mod­i­fied atmos­phere with inert gas, and under vac­uum. They offer high per­for­mance ver­ti­cal machines, vac­uum pack­ag­ing lines, and sever solu­tions for the sin­gle serve for­mat, includ­ing pod and cap­sule pack­ag­ing machines.

GPI Solution’s Special Projects Department spe­cial­izes in the devel­op­ment of high-speed, high per­for­mance, and cus­tomiza­tion for all of your spe­cial pack­ag­ing projects!

Cablevey Conveyors pro­vides cost-effective and effi­cient solu­tions for automat­ing the pack­ag­ing process! Throughout the roast­ing facil­ity, Cablevey can pro­vide sys­tems to move green cof­fee, whole bean cof­fee, ground cof­fee, and even fla­vored beans to the pack­ag­ing sys­tem and for each process through­out the plant.

A key focus for Cablevey is to work closely with each (human) roaster, lis­ten to their con­cerns and needs, and com­pletely cus­tomize the sys­tem for their pro­cess­ing pur­poses. Karl Seidel, the Marketing Manager at Cablevey says, “Coffee is pretty sta­ble in terms of how it moves from place to place. Roasters can choose pack­ag­ing options because our sys­tems are com­pletely cus­tomiz­able and flex­i­ble to the indi­vid­ual needs of each roaster.”

MACTEC Packaging Technologies’ mis­sion is to, “Provide the mul­ti­fac­eted mar­ket client with an inno­v­a­tive blis­ter pack­ag­ing solu­tions for their unit dose prod­uct. Their goals are to become truly a world class turn key resource for unit dose packaging.”

They have been focused in the devel­op­ment of state of the art small blis­ter machines that are suit­able for small-scale pro­duc­tion. They take great pride in their ver­sa­til­ity and cre­ative unit dose solu­tions. A vari­ety of dif­fer­ent machines are offered by MACTEC to accom­mo­date your pro­duc­tion output.

As you can see, there is much more to pack­ag­ing than just the pretty box and pouch on the shelf. Labeling is extremely impor­tant in brand­ing your company’s val­ues and name. Labels will set you apart from your com­peti­tors and aid in the mar­ket­ing process. Bags and pouches are one of the most vital aspects of this process; after all, they are what keeps the goods safe from the ele­ments with the help of the one-way degassing valve. The high-tech machin­ery is what makes the whole process possible.

With that being said, get quirky and cre­ative with your company’s pack­ag­ing. Make your brand stand out from the rest, and find a com­pany that will work with you to best suit all of your pack­ag­ing needs!

Mother Parkers and Matrix Packaging Machinery Solve Packaging Upgrade Issues
by Steve Sterling

With lim­ited floor space and a desire to keep cap­i­tal and labor costs to a min­i­mum, the com­pany spurred its pack­ag­ing machine OEM to cre­ate an entirely new solu­tion that would dou­ble output.

Several years ago, the Mother Parker Fort Worth facil­ity was fac­ing a major pro­duc­tion dilemma – the demand was out­strip­ping the abil­ity of the plant to pack­age enough ground roasted cof­fee. Though straight­for­ward, if cost weren’t a fac­tor, an option would have been to add two more pack­ag­ing lines and effec­tively dou­ble pro­duc­tion. Plant man­age­ment thought that with inge­nu­ity they could solve the prob­lem and not incur the costs of a new bulk deliv­ery sys­tem, new pack­ag­ing lines, and increased labor.

At our facil­ity, a suc­tion impulse con­vey­ing sys­tem deliv­ered ground roasted cof­fee to a silo above two auger fillers, which fed two form-fill-seal pack­ag­ing lines with a com­bined total out­put of about 180 bags per minute,” said Kelly Harber, Maintenance Manufacturing Projects Manager. “The cap­i­tal cost to repli­cate the con­vey­ing sys­tem, let alone the cost and dis­rup­tion of secur­ing addi­tional floor space for new pack­ag­ing lines, meant that we had to use the deliv­ery sys­tem and the space we had.”

Harber and his team began to talk with pack­ag­ing machine OEMs about replac­ing the 90 bags-per-minute machines with higher speed units. The prob­lem with that option, was that fill­ing nearly 180 bags per minute, the out­put required per machine, was for all intents and pur­poses impos­si­ble given the physics of the form-fill-seal bag­ging process.

The Solution
The Mother Parkers team began dis­cus­sions with Milwaukee-based Matrix Packaging Machinery, a Pro Mach divi­sion, about its ideas for an entirely new machine, one that had never been built before. The two com­pa­nies hashed out the con­straints of deliv­ery sys­tem, floor space, the intent to keep labor costs the same, and the need for speeds approach­ing 180 bags per minute per machine.

We wanted to go beyond the machines we were see­ing at trade shows, and to push the bound­aries of what was pos­si­ble in pack­ag­ing,” said Harber. “We struc­tured the project so that Matrix engi­neers would see they were not cre­at­ing a one-off machine, but a whole new class of machines that would help them grow their busi­ness in the cof­fee indus­try. Mother Parkers in return would be the first in the indus­try to receive the new solu­tion. It really was a win-win, if we could pull it off.”

Matrix came up with a design that essen­tially cre­ated two form-fill-seal machines in the foot­print of one. The pro­posed machine would have two fill­ing tubes and inno­v­a­tive con­trols to give it the flex­i­bil­ity of fill­ing two bags of the same size or two dif­fer­ent sized bags at the same time. Output, in the­ory, would boost pro­duc­tion on the two lines to a total of 360 bags a minute. The exist­ing bulk deliv­ery sys­tem would be utilized.

One way to approach pack­ag­ing, or really any cap­i­tal project, is to issue a request for bid,” observed Harber. “Another is to find tech­nol­ogy part­ners who have the vision and the exper­tise to pro­duce some­thing entirely new. This pack­ag­ing appli­ca­tion demon­strates the power of not accept­ing the sta­tus quo.”

If you are look­ing to expand your pack­ag­ing pro­duc­tion don’t worry, it is pos­si­ble! Look for a com­pany who is will­ing to work with you to col­lab­o­rate on the best solu­tion for you and your com­pany. The results will be in the numbers!

The View

Categories: 2014, MayTags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , Author:

The 2014 SCAA Event is now his­tory and the impact will be felt for years to come. Congratulations to Marty Curtis (with the help of past pres­i­dents) for hav­ing the courage and tenac­ity to cre­ate last­ing change in our asso­ci­a­tion: the path to change starts with ask­ing the right ques­tions and seek­ing col­lab­o­ra­tive solution.

And even more con­grat­u­la­tions and thanks to this amaz­ing indus­try that con­sis­tently comes together to ensure sus­tain­abil­ity for the peo­ple and prod­uct. In par­tic­u­lar, The Vashon Island Coffee Roasterie and spon­sors who together raised more then $5,000 on April 27th to sup­port a med­ical mis­sion treat­ing migrant work­ers in Costa Rica. Following are just a few com­ments from incred­i­ble evening.

A fan­tas­tic evening at The Roasterie with cof­fee peo­ple from all around the world com­ing to cel­e­brate spe­cialty cof­fee pio­neer Jim Stewart at the Birthplace of Seattle’s Best Coffee, where it all began here on Vashon Island!”
Eva DeLoach, Owner The Vashon Island Coffee Roasterie

Coffee peo­ple have big hearts.”
Tom Stannard

The evening felt lov­ing, warm & fun. The Vashon Island Roasterie was a per­fect host, an over-the-top event by CoffeeTalk Media. It was won­der­ful to be lis­ten­ing to blue grass music while chat­ting with friends from Ethiopia, Columbia & other cof­fee ori­gins while enjoy­ing some tasty Elk BBQ & organic Matcha tea cock­tails. Truly a spir­ited evening and gath­er­ing of mutual kind­ness and giv­ing hearts, con­grat­u­la­tions Kerri!”
Silvia Mancillas of Coffee Cares

It was so won­der­ful to see so many peo­ple in the cof­fee indus­try together hav­ing fun and most espe­cially Erna Knutsen, a true inspi­ra­tion, hav­ing a great time watch­ing Jim cook­ing the elk.”
Luz Marina Trullio Stewart of Santa Elena Coffee Estate

It was excit­ing to see this gath­er­ing of cof­fee folks from all over the world, here to help the peo­ple who make our morn­ing cup pos­si­ble.”
Tami Brockway Joyce | Managing Partner Seattle Distilling Company

It’s always hum­bling to go to events like this and see old friends from when you started your career. And to see a (40+ year old) roaster still being used is just mind-boggling.”
Marty G Curtis

Wonderful, won­der­ful! It was very excit­ing to be hob­nob­bing along side some of the most influ­en­tial and inspir­ing play­ers who helped build the Specialty Coffee indus­try. Thanks to all the spon­sors!!!”
Devorah Zeitlin, Owner San Cristobal Coffee Importers

Thank you so much! It is really for a good cause. I wit­nessed the fan­tas­tic work the med­ical team did with the fam­i­lies when I was in Costa Rica in January on the cof­fee farm. From vac­ci­nat­ing babies to treat­ing heart con­di­tions of elderly, the team did won­ders and prob­a­bly saved lives.”
Robin Pollard, Owner Pollard Coffee & Andrew Will Winery

The elk was incred­i­ble! Jim did a great job! The fact that John Rapinchuck helped carve the roast was amaz­ing! Seeing Erna Knutsen after so many years was sur­real for me! Certainly was a great event! Thanks for all you did Kerri, couldn’t have hap­pened with­out you!”
Dave Stewart, Owner Vista Clara Coffee

Down South home cook­ing and a Bluegrass Band… how can you go wrong! We’re so grate­ful to have been a part of this event. The folks of Vashon Island know how to throw a party! We appre­ci­ated meet­ing so many won­der­ful peo­ple from the indus­try and con­tribut­ing to the to Vashon Island Coffee Foundation and their 2014 Costa Rica Medical Mission. Looking for­ward to next year.”
Stefanie Makagon, Franchise Director TEAJA Organic

The Elk BBQ Dinner & Bluegrass was the top­ping of the SCAA 2014 Convention! We had a great oppor­tu­nity of hon­or­ing and spend­ing time with spe­cialty cof­fee pio­neers Jim Stewart and Dave Stewart in their own environment.”

During this evening held at the Vashon Island Coffee Roasterie, we trav­elled 40 years back in his­tory to dis­cover the roots of the spe­cialty cof­fee indus­try. The event was a total suc­cess, includ­ing fan­tas­tic blue­grass, local wines, com­ple­mented by a won­der­ful Elk BBQ Dinner, pre­pared by Jim Stewart him­self! While enjoy­ing this mag­i­cal evening, funds for the 2015 Medical Mission of Santa Elena, Costa Rica, were raised from dona­tions and art auc­tions.”
Felipe Isaza, President Coffee Resources

Elk Roast