We’ve all heard it before: coffee is second only to oil as the most traded commodity in the world. It’s a market that largely attracts players from every corner of the globe. To say that the coffee industry is a red ocean* is an understatement. So how does one company separate itself from the rest? What makes it possible for one company to thrive, while others merely survive, or die? It’s the technology they impart into their contribution to the coffee world.
The basic elements of coffee are roasted coffee beans and heated water. That recipe hasn’t changed for centuries. The difference between one cup of coffee and the next is the technology that goes into each step creating those elements and then bringing them together.
Certainly there is a difference between the mass produced, pre-ground coffee in a can and the hand selected, individually roasted, fresh ground beans purchased from the local independent roaster. However, once that level of hand crafted production is reached, the differences narrow significantly. Very quickly it comes down to personal taste and preference.
Technology has revolutionized the way we brew and enjoy coffee. It was technology that made it possible to off-gas and pre-grind coffee to seal it in cans, bringing about the first wave of coffee. Technology made it possible to apply nine bars of pressure to heated water, allowing it to stay in contact with coffee grounds for just 22 seconds, enabling Italians to create a palatable drink from otherwise bitter African Robusta beans. This brought about the second wave of coffee.
Now that we are in the third wave of coffee, technology is again being applied in directions never before considered.
A kettle is simply a device that heats water. Many kettles look pretty similar to each other. To set one apart from another, add the technology to control the temperature to within one degree and a gooseneck spout designed with input from a US Brewer’s Cup champion. Now that kettle becomes the preferred tool for competitive baristas.
Scales are a tool used to measure weight. They can weigh micrograms of medicine, or semi-trucks on an interstate. Make one just the right size to fit onto the drip tray of an espresso machine, give it a water repellent nano-coating and the ability to self-tare and self-time and it becomes a game-changer for the way the local coffee shop prepares its brew.
Further examples of better coffee through technology: David Beeman’s “customized water” not only purifies water through reverse osmosis, but adds back the essential minerals that make coffee taste better. George Howell and VST’s “Extract MoJo” software coupled with a refractometer and some additional data will determine the percentage of extraction that was achieved during the brewing process. Very “techy” stuff that brings about consistency in manually brewed coffee.
In the mini-profiles after this introduction you will see examples of technology that will help your bottom line, from the Daterra’s Penta Box® that has raised the bar on green coffee quality throughout the shipping process to Flojet’s new oscillating pumps, and more. To survive in this business you must be sure you are using every competitive edge at your disposal. To thrive you must apply that competitive edge where no one has done so before.
Whether it is a completely automatic coffee brewer or a simple steeping filter and kettle to make pour-over coffee, technology gives baristas and home users alike control over the variables in the brewing process. Controlling those variables leads to consistency. Consistency leads to a better cup of coffee and after all, isn’t that the goal?
* The majority of businesses practice some form of the Red Ocean Strategy. It is either when businesses enter an over-saturated marketplace, or they simply defend their current position. When sales go down, or competition enters the fray, they merely fight to regain those sales or stave off the competition. It is unhealthy because it’s likely going for customers that have long since left and won’t be returning, or fighting for scraps to gain marginal profits.
by Christian Krause, Brand Manager Brewista Inc.
UpShot single-serve capsule
by Pro-Line Packaging
prolinecoffee.com | (630) 422-1012
Pro-Line Packaging uses the innovative UpShot capsule. Made from 100% polypropylene, the UpShot is fully-recyclable and holds up to 13g of coffee. Its mesh filter makes it highly aromatic and encourages greater contact between the water and grounds, ultimately giving you the perfect cup of coffee with every brew.
by ShopKeep POS
shopkeep.com | (800) 820-9814
ShopKeep provides an intuitive, secure, iPad-based point-of-sale system that empowers growing business owners to run smarter businesses by optimizing staffing, regulating inventory and accessing sales & customer information on one seamless, cloud-based platform. ShopKeep’s award-winning customer care team is available 24/7.
PS Series Oscillating Pumps
by Xylem Applied Water Systems
foodservice.xylem.com/coffee | (914) 323-5700
Flojet’s new PS Series Oscillating Pumps provides a cost effective solution to the low flow, high pressure pumping needs of the coffee industry. The product can deliver pressures up to 19 bar. The PS Series product is manufactured from food grade materials and is fitted with innovative noise reducing technology.
Coffee Shop Manager
by Coffee Shop Manager
coffeeshopmanager.com | (800) 750-3947
A sophisticated Coffee Point of Sale Designed for Specialty Coffee, Coffee Shop Manager provides your coffee shop with the latest POS technology carefully crafted by coffee industry veterans. From basic point-of-sale technology to fully featured comprehensive business tools, CSM has everything you need to grow your business.
LX2000 Color Label Printer
by Primera Technology, Inc.
primeralabel.com | (800) 797-2772
LX2000 Color Label Printer allows you to print your own product labels! You can save time and money by printing sample, seasonal, customized labels without having to worry about minimums or lead times!
JoeTap Nitro Cold Brew System
joetap.com | (800) 325-5893
Nitro cold brew is among the hottest trends in coffee today and JoeTap is the world’s first and only on-demand nitro solution. From the portable JoeTap standalone model to customized solutions, JoeTap can turn your cold brew coffee into nitro cold brew instantly. Brew, Tap, Pour!
by Daterra Coffee
daterracoffee.com.br | 551937288010
Green Coffee Freshness is essential for quality. Daterra’s Penta Box® was developed in 2004 to insure coffee’s post-harvest freshness for up to three years. The convenient 53.25 lb. package is ideal for discriminating quality minded commercial and home roasters.
The New Super Pod!
by Pod Pack International, LTD.
podpack.com | (225) 752-1160
Pod Pack International continues to innovate with the Super Pod, designed to provide high quality options for hotel, and food service. The hotel pod is used in current single cup equipment with a new reusable tray. The food service pod will brew up to 20 ounces for a large drink.
by Plitek, Llc
plitek.com | (847) 827-6680
For over 20 years, PLITEK’s one-way degassing valves and applicators have enabled coffee roasters to eliminate bulk degassing from their operation and preserve freshness and quality of their coffee. With billions used world-wide, PLI-VALV technology is proven to allow freshly roasted coffee to naturally degass inside the package.