Single-serve coffee brewers are an intelligent alternative to drip coffee machines in many situations. They can provide a fresh cup of coffee whenever you desire, with very minimum mess and no fuss. Whether in the office, at home, in hotels or in cafes, single-serve brewers are a great way to go for valued convenience and consistency. Europeans have been enjoying the advantage of single-serve brewers in their homes and workplace for years. Because of the success there, the single-cup concept was introduced to North America in the 1990s. Since then, single-serve brewers have gradually swept their way into the hearts of American coffee lovers.
Keurig has been the most popular manufacturer to successfully introduce a single brew machine to American consumers. Green Mountain Roasters developed and marketed the K-Cup for use with the Keurig machine, allowing single cups of coffee, tea and chocolate to be brewed one at a time. Wilbur Curtis, Tassimo, Belmoca, Bunn, Senseo, and Krups, along with others, have entered the market with their own brewers and systems.
Eric Lightheart from Canterbury Coffee, distributor of Singolo machines, says that the business has been booming and single-serve is one of the few industries in the coffee market that has so much growth. Spencer Turer from Coffee Analysts agrees, stating “everyone expects the market to continue to grow and expand.”
Ease and speed are key features of a single-serve coffee maker. You simply insert the container into the machine, add water, press a button. “Presto!” In just a few minutes you have a delicious brew of fresh, quality coffee with minimal mess.
Don Melanson from Tassimo says that consumers look for a consistent cup of coffee prepared fresh one cup at a time just for them. Quality as determined by the individuals and taste preference is also important.
The Daily Grind
A huge portion of coffee consumed on a daily basis is in the office, mostly serviced by OCS (Office Coffee Service) companies. OCS brewing technologies have advanced considerably over the years. For instance, Tassimo offers either a high-capacity T-300 brewer or the more compact T-65 CUL brewer for offices that feature scannable T-discs and contain a precise amount of premium ground coffee, tea or chocolate. Mother Parker’s RealCup™ capsules are 100% compatible with K-Cup single-serve brewers and available to Office Coffee Services operators in a variety of coffee and tea blends. The fastest growing product line for Pod Pack is their OCS focused line-up of pods. These pods can produce the highest quality coffees for any single-cup delivery system.
Home Sweet Home
The market for single-serve brewers reaches those who enjoy the convenience of brewing a smaller serving of coffee, whether they live in a small apartment and don’t have room for a large drip machine or only brew coffee for one or two people in the morning before work. In today’s economy, many people are on a budget, and making coffee at home means saving money compared to regularly going to the coffeeshop.
Many people enjoy one cup of coffee at a time, where they believe that making any more would just be wasteful. Although drip machines are still the dominant method of brewing, single-serve machines are picking up in the home market. Brant Curtis from Wilbur Curtis believes that in the home market, “convenience is king.” But, he adds, “If you are looking towards single-cup options in retail establishments, quality is king.”
The French Press is one of the most popular methods of brewing coffee and is an alternative to automatic single-serve machines in homes. Thomas Perez says that Bodum’s single-serve brewers range from their entry-level French Presses such as the Chambord to top brands like the Columbia. Aerobie, Inc. also makes a product similar to a french press with its AeroPress. “Consumers who buy the AeroPress love the AeroPress,” says Alex Tennant. “Retailers that sell the AeroPress will have happy customers, which are repeat customers.”
On the Road and Abroad
Retailers are using consumer machines because they are low volume and don’t have any waste. Spencer Turer explains: “Look at it from the perspective of the retailer – a pot of coffee can sit on the burner all day long. If you serve it, you are giving someone a bad cup of coffee. By switching to a single-serve brewer, they can increase their cost of goods per cup per serving but decrease waste.” If you can manage brewing, you can make a great cup. But, if you mess up the process, it is easy to make a bad cup of coffee. When using single-cup brewing systems in a closed system, it eliminates the possibility of making that bad cup of coffee.
Wilbur Curtis delivers a high-end machine designed with the customer’s success in mind. The Curtis Gold Cup Brewer “delivers a Golden Cup of coffee with fresh ground coffee,” says Brant Curtis. You can even change the water temperature on the device.
Belmoca makes luxurious espresso single-serve machines that are available in silver, red, or black.
Hotels are a perfect platform for single-serve coffee. People usually drink just one or two cups of coffee in their rooms, so having a drip machine is wasteful – people end up tossing out much of the coffee they make. Hotels can benefit because they save on energy and labor costs. Pod Pack, for instance, sells In-Room single cup coffee pods. Besides producing higher cup quality, the pods are compostable. Mother Parker’s Single Serve Pods are also ideal for hotels.
The Brews You Get!
Once you have your single-serve brewer, where do you get the coffee, tea or chocolate? K-Cups, discs, capsules and pods: What is the most popular form for making a single cup? “I guess K-cups for filter coffee and paper pods for espresso.” says Bob Melikian of Automatic Brewers and Coffee Devices, Inc. There are many options for making a convenient and high quality cup of coffee and that is good for the consumer.
Thomas Martin from Pod Pack says that “A pod is less messy and easy to dispense of – and in addition, Pod Pack pods are biodegradable. Pod Packs are convenient and deliver a fresh brewed coffee one cup at a time.”
Upshot is an eco-friendly, single-serve filter that is compatible with Keurig® and other single-serve brewers meaning roasters can package their own coffee in K-Cup compatible brewers.
At Belmoca, they use freshly roasted Arabica coffee that is immediately cased in a diamond-shaped aluminum capsule. The rich aromas and 180 unique tastes are optimally stored in this unique capsule, guaranteeing freshness.
Automatic Brewers and Coffee Devices, Inc. converts roaster’s coffees into single cup servings – for example, PodPerfect paper pods and SingleCupper recyclable filters, that end-user customers brew in their Keurig/K-Cup compatible brewers.
The RealCup™ portfolio from Mother Parkers includes a wide variety of high-quality single-serve coffees and teas that meet all consumer taste profiles.
While they may never take over drip machines, single-serve brewers are here to stay. They deliver excellent quality and convenience.