Publisher’s Prologue

Welcome to CoffeeTalk’s 2014 State of the Industry.

This new year brings with it a sense of excitement and hope. Change is all around us, and if we wish to survive and thrive, we must embrace it. I am personally thankful for the amazing opportunities the coffee industry has bestowed, and I hope to somehow give back in some meaningful way this year next year, 2014. And to begin, we share with you the wisdom of some of the most respected professionals in the industry.

Reading through each article I found myself humbled. Even after 20 years, I am just a “baby” in this industry. The combined wisdom in this issue quite literally has the power to change the world.

I hope to entice you to read all of the articles by giving you a brief glimpse with my favorite nugget of wisdom in each article. However, there was one article that had just too many gems to limit it to a single quote. These concepts from one of our writers* embody the spirit of this entire issue:

• Our industry continues to provide a means of expression, hope, and income for a multitude of people around the world.

• Our hard work and success does not come without struggle, and many challenges await us as 2014 quickly approaches.

• […] This issue should not be left to the next generation of roasters. It must be addressed.

• It is wrong to think there is nothing left to learn.

• As both mature and immature markets see new shops opening their doors, familiar territory is becoming anything but that.

• Learning from our past mistakes and discussing our future will help us sustain and survive.

So, coffee professionals, remember that knowledge is power… don’t miss out on the opportunity to learn from the seasoned souls who have created this 2014 State of the Industry.

“Clearly, it’s been a challenging year for coffee in the public policy arena, and year-end won’t neatly wrap up these challenges.”
Under The Microscope
John Boyle, National Coffee Association of U.S.A. Page #16

“Once consumers start drinking better quality coffee, they tend not to trade down. This puts greater pressure on roasters to maintain and preserve quality…”
One-Way Coffee Degassing
Alma Likic, Plitek, Llc. Page #18

“For enduring success in the specialty coffee business, it is a must to understand these processes and where quality happens or lacks…”
Game Changer: IT Supported Quality Management Systems
Andy Benedikter and Norbert Niederhauser, Cropster Inc. Page #20

“There remains a mad scramble to get into the single serve business, with just about every roaster aspiring to produce them, and most independent multi-store operators eager to have their own private label Keurig® compatible line of coffee.”
The Borer And The Never Boring
Donald N. Schoenholt, Gillies Coffee Co. Page #22

“Best of all it is grown by some of the kindest, most gentle people anywhere.”
Myanmar And Specialty Coffee: Critical Crossroads
Rick Peyser, Green Mountain Coffee Roasters Page #24

“There are too few coffee scientists…”
The Art & Science Of Specialty Coffee
Spencer Turer, Coffee Analysts Page #26

“I believe we’re in a Renaissance. Growth + Innovation = Renaissance.”
New & Views From NAMA Chair
Pete Tullio, NAMA Board Page #28

“Words, use them wisely. Self, social, financial, and ecological sustainability…”
Making Sustainability Sustainable
Rocky Rhodes, International Coffee Consulting Page #30

“‘Packaging Analytics’ is entirely new terminology and intent to launch more innovations and applications aimed at providing a more scientific approach to the design and manufacture of food and beverage packaging.”
It’s Time To Put Analytics Into Packaging
David Weiss, uVu Technologies LLC Page #32

“The driving force behind the health and wellness movement is Opportunity. America is primed and ready. Would you like Repeat Customers? Give them what they’re looking for.”
Four Opportunities
David Gross, Add a Scoop Page #34

“Coffee connoisseurs are naturally curious information seeking people who are loyal, inclined to seek convenience, and easily connected to strong brand identity and reputation.”
Improving Your Product Sales
Torie Burke, Torie & Howard, Llc. Page #36

“Is America really the land of the “pod” people? Can it really be true that the individualism we’re so proud of can actually be satisfied by a ‘pod?’”
The Rise Of Single Cup Coffee
Mike Gronholm, Single Cup Accessories, Inc Page #38

“Life is hard for farmers. Winston Churchill once said that, ‘If you are going through hell, keep going’… They did not give up on their love and passion for their farm, and they never lost faith in the importance of quality.”
Colombian Coffee, A Story (Still) To Be Told
Juan Esteban Orduz, Colombian Coffee Federation, Inc Page #40

“In retail, if it’s not making you money — it’s costing you money.”
Cup Sleeve Marketing
Don Scherer, BriteVision Page #42

“Big business is most certainly betting on tea.”
The Hottest Thing In Coffee Right Now Is Tea
Stefanie Makagon, TEAJA Office Page #44

“Especially when considering the independent owner, there is a common thread that bonds these retailers. With all of the various concerns vying for their attention, typically there is title time left to consider what is required to develop a successful retail merchandise program.”
Profit Building Merchandise Strategies For Coffee Houses
Erez Toker, Vessel Drinkware Page #46

“We all like doing the things that we are comfortable doing, but it may be time to step out of our comfort zone and not let our competitors beat us to the punch.”
Single Cup Solution, What Are You Waiting For In 2014?
Thomas G. Martin, Pod Pack International, Ltd. Page #48

“Does the new generation of coffee aficionados embrace Direct Trade because of its hip and fancy appeal, or do they sell direct relationships for the right reasons- to truly help the farmers?”
Changing Our Industry One Caring Soul At A Time
Karen Cebreros, Coffee Cares Page #50

“I have this growing concern that the specialty coffee industry is broken.”
The Fourth Wave Arrives In 2013: Collaboration To Fix A Broken Coffee Industry
David Griswold, Sustainable Harvest Specialty Coffee Page #52

“From outmoded perceptions of the “mobile consumer,” to evolving customer habits, there’s much to learn about mobile, and the many ways you can profit from that knowledge.”
Mobile Usage Is Exploding. Is Your Coffee Business Ready?
Rob Bethge, Perka, Inc Page #54

“The sustainability of coffee lies in the hands of its farmers.”
Subsidy Programs: A Glimmer Of Hope For Struggling Coffee Farmers
Alexis Rubinstein, FCStone, LLC Page #56

“[…] We are on a clear path toward a new way of doing business in the coffee world.”
The Fourth Wave And Functional Sustainability Models
Miles Small, CoffeeTalk Foundation Page #58

“Unless market conditions change, the struggles that farms are facing to remain profitable will have serious consequences on coffee quality […] Every voice should be heard, and every member should have an unequivocal opportunity to contribute to the organization (SCAA).”
Think Global Time To Align
Marty Curtis, Combustion Systems Sales Service, Inc Page #60

“Our industry should be having these conversations, not because we are necessarily doing things wrong, but because we might be able to do things better.”
Discussing Coffee Quality Assessment Strengthens The Industry
Shawn Steiman, Daylight Mind Coffee Company Page #62

“Data will become an equalizer […] but it’s the businesses that know how to use it well that will win.”
Why Data Matters
Jason Richelson, ShopKeep POS Page #64

“It is wrong to think there is nothing left to learn. As both mature and immature markets see new shops opening their doors, familiar territory is becoming anything but that. And, Learning from our past mistakes and discussing our future will help us sustain and survive.”
Roaster’s Resolutions
Andrew Russo, Roasting Expert Page #66

“One of the more difficult concepts for the coffee merchants to grasp is that sustainability at origin is not about coffee. It is about the farmers, their needs, their values, their culture, and their own communities, and it all must be long-term or it cannot be considered sustainable.”
Sustainability At Origin
Bill Fishbein, The Coffee Trust Page #68

“The learning curve of specialty coffee has advanced dramatically, and the end consumer is now better educated and curious about the topics.”
A New Set Of Critical Questions
Josué Morales, Mayaland Coffee Page #70

“We are lucky, for few jobs offer the fun, the commitment, and the passion that we enjoy…”
A Roaster’s Checklist For Optimal Packaging
Jeff Beer and Chris Burger, Fres-co System USA, Inc. Page #72

*By the way, Andrew Russo has just moved to the area and is seeking opportunities within the coffee community in the Pacific Northwest. You can reach him at

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